Christie’s outside touch sparks Collins-Maxwell in regional opener: Spartans roll to 55-22 victory

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Reagan Franzen reached the 1,000-career point mark for the No. 12 Collins-Maxwell girls' basketball team in a 55-22 victory over GMG during the Class 1A regional first round Feb. 11 at Maxwell.

MAXWELL - Brooke Christie made a wager with Collins-Maxwell head girls’ basketball coach Justin Flaws on Wednesday. 

Collins-Maxwell was preparing for Thursday’s Class 1A regional first round game with GMG and Christie was feeling pretty confident.  

“Brooke asked if we would cancel practice if she could make 14 out of 20 from behind the 3-point line,” Flaws said. “I said sure. You’re a senior, you give me 30 minutes worth of practice then we’ll cancel it.” 

Christie made 13 out of 16 from the top of the key, then started to get a little cocky. 

“I did my little dancy dance and was proud of myself,” Christie said. “Then I started missing.” 

But Christie only needed to make one more in her final four attempts. She did so and Flaws honored her successful challenge. 

“We got out of practice early, which was nice,” Christie said. “Practices are so long.” 

Christie’s hot outside shooting carried right on over to Thursday’s game. She made five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 17 points to lead the No. 12 Spartans to a 55-22 victory. 

“I think that was the confidence boost that she needed, Flaws said. “She shot the ball really well like a senior veteran should. That’s pretty awesome to see.” 

Brooke Christie hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 17 points for Collins-Maxwell in it's 55-22 1A regional first-round win over GMG Feb. 11 in Maxwell.

Despite the bitter cold weather with some snow and concerns over COVID-19 the Spartans nearly had a packed gym of masked individuals on Thursday. Christie said that played a big role in her success. 

“The environment here was really hyped,” Christie said. “Everybody was cheering and (we) were playing well so it was just all flowing together and knocking down shots helped.” 

Another big factor in getting Christie good looks from outside was her best friend Reagan Franzen. 

Franzen is one of the best all-around players in 1A. The senior forward had 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals against GMG and she entered the game averaging 19.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists. 

“She just knows the right places and when to pass,” Christie said. “She just knows the court well.” 

Franzen was more than happy to get her teammate the ball. 

“She’s been getting on me about not as many assists to her lately,” Franzen said. “So we had to pass it to the corners every once in a while.” 

Franzen had a big individual accomplishment of her own Thursday. Despite only basically playing three years on varsity, she hit 1,000 career points against GMG after draining a 3-pointer from the wing with 4:34 left in the first quarter. 

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” Franzen said. “I didn’t think until tonight that anybody knew.”  

Christie was pumped for her best friend. 

“I just love her to death,” Christie said. “She’s worked so hard for this.” 

Collins-Maxwell advances to the regional quarterfinals with a 20-1 record. But the Spartans weren’t without their faults on Thursday. 

GMG played the Spartans tough early, only trailing 7-5 in the first four minutes. The Wolverines did a good job of limiting Franzen’s touches throughout the game. 

“They had us kind of stifled there a little bit,” Flaws said. “They were in every passing lane and we had to think twice about every pass we needed to make. Our spacing needed to be a little bit better.” 

That gives Collins-Maxwell something to focus on as it looks to advance deeper and deeper into the tournament. 

“We want it so bad and we’re going to go and get it,” Christie said. “I wouldn’t trade this team for the world – I would do anything for them. I think we can go a really long way. If we can keep playing like we have we can step up and show people that we’re supposed to be here.” 

Erica Houge had 13 points in Collins-Maxwell's 55-22 1A regional first-round win over GMG Feb. 11 in Maxwell.

Erica Houge tallied 13 points and three rebounds and Alexis Houge seven points, seven assists, six steals and four boards. Kenzi Wierson chipped in four points and rebounds apiece, Chloe Wierson two points and Avery Fricke one point. 

GMG ended its season at 6-14. Marriah Stonewall scored six points and Jenna Yilek and Emily Vaughn five apiece for the Wolverines. 

Collins-Maxwell 55, GMG 22 

GMG     7     4     6     5 – 22 

CM      16   13   14   12 – 55 

GMG (22) - Jocee Mason 1-7 0-1 2, Jenna Yilek 2-4 1-2 5, Angel Schewe 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Vaughn 2-3 0-0 5, Adelyn Sienknecht 0-6 0-0 0, Colby Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Kaylea Duden 1-2 0-0 2, Stephanie Claussen 0-0 0-0 0, Reese Dieleman 1-2 0-0 2, Marriah Stonewall 3-5 0-0 6. Totals: 10-30 1-3 22. 3-point field goals (1): Vaughn. Rebounds (16): Sienknecht 3, Stonewall 3. Assists (4): Stonewall 2. Steals (12): Schewe 4. Blocks (1): Sienknecht. Fouls: 10. 

Collins-Maxwell (55) - Alexis Houge 3-6 0-1 7, Kenzi Wierson 2-4 0-0 4, Brooke Christie 6-12 0-0 17, Erica Houge 5-7 2-2 13, Reagan Franzen 4-12 2-2 11, Avery Fricke 0-3 1-3 1, Jane’e Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Marissa Boege 0-0 0-0 0, Chloe Wierson 0-1 2-2 2, Mary Staudt 0-1 0-0 0, Eliese Robertson 0-0 0-0 0, Vivian Kahler 0-0 0-0 0, Isabelle Hill 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 20-47 7-10 55. 3-point field goals (8): Christie 5, A. Houge, E. Houge, Franzen. Rebounds (30): Franzen 7. Assists (16): A. Houge 7. Steals (20): A. Houge 6, Franzen 6. Blocks (1): A. Houge. Fouls: 6. 

MAXWELL – A phenomenal defensive effort helped Collins-Maxwell close out the regular season with a 59-38 victory over BCLUW Feb. 8. 

The Spartans held the Comets to one point over the final eight minutes. Collins-Maxwell used a strong first quarter to build an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter and its tremendous defense down the stretch sealed the deal. 

The victory put Collins-Maxwell at 19-1 heading into Class 1A regionals. The Spartans forced 19 turnovers, held the Comets to 29 % shooting and recorded a 35-24 rebounding advantage. 

Collins-Maxwell also shot well from the field (46 %) and made 15 of 25 free throws compared to BCLUW’s 3 of 7 showing. 

Reagan Franzen turned in her second triple double of the season for Collins-Maxwell. Franzen was outstanding in going for 21 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists. 

Alexis Houge scored 20 points on 9 of 13 shooting. She also had six rebounds, three steals and two assists. 

Erica Houge added eight points, four rebounds and three assists and Elise Robertson six points and four steals. Kenzi Wierson and Marissa Boege each scored two points for the Spartans. 

BCLUW fell to 11-9. Allison Engle had 18 points and nine rebounds and Betula Messerly eight points, five rebounds and four blocks for the Comets. 

Collins-Maxwell 59, BCLUW 38 

BCLUW   10   13   14     1 – 38 

CM           18   15   15   11 – 59 

BCLUW (38) - Lizzie Garber 1-6 0-2 2, Presley Engle 0-4 0-0 0, Allison Engle 6-16 3-5 18, Betula Messerly 3-6 0-0 8, Chloe Walters 0-2 0-0 0, Sydney Anderson 0-3 0-0 0, Anistyn Borsch-Rash 2-8 0-0 6, Katie Hill 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 14-49 3-7 38. 3-point field goals (7): Engle 3, Messerly 2, Rash 2. Rebounds (24): A. Engle 9. Assists (6): A. Engle 2. Steals (4): A. Engle 2. Blocks (6): Messerly 4. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Walters, Borsch-Rasch. 

Collins-Maxwell (59) - Alexis Houge 9-13 1-3 20, Brooke Christie 0-3 0-0 0, Erica Houge 3-9 1-6 8, Elise Robertson 3-7 0-0 6, Reagan Franzen 4-12 13-14 21, Avery Fricke 0-0 0-0 0, Kenzi Wierson 1-1 0-2 2, Marissa Boege 1-1 0-0 2, Isabelle Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-46 15-25 59. 3-point field goals (2): A. Houge,  E. Houge. Rebounds (35): Franzen 19. Assists (17): Franzen 10. Steals (10): Robertson 4. Blocks: None. Fouls: 9.