NRHEG Boys and Girls Clinch Gopher Basketball Titles
The NRHEG boys' basketball team wrapped up at least a share of the Gopher Conference title with their 77-55 win over Blooming Prairie Friday night. The Panther girls did the same thing with their 61-54 victory at Maple River on Saturday. Each team will look for the outright title this week.
The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva boys ran their winning streak to 12 with Friday's win, which matched their season-high point total of 77 against Maple River early in the season. NRHEG hosts the Eagles Tuesday night. The Panthers (18-1, 9-0) have a three-game lead in the Gopher Conference over Maple River with three games to play. The Eagles (12-8, 6-3) have won three in a row.
Boys' coach Pat Churchill said on Saturday's KRFO coaches show that many players have had big games lately. Benji Lundberg hit a 60-foot shot at the halftime buzzer against Fairmont February 3 to give the Panthers a lead they didn't give up for the rest of the game. Brady Agrimson had one of his best games that day with 17 points and a strong defensive effort. Jerret Utpadel led the Panthers with 14 against WEM Monday, a day where Lundberg went home sick and didn't play. Jacob Schuller reached double figure points twice over the last week.
The Panther girls won their third straight Saturday to clinch the title while playing at Mapleton against the preseason favorite Eagles. NRHEG (15-6, 9-2) has won six of their last seven, but has to wait for Friday to clinch the outright title when last-play United South Central comes to New Richland. The Panthers have a non-conference game at Waseca Tuesday.
Senior Betsy Schoenrock is putting up a strong finish to her prep career. She reached the 1,000-point milestone against Blooming Prairie Friday night. She was recently named the Minnesota Basketball Hub Top Performer for her triple-double against Lake Crystal Welcome Memorial. Schoenrock will play college basketball at Gustavus Adolphus where she will rejoin her high school teammates Maddie and Marnie Wagner.
Sections begin shortly for basketball. The NRHEG girls and boys are defending champs in Section 2AA.