The Braham Bombers came back from a 7-point deficit at the half and defeated the Esko Eskomos 63-52 to win the Section 7AA High School Girls Basketball Tournament.
BY JOHN GRONES
To say that the Section 7AA Final between the Braham Bombers and the Esko Eskomos was physical, would be an understatement. There was a bloody nose; one player got the wind knocked off of her; one bonked her head; another came up with skinned elbows and one more left the game with a twisted ankle.
In the end, the Braham Bombers turned out to be the tougher team. They came back from a 7-point first half deficit to defeat the Eskomos 63-52.
Braham’s Rebekah Dahlman, who is on pace to set the Minnesota State scoring record, was the difference in this game. The sophomore was in foul trouble in the first half and spent most of it on the bench. Esko took advantage and took a 26-19 halftime lead behind 11 points by Keely Deadrick.
“They have athletes everywhere,” said Esko head coach Scott Antonutti. “That first half was a battle. We hoped we would get them in foul trouble and we did.”
The second half was a whole ‘nother story. Dahlman began the second half by taking the game over. She would score 26 points in the second half after scoring just two in the first half. “Dahlman is aweful good and she just took it from us a few times,” said Coach Antonutti. “I don’t know how many steals she had, but she was a difference maker.”
Coach Antonutti was also impressed with the defensive play of Braham’s Liz Anderson who hounded Esko point guard Marisa Shady and anybody else that chose to run the point position for the Eskomos. The pesky defender prevented Esko from getting into any kind of offense.
With the win, the Bombers will now advance to the Minnesota State Tournament which starts on Wednesday, March 16.
Overall, the season was a success for the Eskomos. Not only did they win the Polar League title, but all their losses were to quality teams. “We lost to the number one team (Braham) in the state twice and we lost to Pequot Lakes who is ranked number seven,” concluded Antonutti. “The other game we lost was to Crosby-Ironton. These girls have nothing to be ashamed of.”
In addition to Rebekah Dahlman’s 28 points, Kelsey Sorenson added 21 for the Bombers.
Esko was led by senior Keely Deadrick who had 20 points. Savanna Trapp added 14.
The Eskomos finished the season with a 26-3 record.
ESKO — 26-26 — 52
BRAHAM — 19-44 — 63
ESKO — Marisa Shady 6, Alyson Glumac 6, Lydia Pelletier 6, Keely Deadrick 20, Savanna Trapp 14. FG 23, FT 3-6. TOTAL 52. 3-point goals: Marisa Shady 2, Keely Deadrick.
BRAHAM — Liz Anderson 5, Kayla Nickles 3, Kelsey Sorenson-Giffon 21, Hannah Dahlman 4, Rebekah Dahlman 28, Katie Nickles 2. FG 19, FT 19-23. TOTAL 63. 3-point goals: Kelsey Sorenson 4, Kayla Nickles, Rebekah Dahlman.