Senior Jessica Hagman reached the 1,000-point milestone in her basketball career and the New Richmond girls put together a defensive clinic on Saturday. The Tigers earned their 16th win of the season as they buried Ashland in a non-conference game, 68-28.
The game was played at the New Richmond Middle School gym because the high school gym was being utilized for the Middle Border Conference Wrestling Tournament. Tiger coach Chad Eggert joked that the team should play all its games at the middle school after the stellar performance the team produced Saturday.
The Tigers played spirited defense right from the start of the game. That helped the Tigers put up 13 points before Ashland could light up the scoreboard for the first time. The Tigers maintained that pressure throughout the first half, building a 45-10 lead.
Eggert said the defense created numerous turnovers and that gave the Tigers the chance to rev up their transition game. The Tigers scored 27 points off turnovers in the game. The Tigers moved the ball quickly and unselfishly, resulting in 23 assists.
With the game into running time in the second half, the focus became Hagman’s pursuit of 1,000 points. She needed 22 points and by halftime, she had already scored 17. With six minutes left, Hagman spotted up on the left side of the arc as the Tigers moved the ball in transition. She took the pass from Barb Kling and buried a 3-pointer to go over the 1,000-point mark. The game was stopped as she was mobbed by her teammates at midcourt. Hagman is the second New Richmond girls' player to score 1,000 points, joining Kelli Emerson in the honor. Emerson reached the mark in 2004.
Eggert said Hagman reaching this scoring level is impressive, especially considering she missed nearly her entire season due to a knee injury. She came back for three games at the end of that season, scoring 13 points as she tried to play through the knee pain. He said Hagman has the ability to carry momentum for the Tigers.
“When Jess is knocking down shots, the confidence rolls. Confidence is contagious,” Eggert said.
Contagious is a good word for it, as the Tigers hit 54 percent of their shots in the game.
The rest of the scoring was balanced for the Tigers. Audrey Feuerer finished with nine points, Kling, Leah DeYoung and Gabby Aune each scored eight and Brooke Blasczcyk scored seven. Kling led the team with seven assists. DeYoung’s eight rebounds and five steals were tops on the team.
The Tigers are next in action at Osceola on Friday.
The New Richmond girls got tested, but they put together to win Thursday’s Senior Night basketball game against Ellsworth.
New Richmond led 34-32 at halftime but advanced to a 68-48 win over the Panthers.
The Tigers started their five seniors (Jade Berget, Taylor Berquam, Erika Emerson, Feuerer and Hagman). The Tigers played well from the start, building up a 19-10 lead. The Tigers then hit a turnover-induced lull and Ellsworth took full advantage, taking a 22-19 lead. The two teams battled closely the rest of the half.
At halftime the Tiger coaches reminded the girls about the importance of defensive energy. The team responded with the fast start that put the Tigers in charge early in the second half.
It was balanced scoring that lifted the Tigers, with four girls scoring in double figures. Hagman finished with 16 points and Feuerer scored 14 points. DeYoung and Blascyzk both finished with 13 points.
Hagman led the Tigers with eight rebounds and DeYoung accounted for seven. Sophie Ballard produced five steals and four assists.