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In classic battle, Ethan clips Sully Buttes

ABERDEEN--What else would you expect between Ethan and Sully Buttes? The Rustlers and Chargers added another exhilarating and heart-pounding chapter to their budding rivalry on Thursday at the Class B girls basketball tournament. After Sully Butt...

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Ethan's Karly Gustafson, right, eyes the basket against Sully Buttes' Lauren Wittler on Thursday during the Class B girls basketball tournament at Wachs Arena. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

ABERDEEN-What else would you expect between Ethan and Sully Buttes?

The Rustlers and Chargers added another exhilarating and heart-pounding chapter to their budding rivalry on Thursday at the Class B girls basketball tournament. After Sully Buttes won in last year's state semifinals 37-35, Ethan returned the favor with a 37-36 win at Wachs Arena.

"Both teams play really good defense, both teams are prepared and (Sully Buttes coach) Mark (Senftner) just does a fantastic job with those guys," Ethan coach Tom Young said. "We know when we go in there, we just know every basket, we have to earn. They made us do that tonight."

Sixth-seeded Ethan (22-2) will now play rival No. 2 Hanson at 7:45 p.m. today in the championship semifinals of the state tournament.

On Thursday, the Rustlers defeated another rival. It marked the seventh meeting between the two in the past four seasons, with each team winning three before Thursday. Ethan claimed the seventh matchup after Karly Gustafson hit a go-ahead basket with 2:33 left that made the score 37-36.

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"We knew it was going to be a physical game," Gustafson said. "They knew us and we knew them and it was just going to be a good game."

After Gustafson's go-ahead shot, neither team scored for the rest of game. The Chargers had a pair of chances to take the lead, but Rachel Guthmiller missed a short jumper in the lane with under 1 minute left. Sully Buttes had another final chance and had to go the length of the court with 3.3 seconds left, but Lauren Wittler's 3-pointer was no good.

"That turned into as good of a shot as you could get in that situation," Senftner said. "We were happy with that. The possession before we had a wide-open jumper. It was about eight feet. We had a wide-open jumper from eight feet and you couldn't ask for anything more."

"It was pretty similar to the last three battles that we've had with them," Senftner added. "We just came out on the short end tonight and that's tough to take."

Gustafson finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Cameryn Logan netted 11 points and continued her stellar freshman campaign.

"She isn't afraid of the moment and for a freshman, that is pretty impressive," Young said.

Wittler and Miranda Archer both scored 14 points apiece for Sully Buttes (22-2), which plays Avon at 1:45 p.m. today in the consolation semifinals.

Ethan lost to Hanson 61-40 in the first game of the season, but will get another crack at the Beavers today for a trip to the state title game.

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"It should be a fun game," Gustafson said. "They kind of beat us pretty bad. So it will be cool just to see how far both teams have come. It's fun to play them again."

Ethan 37, Sully Buttes 36

Ethan (22-2): Karly Gustafson 5-10 4-5 16, Mollie Miiller 0-1 0-0 0, Callie Hohn 0-1 0-0 0, Maddie Miiller 2-5 0-0 5, Jessica Bartscher 2-4 0-0 5, Cameryn Logan 5-11 1-4 11, Adaya Plastow 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-32 5-9 37

Sully Buttes (22-2): Rachel Guthmiller 0-4 0-0 0, Marinda Archer 7-10 0-0 14, Brooklynn Bradford 1-2 0-0 3, Lauren Wittler 6-10 2-2 14, Angela Guthmiller 0-0 0-0 0, Kendra Kleven 2-9 0-0 5. Totals 16-35 2-2 36

E 7 20 32 37

SB 6 18 32 36

Field goal pct: E .438, SB .457. 3-pt FG: E 4-7 (Gustafson 2-4, Miiller 1-1, Bartscher 1-2), SB 2-8 (Bradford 1-2, Kleven 1-6). Rebounds: E 22 (Gustafson 10), SB 18 (Guthmiller 5, Kleven 5). Fouls: E 9, SB 15. Fouled out: none. Technical: none. Assists: E 4 (Gustafson 1, Miiller 1, Bartscher 1, Plastow 1), SB 8 (Wittler 4). Steals: E 4 (Miiller 2), SB 3 (Guthmiller 1, Wittler 1, Kleven 1). Blocked shots: E 0, SB 2 (Archer 2). Turnovers: E 10, SB 8.

Related Topics: ETHANGIRLS BASKETBALL
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