The North Branch-Rush City girls basketball co-op hosted Grand Rapids on Saturday at Rush City High School.
Before the game began Senior Kayla Diedrich was honored for her career mark of 1,000 points! The game got off to a little bit of a slow start for both sides, turnovers were a problem early, but the coaches had to have been pleased with how their teams were rebounding. As the 1st half moved along both teams were able to find some rhythm on each side of the ball. The Thunderhawks had pulled ahead, but the Vikings were making a valiant effort to close the gap. At the half the Vikings trailed 22-15.
The 2nd half didn't start the way the Vikings would've liked, in fact it seemed everything that could go wrong did. While they couldn't seem to buy a basket, Grand Rapids seemed to have any shot they put up fall through. Soon the Thunderhawks had pulled out to a 14 point lead before NB/RC called a timeout, which gave them a spark. After the timeout the Vikings went on a 10-0 run in three minutes time and were within four of the lead. Grand Rapids was able to end their scoreless streak at the free throw line but only extended their lead to 6. The Vikings kept battling and soon had shrunk the deficit down to 2. With about a minute left in regulation all signs pointed to NB/RC at the very least tying the game and forcing OT. Grand Rapids defense stiffened and didn't allow any open or easy shot for the Vikings and also kept them away from the charity stripe. As the game neared its end the Vikings were forced to foul and send the Thunderhawks to line. With under 10 seconds to go all the Vikings could do was hope for at least one miss, but sadly the Rapids player capitalized on both opportunites and pushed their lead up to four. And with 2 seconds left the Vikings could only get one last shot off from full court which came up short and they fell 47-43.
With the loss the Vikings fall to 2-5, but this team shouldn't be discouraged they have a lot going for them and will continue to grow and get better as the season progresses.
Ella Kuhlman 21
Kayla Diedrich 17
Maria Damiani and Johanna Bartkey 2
Isabella Folkema 1