The Denison-Schleswig girls shot just 27 percent from the field on Wednesday night, as the Monarchs suffered a 53-47 loss to Harlan in a Class 4A regional quarterfinal basketball game on the Cyclones’ home floor.
The six-point setback ended the 2019-20 season for D-S at 12-10 overall under 12th-year head coach Adam Mich.
Harlan, which defeated D-S for the second time in three meetings this season, improved to 13-9 overall and will now take on unbeaten and third-ranked Glenwood (22-0) in a regional semifinal game on Saturday night at Glenwood.
D-S trailed by only one point at 9-8 after one quarter, but the Monarchs were outscored 20-10 in the second, as the Cyclones went into halftime with a 28-19 advantage.
That was the difference, as D-S held a 28-25 scoring advantage in the second half.
"A tough loss, but it’s hard to win when you shoot only 27 percent from the field and 52 percent at the free throw line," commented Mich.
"It’s not like we didn’t have opportunities to win because we did. Heck, we made only eight of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter," he added.
"We knew Harlan was going to try and take away Paige (Andersen) and Hannah (Neemann), as they face-guarded both of them a lot and made it difficult for them to get the ball."
"Heck, we just struggled putting the ball in the hole tonight. Despite that, we were in it. We were within 43-42 with two minutes left. Then Harlan seemed to make all their free throws down the stretch when we struggled to hit ours and that was the difference," Mich remarked.
D-S found it rough going offensively, sinking only 6-of-20 three-point shots and finishing 13-of-48 overall from the field. The Monarchs also were just 15-of-29 at the free throw line.
Harlan didn’t shoot much better, as the hosts were 5-of-19 from behind the three-point arc and 15-of-44 overall from the field for 34 percent.
The Cyclones converted 18-of-29 foul shots.
Andersen recorded a double-double for D-S with 10 points and 13 rebounds to go with two shot blocks.
Sophie Sonnichsen also had 10 points with two assists and two steals.
Ellie Magnuson tossed in nine points. Payton Goslar added seven points for the Monarchs.
Neemann finished with five points, 10 boards, four steals and two assists, while Cambri Brodersen wound up with three points, four boards and four assists.
D-S won the battle on the glass with a 37-33 rebound edge, while the Monarchs turned the ball over 13 times, two more than the Cyclones.
Wednesday’s game was the final contest for two D-S seniors in Goslar and Tia Petersen, who netted two points in her final game in a Monarch uniform.
"We knew going into the season that we didn’t have a lot of experience besides Andersen and Neemann, but a lot of our younger girls gained valuable experience this year that should benefit us next year. You know, we had some quality wins, but we also had some bad losses," Mich said.
"It was a learning experience for a lot of the girls this year. We do lose two seniors in Goslar and Petersen, but we’ll have a nice nucleus coming back next year. The younger girls, I think, saw what it takes to the get to the next level and will work hard in the offseason to make us a better team," Mich said.
Score by Quarters
D-S.......................9 10 8 20 - 47
Harlan.................8 20 8 17 - 53
D-S Individual Statistics
Scoring: Paige Andersen 10; Sophie Sonnichsen 10; Ellie Magnuson 9; Payton Goslar 7; Hannah Neemann 5; Cambri Brodersen 3; Tia Petersen 2; Hannah Slater 1
Rebounds: Andersen 13; Neemann 10; Brodersen 4; Slater 3; Cierra Kastner 2; Sonnichsen 2; Goslar 1
Assists: Brodersen 4; Neemann 2; Sonnichsen 2; Goslar 1
Steals: Neemann 4; Sonnichsen 2; Magnuson 1
Blocks: Andersen 2; Neemann 2
Three-Pointers: Magnuson 2; Goslar 2; Andersen 1; Sonnichsen 1