Algona Girls Basketball Wins OT Thriller Against GHV

by Tyler Lance
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The Algona girls basketball team is on to the class 3A regional finals after defeating Garner Hayfield Ventura 70-63 in an overtime thriller on Wednesday night.

Neither team was able to create separation during the fourth quarter. After Algona took a 43-39 lead into the final stanza, the lead would change hands eight times in the fourth, and end in a 59-59 stalemate.

Garner Hayfield Ventura senior Kenedee Frayne started the fourth quarter with a deep three pointer to cut the Cardinal deficit to one, and the tug of war was on after that. After the Cardinals took a 45-44 lead, Algona junior Lauren McGlaughlin drilled a three to put the Bulldogs ahead, but the Cardinals would tie the game on the very next possession.

With the Cardinals back ahead by one, Bulldog freshman BellaJo Dunning converted on an and one to put Algona up 53-51 with 3:42 left, but once again the Cardinals responded, as a three by senior Jenna Pringnitz, her first of the night, gave Garner Hayfield Ventura a 54-53 advantage with 3:07 left. On the very next Algona possession, freshman Hayden Kuhlmann answered by draining a three, putting Algona up by two with under three minutes left.

Another key stretch of the fourth came just outside of the two minute mark and Algona leading by one, as Pringnitz stole the ball and ran the floor for a layup, marking another lead change and a one point Cardinal advantage. Still down by one with 58 seconds left, Algona searched for a shot on their end of the floor, as freshman Hayden McLaughlin had to scoop up a desperate shot from the foul line with one second remaining on the shot clock, but was able to draw the foul, making both foul shots to give Algona a 58-57 lead.

With under 30 seconds left, Algona had the ball back with a one point lead following a blocked three point shot attempt, as Algona junior Paige Schmitt erased a Pringnitz three ball, but Pringnitz atoned for the block, stealing the ball again, running the floor, and drawing a foul, as she made both foul shots to give the Cardinals a 58-57 lead with 27 seconds left.

On the ensuing Bulldog possession, Kuhlmann went quickly, driving to the bucket, drawing a foul, and tying the game by splitting her free throws. The Cardinals had an opportunity to win in regulation, but Pringnitz missed a layup with eight seconds left, as the game advanced to overtime.

In the overtime period, Algona controlled the opening tip and took command right away. Kuhlmann drove to the bucket for two, then hit a runner on the next Bulldog possession to go up by four. Algona scored the first six of the overtime period and 9 of the first 11 points to take control and advance to the regional final.

Kuhlmann finished with a career high of 22 points, adding 9 assists for Algona, as she made 10 of her 12 free throw attempts. Algona as a whole made 18 out of 26 shots from the line. Schmitt also added a career high in points, totaling 14. Hayden McLaughlin added 13 and Lauren McGlaughlin scored 10 to give the Bulldogs four players in double figures. Gretta Gouge led the Cardinals with 18, while Aly Derr scored 12.

Algona improves to 19-4 with the victory, while Garner Hayfield Ventura ends the season at 10-13. Algona visits Des Moines Christian on Saturday night at 7 in the regional final, as the winner advances to the class 3A state quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Coverage of Saturday night’s game can be heard on KLGA 92.7 FM and seen on the Algona Radio YouTube channel.

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