by Dan Ruud
The Belle Plaine High School girls’ basketball team snapped an eight-game losing string with a 75-48 triumph over Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial this past Monday night at the BPHS gym. Last week, the Tigers suffered back-to-back blowout road losses at Norwood Young America 82-46 on Thursday before falling at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 82-48 on Friday.
Belle Plaine, 1-10 in the MRC, 4-20 overall, was scheduled to host winless Le Sueur-Henderson in the MRC finale Tuesday night after this edition of the Herald went to press. The Tigers defeated the Giants by 31 points on Jan. 12 in Le Sueur for their only MRC win heading into last night’s game. Belle Plaine will wrap up the regular season with a nonconference game 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday at Breck High School in Golden Valley. The section tournament, brackets for which have not yet been released, is scheduled to begin Feb. 28.
NYA 82, Tigers 46
The visiting Tigers managed to put up  30 points in the first half but still trailed the mighty Raiders by 14 at the break and by 36 at the final buzzer Thursday night at Central High School. The victory gave NYA, 10-0 in the MRC, a two-game lead over Mayer Lutheran in the conference standings with two games to play.
“We played very well against a really good team for the first 12 to 15 minutes of the game,” said Tigers coach Randy Carlson. “They hit us with some traps early in the second half and by the time we adjusted were down by 20 points.”
Elizabeth Johnson and Sarah Lenz both had 12 points for Belle Plaine. Lauren Johnson added 10 points, followed by Paige Narveson with eight and Jaylen Struck-Schmitz four. Lenz had seven rebounds, followed by Struck-Schmitz, Elizabeth Johnson and Lily Vinkemeier with six apiece. Elizabeth Johnson had six assists and two steals.
GFW 82, Tigers 48
Belle Plaine absorbed its second blowout loss on the road in two nights at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Friday, almost by the identical score as the night before at Norwood Young America. The Thunderbirds came out smoking, doubling up the Tigers 54-27 in the first half.
“We ran into a hot team. GFW is in all cylinders right now and seemed to make every shot. They are a very talented team that plays the way the game should be played,” Carlson said. “That said, we were a step slow defensively and gave up too many open shots. We played well offensively in the first half. We just could not keep up with them.”
Narveson and Vinkemeier led Belle Plaine with 12 points apiece, while Elizabeth Johnson had 11 and Lauren Johnson nine. Struck-Schmitz and Lenz both had two. Vinkemeier and Lauren Johnson both had seven rebounds.
Emily Heimkes led GFW with 30 points.
Tigers 75, LCWM 48
The Tigers raced to a 39-19 halftime lead and didn’t let up much in the second half to earn their first win since Jan. 12 this past Monday night at the BPHS gym.
“We came out ready to play and played well,” Carlson said.