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Roncalli defense powers win over Aberdeen Christian

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Elissa Hammrich, right, puts up a shot during Thursday night’s game against Aberdeen Christian at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 2/18/2021

Defense did it again for Aberdeen Roncalli Thursday night.

The Cavaliers held Aberdeen Christian to six second-half points en route to a 39-23 non-conference girls’ basketball win at Roncalli Gym in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The result snapped the Knights’ six-game winning streak.

“We really preach defense,” said Roncalli coach Derek Larson. “I didn’t think we played as well the first half defensively. To only hold them to six (in the second half) and two in the fourth quarter, that’s the way we want to play and hopefully that continues into the post season.”

The Cavaliers played with the lead the entire night thanks to the shooting of Elissa Hammrich, The senior poured in a career-high 18 points on Senior Night, most on mid-range jump shots.

“They decided to leave their big girl in the middle and not guard Elissa,” Larson said. “We just kind of said, ‘Let’s take advantage of that.’ The mid-range shots are definitely the ones that she can knock down.”

Morgan Fiedler added 11 for Roncalli, which concluded the regular season at 18-2.

Mallory Miller led Aberdeen Christian with 12 points. The Knights finished the regular season at 10-8.

The night featured a large, enthusiastic crowd, something Larson would like to see when the Cavaliers host a Region 1A contest on Thursday.

“This is what we want towards the end of the season,” Larson said of the intense environment. “We’re hoping that next Thursday we have the same atmosphere for our second-round region game as well.”

ABERDEEN CHRISTIAN (10-8): Joy Rohrbach 0 4-4 4, Kaylee Block 1 0-0 3, Grace Kaiser 1 0-0 2, Mallory Miller 5 0-0 12, Chloe Bosma 0 2-2 2. Totals 7 6-6 23.

ABERDEEN RONCALLI (18-2): Madelyn Bragg 2 0-0 4, Morgan Fiedler 5 1-3 11, Olivia Hanson 2 0-0 6, Elissa Hammrich 9 0-0 18. Totals 18 1-3 39.

Aberdeen Christian 9 17 21 23

Aberdeen Roncalli 10 23 31 39

3-point field goals – Block, M. Miller 2; Hanson 2 Total fouls – Aberdeen Christian 7; Aberdeen Roncalli 12.

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