Tuesday, 21 February 2017
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Battle of Birds Goes to Wetmore as Girls Win Back & Forth Game & Boys Get First Win Topping Axtell
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

92.1 KMZA Broadcast - Axtell at Wetmore (girls) - click here to listen 
92.1 KMZA Broadcast - Axtell at Wetmore (boys) - click here to listen 

It was the battle of the birds on hardwood in the Twin Valley League on Tuesday night in Wetmore as the Cardinals played host to the Axtell Eagles and ultimately Wetmore notched the sweep at home. The girls game proved to a be a see-saw affair in which Wetmore secured a 49-43 win, while in the boys contest it was a battle for the first win of the season between the two teams and with a 40-36 score the Cardinals picked up that win. 

The girls ballgame was a back and forth contest all night as Axtell took the initial lead at 1-0 but Wetmore snagged that lead after that and lead 10-7 after the first quarter lead by Jill Henry who had eight of the team’s first 10 points. The Cardinals established a five-point lead multiple times in the first half but Axtell behind Anna Buessing and Maddy Kuckelman outscored Wetmore 17-8 in the second quarter to go into the half up 24-18 the largest lead of the game at that point. Buessing netted 11 in the second quarter and Kuckelman had the teams other six points in the frame. Cardinals answered Axtell's second quarter with a 15-8 third and after three held a 33-32 lead. The lead exchanged hands several times in the fourth until Wetmore secured the win late with some free throws and held off the Eagles for the 49-43 victory. Henry led the Wetmore in the fourth with nine points of the team’s final 16. 

Wetmore in the win was led by Jill Henry who continued her strong basketball year posting 22 points and earned Community National Bank "Player to Bank On" honors on KMZA, while Dakota McQueen chipped in 11 points. The win pushes Wetmore to 4-3 on the season and 2-3 in TVL play. 

Axtell with the loss falls to 1-7 on the season and 1-4 in TVL action. Buessing paced the Eagles on the night with her best game of the year finishing with 21 points, while Maddy Kuckelman also logged her best game of the season finishing with 10 points. 

The boys game was a close one throughout but it was a pair of runs by the Wetmore Cardinals that really pushed them to the win over Axtell. Axtell up 6-4 in the first quarter saw Wetmore finish out the first quarter on a 9-0 run to lead 13-6, led by a surge of energy from Curtis Bloom who posted six points in the first stanza. Into the second quarter Axtell strung a 6-0 run together and knotted the game up at 16-16 but the Cardinals had an answer finishing the first half on a 7-0 run to lead 23-16 at intermission. That lead got cut down several times in the second half and down the stretch in the final minute Wetmore made a few free throws to help hold Axtell at bay and secure the win. 

The win marks the first of the season for the Wetmore Cardinals and first over Axtell since 2005-2006 season as the Cardinals move to 1-6 on the year and 1-4 in TVL play. The duo of Ethan Osterhaus and Joel Hutfles led a balanced scoring night for Wetmore as both guys netted 10 points and earned co-Community National Bank "Player to Bank On" honors on KMZA. 

In the loss Axtell was led by Burke Deters who tied a season high scoring 13 points, but the Eagles fell to 0-8 on the year and 0-5 in TVL action. 

Both teams now turn their attention to the TVL tournament which is set to start Saturday, January 14th and will be hosted by Washington County. 

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