PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Arrows slip past Knights, 47-45

Photo by Brennen Rupp RTR’s Mya Christensen surveys the floor during their game against Pipestone Area on Monday. The Knights fell to the Arrows 47-45.

TYLER – Tina Haroldson’s absence on the court was noticeable in the first half of Russell-Tyler-Ruthton’s game against Pipestone Area on Monday evening. The senior guard’s absence was felt even more so at the end of the second half for the Knights.

With the Knights clinging to a 43-41 lead in the second half their offense sputtered down the stretch without their playmaker. With RTR unable to find the bottom of the net the Arrows squeaked by the Knights, 47-45.

“Somebody has to take over and run things,” RTR coach Steve Krause. “They have to be in charge and want the ball to shoot it. We don’t have that person that wants to take over right now. Tina was that person and she’s not here. Two or three of them have to step up and say I’m going to take this.”

With Haroldson on the bench to start the first half the Arrows jumped out to a 19-8 lead. Haroldson entered the game with 8:45 remaining and quickly provided a spark.

The Knights went on a 9-0 run to cut Pipestone’s lead to 19-17. During that stretch Haroldson scored four points and dished out one assist.

With 5:27 left in the game Haroldson went down with a knee injury and had to be carried off the court.

“I wasn’t sure how they’d react to Tina’s injury,” Krause said. “We need her, but I’m not sure if we’ll have her again. I hope we do.”

In the first half the Knights turned the ball over 22 times. With that many turnovers the Knights trailed the Arrows 31-23 at the half.

Pipestone opened the scoring in the second half to take a 33-23 lead. That’s when things started clicking for the Knights.

A Christensen three-pointer made it a 33-25 game. Christensen’s three-pointer started a 14-0 run for the Knights. A Jonni Biren three-point play put the Knights up 35-33.

“I was happy with their effort,” Krause said. “We certainly cut our turnovers down in the second half. We had 22 in the first half and you just can’t have that. We did a better job of seeing the floor.It was a game either one of us could win. It came down to who wants it more. We had to cut down on mistakes. We did some things well in the second half.”

The Arrows finally stopped RTR’s run with 11:23 left in the game to cut RTR’s lead to 37-35. The two teams traded baskets and a Morgan Johnson layup gave RTR a 43-41 lead late in the game.

Unfortunately for the Knights that would be their last basket of the game, before Christensen’s layup at the buzzer to make the final score, 47-45.

Christensen recorded a double-double for the Knights, scoring a team-high 15 points and grabbing a team-leading 11 rebounds.

“She goes to the ball real well,” Krause said. “Sometimes when we box out and don’t go to the ball. We box out and the ball just lays there. Mya goes to the ball. That’s what you have to do when you are rebounding. You have to want the ball.”

Johnson finished the game with nine points. Biren finished the game with eight points and eight rebounds.

The loss drops the Knights to 3-5. They’ll look to snap their four-game losing streak on Friday against Murray County Central.

“We have to band together and go to work,” Krause said. “We have to take care of things. It’s not the end of the world. We had some turnovers at the end of the game. Somebody has to take charge.”

PAS 31 16-47

RTR 23 22 45

SCORING: RTR (Christensen 15; Johnson 9; Biren 8; Thomsen 5).

REBOUNDING: RTR (Christensen 11; Biren 8; Hess, Dressen 5).

ASSISTS: RTR (Christensen 2).

STEALS: RTR (Johnson 3).

BLOCKS: RTR (Hess 1).