NEW ULM - The Minnesota Valley Lutheran girl's basketball team had not seen the zone defense until it faced West Lutheran.
The zone had slowed down the Chargers for the opening chunk of the first half, but that was it. They outscored the Warriors 22-6 in the first half en route to beating them 53-20 in the opening round of the MLC Tipoff Tournament on Friday night.
"We played some fairly decent defense and forced them into some bad shots," said MVL coach Dave Biedenbender. "We caused them to rush some shots and then we got the rebounds from them, so I think it was a combination of the two."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Anna Munson (50) shoot over West Lutheran defender Maria Tripp during the MLC Tipoff Tournament on Friday at MLC in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Anna Munsen and Mariah Stein led the Chargers (4-0, 2-0 Tomahawk) in the first half with eight points each despite adjusting to the zone.
The Warriors (3-1, 1-0 Minnesota Christian Athletic Association) shot 7-of-61 (11.5 percent) from the field in the contest. Maria Tripp was the only player who converted more than one field goal (2-of-8) and finished with four points.
"It was definitely really nice to have that good defense because not all of our shots were falling or we weren't getting the boards if the shot bounced off," said Munsen, who tallied game-highs with 14 points and 15 rebounds. "But we definitely held them and that really helped because then they didn't get up on us."
Charlotte Pfingsten and Alexa Alfred provided the motor for MVL in the second half, combining for 14 of the team's 31 points in the half.
"They brought so much fire to the floor," Munsen said. "Both of them were so strong as players - they always are. They rarely miss, like they always know what they're doing."
Pfingsten finished with 10 points and a game-high six assists, while Alfred tallied eight points. Stein also finished with eight points.
MVL is one of the teams to beat in the Tomahawk Conference this season, but even it still has some aspects of its game to improve.
"Going into tomorrow's game and beyond, we've got to take care of the ball - make sure we're not turning it over," Biedenbender said. "[We've got to be] patient on offense, but also looking to push the ball on the fastbreak when we can to get some easy hoops."
MVL will play St. Croix in the winner's bracket game at approximately 4:45 p.m. at the MLC Gymnasium in New Ulm.
WL 6 14 - 20
MVL 22 31 - 53
WL: Maria Tripp (4 pts, 2-8), Jordyn Stromback (4 pts, 1-8, 1-2 FT), Heidi Nielsen (3 pts, 1-6).
MVL: Anna Munsen (14 pts, 6-9, 2-2 FT), Charlotte Pfingsten (10 pts, 4-9), Alex Alfred (8 pts, 3-7, 2-3 FT), Mariah Stein (8 pts, 3-6).