The Lady Refiners traveled to Dutton to take on the Diamondbacks on Jan. 25. They were short-handed, only dressing five girls, going into the game but the girls did an outstanding job battling through for the win, 47-30.
The Lady Diamondbacks came out of the gates red hot and jumped out to a 14-6 lead after the first quarter. Sunburst closed the gap a little in the second quarter and trailed 19-14 at halftime. After having one girl foul out midway through the third quarter, they were faced with a 5-on-4 disadvantage for the remaining 12 minutes of the game.
The four remaining girls did an incredible job of flying around and making plays left and right. The Lady Refiners outscored the Diamondbacks 16-5 in the third quarter and 17-6 in the fourth. That gave the Lady Refiners their first win on the season with the final being 47-30.
Claire Bucklin did a great job drawing fouls all game and got to the free throw line 19 times. She led all Refiners with 23. Jeena Albarano had 12, Nikki Nau dropped in eight, and Tara Robins rounded out the scoring with four. The Lady Refiners shot 18 for 29 from the free throw line.
“I was extremely proud of the girls on Friday being outmanned and competing the entire game,” said coach Tyler Tharp. “It was good to finally see some shots start to fall in the second half and I thought we did a great job crashing the offensive boards the whole game.”
On Saturday Sunburst traveled to Cascade to take on the Badgers. They did a much better job of coming out strong. However, they struggled to get shots around the rim to fall early. They were down 13-10 after the first quarter and 21-17 at halftime. Sunburst came out strong in the third and trailed 33-31 going into the fourth. Fortunately for the Refiners, Cascade struggled from the free throw line in the fourth and they were able to stick with them but eventually ran out of legs down the stretch. Cascade went on to claim the win 47-42.
“Again, I was pleased with the effort from all the girls and proud of them for competing the whole game,” said Tharp. Brooke Holland led the Refiners with 14 points. Megan Hout and Jeena Alberano each had 10. Tara Robbins and Nikki Nau contributed three each, and Claire Bucklin had two to round out the scoring. Sunburst was 12 for 21 from the free throw line.
“After a little break of games due to lack of numbers, the Lady Refiners have a few games to make up and will be quite busy the next three weeks leading up to tournament,” said Tharp.
The Lady Refiners played Cascade at home on Jan. 26 The girls will make up the Simms game on Jan. 28, then travel to Valier on Friday. Games start at 4 p.m. They will then host Augusta on Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. start time.
“I am looking forward to facing Cascade again. I think we match up well with them and I’m hoping for another competitive game,” concluded Tharp.
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