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Spartan girls win rubber match with Bolts in 1A regional semis: C-M pounds Plainsmen in quarterfinals

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Collins-Maxwell's Alexis Houge and Bree Shaull dive on the court going after a loose ball during the Spartans' 73-27 Class 1A regional quarterfinal victory over the Plainsmen Feb. 16 at Maxwell.

BAXTER - Collins-Maxwell came big when it mattered most to win its rubber match with archrival Baxter and advance to the regional finals with a 57-47 victory over the Bolts in the Class 1A semifinals Friday. 

The No. 12 Spartans trailed the No. 15 Bolts 43-41 going into the fourth quarter. Then then held Baxter to just four points over the final eight minutes to pull off the big victory and head into the regional finals with a 22-1 record. 

A huge edge both at the foul line and on the boards helped Collins-Maxwell overcome a big deficit in 3-point baskets.  

The Spartans were 23 of 30 from the line and Baxter only went 4 of 10 from the charity stripe. Collins-Maxwell also recorded a huge 44-24 rebounding advantage. 

Collins-Maxwell prevailed despite not making a single 3-pointer. Baxter nailed an impressive 13 shots from behind the arc in a losing effort. 

Freshman Erica Houge came up huge for Collins-Maxwell in the win. Houge made 12 of 16 free throws and totaled 22 points and nine rebounds. 

Reagan Franzen also turned in a big game for the Spartans. She compiled 19 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and one block. 

Alexis Houge chipped in six points and four rebounds, Brooke Christie five points and three boards Elise Robertson two points and five rebounds, Kenzi Wierson five rebounds and Chloe Wierson three points. 

Baxter ended its season at 20-3. Maddie Pierce and Sophie Meyer both made five 3-pointers for the Bolts, with Pierce going for 18 points and Meyer 17. 

Collins-Maxwell 57, Baxter 47 

CM   20     7   14   16 – 57 

B       15   12   16     4 – 47 

Collins-Maxwell (57) - Alexis Houge 3-9 0-0 6, Kenzi Wierson 0-3 0-0 0, Brooke Christie 1-7 3-3 5, Erica Houge 5-13 12-16 22, Reagan Franzen 6-16 7-8 19, Chloe Wierson 1-1 1-2 3, Elise Robertson 1-1 0-1 2, Isabelle Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-50 23-30 57. 3-point field goals: None. Rebounds (44): Franzen 13. Assists (4): Wierson, Christie, E. Houge, Franzen. Steals (7): Robertson 3. Blocks (2): K. Wierson, Franzen. Fouls: 17.  

Baxter (47) - Elie Tuhn 3-10 0-2 8, Maddie Pierce 5-13 3-4 18, McKenzie Eslinger 0-1 0-0 0, Lillie Vansice 0-4 0-0 0, Sophie Meyer 6-10 0-1 17, Merrin Ziesman 0-3 0-1 0, Mandee Selover 0-0 0-0 0, Brooke Bacon 1-2 1-2 4. Totals: 15-43 4-10 47. 3-point field goals (13): Pierce 5, Meyer 5, Tuhn 2, Bacon. Rebounds (24): Vansice 7. Assists (12): Tuhn 5. Steals (5): Ziesman 2. Blocks: None. Fouls: 23. Fouled out: Pierce. 

MAXWELL – Nothing like a little Taco Bell to motivate a run to the girls’ state basketball tournament. 

Behind another brilliant shooting display from senior Brooke Christie the 12th-ranked Collins-Maxwell girls’ basketball team toyed with a good Belle Plaine team in the Class 1A regional quarterfinals Feb. 16 in Maxwell. 

The Spartans (21-1) nearly defeated a 15-8 Plainsman team by 50 points, rolling into the regional semifinals with a 73-27 victory. 

After the game Collins-Maxwell senior Reagan Franzen promised Christie she’d treat her to Taco Bell.  

“It’s our thing,” Franzen said.  

Then she went a step further. 

“We get to the regional final Taco Bell for everybody,” Franzen said. “I won’t be paying for it. Coach (Justin) Flaws will be.” 

Christie followed up five 3-pointers in a regional first-round victory over GMG last Thursday with a career-high seven 3-pointers against Belle Plaine. She scored a game-high 21 points against the Plainsmen and added three assists. 

“My coach just tells me to shoot with confidence and the atmosphere just gets everybody hyped,” Christie said. “He (Flaws) always says that seniors step up at the end of the season. If we lose we’re done and I realize that now.” 

Christie ended up 7 of 14 from downtown. She made three long bombs in the first half and four more in the second. 

Brooke Christie hit seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points in Collins-Maxwell's 73-27 1A regional quarterfinal win over Belle Plaine Feb. 16 in Maxwell.

“Brooke is starting to knock them down,” Franzen said. “We all went crazy tonight.” 

Franzen had 17 points herself. She also pulled down seven rebounds, dished out eight assists and came up with three steals. 

Erica Houge also scored 17 points for Collins-Maxwell and she added four assists and three steals. The freshman got most of her points in transition and even broke out a Euro step to get by a Belle Plaine player for a basket in the second half. 

“There was a girl in front of me and I just tried getting around her,” Houge said. “It happened to be a Euro step I guess. I had not been able to do it, but I guess I can.” 

Houge’s older sister Alexis added nine points, six assists and four steals.  

“Usually Lexi or I – one of us back,” Erica Houge said. “It really helps our team because we’re a transition team. Usually we’re open for whomever passes it to us.” 

Collins-Maxwell was also able to empty its bench early and often. Four other Spartans entered the scoring column and the five players who didn’t score still made positive contributions. 

“(Flaws) said something before the game that if we get all 13 girls in we’ll either be up by a lot or down by a lot,” Franzen said. “It’s always a big thrill to have a running clock, especially in a regional game. It’s so surreal.” 

Franzen said it’s great to see the Spartans peaking at the right time. She wants to keep her final season going as long as possible. 

“We’re never going to have this exact same team again,” Franzen said. “It’s been a pleasure playing with everybody. We’re all so happy for each other. When the bench gets in we go wild.” 

Chloe Wierson had three points and rebounds apiece and Elise Robertson, Marissa Boege and Mary Staudt two points apiece. Avery Fricke pulled down three rebounds. 

Jacy Gates led Belle Plaine with nine points, six rebounds and three steals. Jenna Fry added six points for the Plainsmen. 

Collins-Maxwell 73, Belle Plaine 27 

BP       7     6    11     3 – 27 

CM   18   20    20   15 – 73 

Belle Plaine (27) - Jacy Gates 4-8 1-1 9, Olivia Bohlen 1-9 0-0 3, Jenna Fry 3-6 0-0 6, Bree Shaull 2-9 0-0 5, Alyssa Tegeler 2-4 0-0 4, Alyssa Steinbeck 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Benton 0-0 0-0 0, Mandy Chizek 0-0 0-0 0, Mary Haynes 0-0 0-0 0, Ella Greider 0-0 0-0 0, Jacey Reineke 0-3 0-0 0, Abbi Sieck 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-39 1-1 27. 3-point field goals (2): Bohlen, Shaull. Rebounds (15): Gates 6. Assists (7): Reineke 4. Steals (9): Gates 3. Blocks (5): Bohlen 3.  

Collins-Maxwell (73) - Alexis Houge 4-10 1-3 9, Kenzi Wierson 0-1 0-0 0, Brooke Christie 7-14 0-0 21, Erica Houge 7-10 1-2 17, Reagan Franzen 8-11 0-0 17. Avery Fricke 0-1 0-0 0, Jane’e Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Marissa Boege 0-0 2-2 2, Chloe Wierson 0-0 3-4 3, Mary Staudt 0-0 2-2 2, Elise Robertson 1-1 0-0 2, Vivian Kahler 0-0 0-0 0, Isabelle Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-48 9-13 73. 3-point field goals (10): Christie 7, E. Houge 2, Franzen. Rebounds (29): Franzen 7. Assists (22): Franzen 8. Steals (12): A. Houge 4. Blocks: None. Fouls: 11.