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Bombers best Rebels

Entering Tuesday night’s girls basketball game, both Barnum and Moose Lake/Willow River sported the same record: one win and four losses. With the schools just 8 miles up the road from each other, fans did their best to root their team on to victory against their No. 1 rival.

The Bombers persevered in the end, winning 50-44 after leading 27-19 at halftime.

The start of the game turned into the “Alizondra Collelo Show” as the Barnum sophomore poured in 14 first-half points. Barnum gained a quick 13-3 lead with Collelo scoring her team’s first 10 points.

“We see a lot of potential in Alizondra as a player, so it was fun that she was able to show that out on the court at the start of the game,” said Barnum coach Mariah Minkkinen.

While the Bombers were thrilled with the start of the game, the Rebels were trying to figure out how to stop the Barnum roll before it got out of hand.

“It’s tough to come back against a team when you get down that much early,” said Rebels coach Andrew Miller. “We had some breakdowns in the back half of our press and they took advantage of it.”

Credit Barnum’s tenacious defense for keeping the Rebels from getting set up for shots in their halfcourt offense.

“Our girls played hard on defense and rebounded well,” Minkkinen said. “Those are two things we will need to continue to do well as a team.”

Collelo managed to add six more points to her total in the second half as she scored a game-high 20 points, while Shannon Granquist led the Rebels with an impressive night of her own by scoring 16 points.

Early in the second half, the Rebels were able to cut the lead down to 29-24, but the Bombers reeled off nine straight points to build the lead back to 38-24. Again, the Rebels showed their fight by clawing back to within seven at 40-33, but the Bombers were able to hang on for the win.

“I liked the way our team fought and cut the lead down to give us a chance,” Miller said. “Shannon Granquist got hot for us, and caught lightning in a bottle for a while in that second half to make it interesting.”

The game was fast-paced, defensive and physical with both teams finding numerous players in foul trouble at the end, but the big key was Barnum’s ability to answer the Rebels each time they made an offensive surge.

“We have to get better at playing hard defense without fouling,” Minkkinen said. “We had three girls foul out, but the rest of the girls did a nice job of stepping up when we needed them.”

ML/WR finished with eight players on the score sheet. Joining Granquist in the scoring column were Madeline Volk with 9 points, Madison Wasche with seven. Piper Nielsen and Elle Nielson each added four, Amanda Larson scored three and it was 2 points each for Izzy Witz, Jocelyn Mundell and Tyler Orvedahl.

Joining Collelo on the score sheet for the Bombers were Janaya Jurek with seven and Ella Heaton with six. Kendra Jurek, Mia Hurst and Sophia Frank scored five each, and Lucy Franek had 2 points.

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