PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Knights crank up defense in win over Canby

Photo by Brennen Rupp RTR’s Tina Haroldson drives the lane during their game against Canby on Tuesday. The Knights defeated the Lancers 59-43.

TYLER – Under the direction of first-year head coach Steve Krause, the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights have been causing havoc with their defense. The in-your-face style of defense has been a staple for Krause during his long time coaching career and he brought it with him to RTR. That style helped the Knights defeat the Lancers 59-43 on Tuesday.

The Lancers got on the board first thanks to an Alyssa Beckius bucket. That lead didn’t last long as the Knights went on an 8-2 run. Beckius ended that run when she added another bucket to trim RTR’s lead to 8-4.

At the 10:38 mark RTR’s Tina Haroldson picked up her third foul with the Knights holding a 10-5 lead. With their leader on the bench the Knights didn’t panic and went on a 7-3 run to open up a 17-8 lead.

Haroldson returned late in the first half to help the Knights go into the locker room with a 26-19 lead. It was a learning moment for Haroldson to enter the game with three fouls and not pick up her fourth.

“She didn’t want to go back out,” Krause said. “Somewhere along the line you have to learn how to play good defense without fouling. We are early in the year. We have to put our kids in those situations so they can learn those things. If she sits on the end of the bench until halftime I don’t think she learns anything. They have to learn how to play with three fouls or four fouls.”

The Lancers opened up the scoring in the second half off a Norah King basket. The Knights, just like they did in the first half answered by going on 8-1 run to open up a 34-22 lead.

Once the Knights got the lead they put the clamps on the Lancers and led by double-digits the rest of the way. The Lancers got it back within 10 at 45-35, but the Knights responded by going on a 10-0 run to take a commanding 55-35 lead.

“Everything we did was a lot better than what we’ve shown so far,” Krause said. “We’ve got a long ways to go. I was very happy with how much we improved in our last ball game. We didn’t play very well in Adrian at all. We played aggressive defense, which we are going to do all the time.”

Haroldson led the way for the Knights with 20 points. The senior guard filled up the box score, recording six steals, five rebounds and three assists.

“Tina really led us tonight,” Krause said. “She played within herself. Sometimes she tries to do too much.”

Mya Christensen fell one point shy of a double-double. The senior scored nine points and grabbed a team-leading 12 rebounds. She also dished out a team-leading four assists.

Brooke Thomsen reached double figures for the Knights scoring 10 points. Jonni Biren scored seven points, grabbed seven rebounds and recorded six steals.

Beckius led the Lancers with 11 points. The senior also grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists. Norah King scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds.

With the win the Knights have now won three straight and own a 3-1 record. They’ll be back in action on Thursday against Yellow Medicine East.

The loss drops the Lancers to 1-2 overall. They’ll look to get back into the win column on Saturday when they take on Minneota.

RTR 26 33 59

Canby 19 24 43

Scoring: RTR (Haroldson 20; Thomsen 10; Christensen 9; Biren 7; Vogt 6); Canby (Beckius 11; King 7; Jelen 7).

Rebounds: RTR (Christensen 12; Biren 7; Haroldson 5); Canby (Beckius, M. Hansen, Cleveland 6; King 5).

Assists: RTR (Christensen 4); Canby (Beckius 3).

Steals: RTR (Haroldson, Biren 6); Canby (Beckius 2).