Gilles, Greyhounds go, take down Chargers | News, Sports, Work

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau New Ulm Cathedral’s Maddie Gilles looks to pass while being guarded by Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Avery Fryer (13) during a Tomahawk Conference girls basketball game at Cathedral High School.

NEW ULM — A late first-half surge and improved shooting performance Friday night led New Ulm Cathedral to its first win of the season as the Greyhounds defeated Minnesota Valley Lutheran 59-39 in Tomahawk Conference girls basketball action at Cathedral High School.

Maddie Gilles was an immediate upgrade for the Greyhounds as she finished with a game-high 19 points. Gilles, who missed the Greyhounds’ first game of the season with an illness and was left out of the scoring column in her Dec. 1 season debut against Lester Prairie, opened her scoring Friday.

And the Hounds benefited greatly from this blow.

“She’s slowly getting better and stronger and getting into the groove and the whole chemistry of her role on the team.” Cathedral head coach Dave Wilfarth said.

Gilles wasn’t the only scoring threat for the Greyhounds on Friday, as Jenna Hotovec finished with 18 points. Hotovec opened the scoring with a 3 and later gave the Greyhounds an early 11-1 lead after another 3.

MVL got its first bucket on an Olivia Hammer-to-Madeline Schmidt layup to fall behind 11-3. The Chargers were led by Avery Hopp’s 14 points and seven rebounds, but Hopp was the only Chargers in double figures as the team struggled to make shots fall.

“After the game we really talked about the little things that added up for us today.” MVL head coach Haley Santos said. “It wasn’t necessarily one thing we messed up, we just didn’t execute. We didn’t recognize defenses, we didn’t take care of the ball. And with that, we forced shots we shouldn’t have, just because we were exhausted and out of control. … Chemistry is a big thing that we’re working on right now. We just didn’t deliver.”

Mackenzie Mursett scored and was fouled, but failed to convert as she missed her free throw, leaving the Chargers down 11-5. It was the closest MVL got from there, though the Greyhounds still had their share of turnovers that kept MVL within striking distance in the first half.

However, the Greyhounds went on a late run in the half, scoring 14 points in the final 2:30 to take a 36-16 halftime lead. That scoring spree was capped by a 6-0 run in which Gilles drained a 3 and Hotovec turned a steal into a pass to Macho for an and-one with 5.6 on the clock.

After a Gilles 3 was answered by a bucket by Hopp, Gilles hit another 3 and Margo Finstad added a free throw to give the Greyhounds their biggest lead of the night, 55-27, late in the second half.

Coach Wilfahrt said the team is still working on improving its chemistry, but the win over MVL gave his players an opportunity to improve some things.

“We have to work on being patient sometimes, different situations,” he said. “So tonight was a good chance for us to just work on that and try to take care of the ball.”

Shay Wilfarth also scored 8 points for the Greyhounds, while Olivia Macho added 7.

MVL also got 7 points and eight rebounds from Mackenzie Mursett, while Avery Fryer had 5 points and seven steals.

MVL (0-3, 0-1) will look for its first win of the young season Monday night when it visits Le Sueur-Henderson.

Cathedral (1-3, 1-1) will host Nicollet for a non-conference game at 7:45 pm Monday night.

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