Sharp shooting, a historic moment, and a patient offense were just enough for the Norwood Young America girls’ basketball team to weather the storm against an increasingly tough Tri-City United team in Minnesota River Conference action Thursday night. The Central Raiders beat the Titans 59-49 on the heels of senior Afton Wolter’s record-breaking night as the Raider guard notched her 1,000th career point early in the second half.
There were bright spots and weak moments for both teams, but Central’s offensive persistence allowed them to maintain at least a five-point lead through most of the game, and at times stretch that margin to 13 or 14 points. TCU had streaks of strong shooting in the first half and strong paint play in the second, but dozens of turnovers forced the Titans to have to fight too hard against a dominant Raiders team.
TCU struggled early to break a full-court press and a 2-3 trap defense from the Raiders. Similarly, Central had early trouble working their offense under the basket and instead had to settle for less-than-stellar outside shooting. But things turned around for both teams in the second half: the Raiders shots started falling and the Titans forced the ball to their posts. Both teams went on unanswered scoring streaks of up to eight points, and TCU’s strong rebounding kept Central’s second-chance points to a minimum, but the Titans’ free-throw shooting struggled and they were unable to capitalize on trips to the charity stripe.
In the end, Central celebrated Wolter’s milestone and a team victory all in one night. Their win-streak now stands at six, and the victory bumps their record to 8-4 (3-2 MRC). The Raiders will face Le-Sueur Henderson next Tuesday. Stuck with the moral victory of saying they “played better,” according to head coach Kevin Woitas, TCU falls to 1-11 (0-5 MRC). They face tough conference opponents Mayer Lutheran and Jordan next week.