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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Thief River Falls seal 71-69 win over Moorhead

MOORHEAD - Through 36 minutes of basketball against Moorhead on Thursday, Thief River Falls senior guard Makayla Peterson had five points. She matched her regulation total in a one-minute span in overtime, burying a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 15 se...

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Moorhead's Brooke Tonsfeldt grabs a rebound away from Thief River Falls' Meleah Biermaier Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, at the Moorhead gym. David Samson / The Forum

 

MOORHEAD – Through 36 minutes of basketball against Moorhead on Thursday, Thief River Falls senior guard Makayla Peterson had five points.

She matched her regulation total in a one-minute span in overtime, burying a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 15 seconds to go to put TRF up three and nailing two free throws with 15.8 seconds to go to seal a 71-69 win.

TRF hit just five of the Prowlers’ 11 free-throw attempts in the second half and had 33 turnovers in regulation. The Prowlers came back and buried their first six free throws in overtime and had just one turnover in the extra frame.

“We didn’t change anything,” TRF coach Jeff Loe said. “We’ve been shooting free throws much better. It’s not like us to miss free throws and have turnovers. Moorhead really came after us and put the pressure on us and made us make mistakes, but the girls stepped up.”

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Kari Tonn, who had not taken a shot all night, buried a 3-pointer for Moorhead to cut the TRF (15-2) lead to 69-67 with 17 seconds to go in overtime, but Peterson answered with two free throws. With 1 second remaining and the Spuds down 71-67, Moorhead’s Brooke Tonsfeldt hit the front-end of two free throws and tried to purposely miss the second, but it went in.

“I’m happy with the way we played tonight,” Moorhead coach Jed Carlson said. “That team is 15-2 for a reason. It was just one play either way that was the difference.”

The largest lead in the second half was 52-45 with 7:29 to go for TRF – ranked No. 6 in Class 3A. Moorhead (7-7) answered with a 14-6 run with 10 of Sam Haiby’s 29 points coming during the run for the Spuds. With 1:08 to go, Haiby nailed two free throws to put the Spuds up 61-60 and Emily Leier split two free throws to make it a 62-60 game with 52.8 seconds to go. There was Peterson again, working her way to the basket for a layup and tying the game with 21 seconds to go.

Moorhead took the clock down to the final seconds, but Tonsfeldt’s jumper bounced off the rim at the buzzer. Tonsfeldt finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds, but the big one got away.

“We wanted to do some things, but they denied Haiby the ball back so much that we just spaced it and ended up trying to attack,” Carlson said. “It wasn’t what we drew up and could have used a timeout, but the shot almost went down, and we trust Tonsfeldt to take that shot.”

A lot like Thursday’s game, the season for the Spuds has been up and down. They won four in a row to start the season followed with four straight losses. They answered with a three-game win streak and, after Thursday’s loss, have now lost three in a row.

“We played our hardest, so obviously it was a tough loss,” Haiby said. “We had a lot of steals, we got back in the game, but we just couldn’t finish it in the end.”

 

Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: cmurphy@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5548
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