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Rustlers bounce back to claim third place

HURON--Six Ethan girls basketball players closed out their prep careers in familiar fashion on Saturday--with a victory. One day removed from a heartbreaking 37-35 semifinal loss to Sully Buttes, Ethan responded by claiming third place at the Cla...

Ethan's Kacey Bartscher (44) drives to the basket as Warner's Alexis Boesl (20) defends during the Class B third place game on Saturday night at the Huron Arena. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Ethan's Kacey Bartscher (44) drives to the basket as Warner's Alexis Boesl (20) defends during the Class B third place game on Saturday night at the Huron Arena. (Matt Gade / Republic)

HURON-Six Ethan girls basketball players closed out their prep careers in familiar fashion on Saturday-with a victory.

One day removed from a heartbreaking 37-35 semifinal loss to Sully Buttes, Ethan responded by claiming third place at the Class B state tournament with a 60-42 win over Warner at the Huron Arena in Huron.

It's the third year in a row Ethan placed at the state tournament as the Rustlers placed second in 2016 and first in 2015. In that three-year span, the Rustlers have compiled a record of 71-7.

Despite having an experienced roster, Ethan head coach Tom Young admitted he was worried about how his team would respond after Friday's loss.

"I didn't know how we would come out," Young said. "These girls invested a lot and they are just a close team. With six seniors, it's been a pretty emotional day all day long."

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As it turned out, Young didn't need to worry too much about how his team would play. Led by their hard-nosed defense, the Rustlers (24-2) never trailed top-seeded Warner in the contest.

"We were ourselves tonight," Young said. "We played our game from the get go."

Four Ethan players scored in double figures as Ellie Hohn poured in 14 points, Rachel Hawkins chipped in 12 points, Kacey Bartscher finished with 11 points and Karly Gustafson recorded 10 points. Amanda Miiller added nine points and seven rebounds for the Rustlers, who went 25-of-42 from the field for 59 percent shooting.

"Last night was a tough game, but we are glad we got to bounce back with a win," said Miiller, who drained a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that sent the Ethan crowd into a frenzy. "We've played together since we were third-graders and it's awesome we got to play this long and end it together."

In the first quarter, two Hohn 3-pointers put Ethan up 10-4 early and the Rustlers finished the frame with a 14-7 lead.

The Rustlers brooke loose in the second quarter, flipping 11 first-half turnovers by the Monarchs into multiple transition buckets to build a 25-12 advantage. Ethan entered halftime with a 29-15 lead.

Ethan opened the third quarter on 6-0 run, took its first 20-point lead of the contest at 35-15 and finished the frame by outscoring Warner 16-2 to lead 45-17.

"Amanda did a great job in the post and had the best game of her career," Young said. "We made it tough for everything they did."

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For Warner (22-4), Haylee Hanson scored a game-high 20 points, including six 3-pointers, while Laurie Rogers chipped in eight points. Warner went 14-of-37 from the field (37 percent) and committed 18 turnovers in the loss.

While the season didn't end in the championship game for Ethan, Miiller said the Rustlers made the most of their time together on the court.

"It was a blast," Miiller said. "I wouldn't change anything."

Ethan 60, Warner 41

Ethan (24-2): Jessica Bartscher 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Endres 0-0 0-0 0, Maddie Miiller 0-0 0-0 0, Patience Nesheim 1-1 0-0 2, Mollie Miiller 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Hawkins 5-7 1-1 12, Janae Gustafson 0-1 2-2 2, Callie Hohn 0-0 0-0 0, Karly Gustafson 5-9 0-0 10, Ellie Hohn 6-8 0-0 14, Regan Gerlach 0-0 0-0 0, Kacey Bartscher 4-11 1-1 11, Amanda Miiller 4-5 0-2 9, Shawntel Hohn 0-0 0-0 0, Rhena Hohn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-42 4-6 60

Warner (22-4): Laura Ochsner 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Leidholt 0-1 1-2 1, Morgan Rozell 0-0 0-0 0, Haylee Hanson 7-13 0-0 20, Alexis Boesl 0-4 0-0 0, Emily Wiedebush 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Heilman 0-0 0-0 0, Makala Hauge 2-4 0-2 4, Riley McNeil 1-1 0-0 2, Reilly Fuhrman 2-7 0-0 6, Laurie Rogers 2-5 4-6 8, Ashley Fischbach 0-1 0-0 0, Keeley Fischbach 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Wiedebush 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 14-37 6-12 42

E 14 29 45 60

W 7 15 17 42

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3-pt FG: E 6-11 (Hawkins 1-2, Hohn 2-3, Bartscher 2-5, Miiller 1-1), W 8-20 (Hanson 6-11, Boesl 0-3, Fuhrman 2-4, Fischbach 0-1, Fischbach 0-1). Rebounds: E 22 (Miiller 7), W 23 (Hauge 7). Fouls E 12, W 10. Fouled out: none. Technical: none. Assists: E 9 (Hohn 3, Miiller 3), W 10 (Boesl 4). Steals: E 10 (Gustafson 3), W 6 (Boesl 3). Blocked shots: E 0, W 2 (Hanson 1, Rogers 1). Turnovers: E 13, W 18.

Related Topics: ETHAN
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