Burro girls earn wire-to-wire win vs. Klawock

KRISTIE RUEN/NEWS LEADER Lanesboro’s Alida Berg guards a player from the Klawock, Alaska, Chieftains.
S. Lee Epps

The Lanesboro girls prevailed from the free throw line and the 3-point arc while turning back visiting Klawock (kluh-WAHK), Alaska, 61-42, on Jan. 3.

Shortly before this edition went to press, Lanesboro fell at Hayfield 66-26 on Monday of this week. Look for complete coverage in next week's News Leader.

LHS 61, Klawock 42

"We played a solid game; we had a decent night shooting," said coach Bret Klaehn. "And we finished better than we have all season at the basket, which has been a real emphasis for us in practice."

Lanesboro never trailed and led 7-6 before racing away with a 16-to-4 run. While the Chieftains suffered through 5 turnovers and hit only 1 of 5 shots, the Burros hit 5 of 10 from the field and 5 of 7 from the free throw line to earn a 23-10 lead.

LHS extended a wide 35-17 halftime margin into its greatest lead at 44-20. But the Burro attack then sputtered with six turnovers and seven missed shots, while Klawock scored the next 12 points to slice that margin in half.

The Burros would eventually put the game out of reach in the final two minutes with a seven-point run, ignited by a Payton Benson 3-pointer.

Sydney Taylor scored in transition as LHS broke through full-court pressure, and Jessie Schreiber scored with an inbounds pass to push the lead back to 20 (58-38).

Both teams hit 16 two-point field goals but the Burros had three more 3-balls (5 for 16, 31%) than did the Chieftains (2 for 11, 18%). Overall, Lanesboro outshot Klawock from the field 31% to 28%.

But LHS held the greatest advantage at the charity line where the Burros attempted more free throws (14 for 25, 56%) than the visitors attempted (4 for 9, 44%).

"We defended well while limiting our fouls (12), which is another area in which our girls have worked hard to improve," added Klaehn.

"We also shared the ball better than usual as we assisted on 16 of our 21 field goals,"

Eight Burros scored (three in double figures plus one with 9 points) and eight rebounded. Schreiber posted a 10-point, 12-rebound double double and assisted 6 times (twice as many assists as turnovers.)

Benson scored all three of her treys in the second half on the way to a team-high 16 points along with 6 steals, 4 assists and 5 rebounds.

Taylor hit 5 of 7 from the field to finish with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Brielle Ruen added 9 points and 5 boards. Nora Rein had 3 points.

Sophia Simes (5 points, 5 assists) and Malia Tessum (3 points) each rebounded six times and Alida Berg (1 point) came away with 5 ricochets. Sophie Pieper had 3 boards as the Burros out-rebounded the Alaskans, 50 to 40.

Sophomore guard Kenai Holien led the Alaskans with 20 points while 6-foot senior center Taya Marvin added 10 points.

The Chieftains left home with a 2-0 record before dropping all three games in Minnesota. They fell earlier in the week at Spring Grove 75-45 and at Rushford-Peterson 61-50 before closing the long road trip at Lanesboro.

The town of Klawock, in southeast Alaska, is accessible only by air or water (ferry). The high school enrollment is approximately 40 students.

"The game vs. Klawock was a great experience for our girls and our school community," concluded Klaehn. "Thanks to Jim Holien and the Chieftains for the great opportunity.

"After the game, we shared a meal with them, traded gifts and stories, and learned about how different life is on a remote Alaskan island.”

There was no B team game.

This week and next

It will be eight days between games with the Burros seeking a season sweep on the road in the rematch at Mabel-Canton on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

The girls then bus to Grand Meadow on Jan. 16. It will be the third conference clash in four days when LHS is back home on Friday, Jan. 17, against Randolph.