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Hornets use second-half run to pull away from Pointers
Rizner score game-high 24 points in the win for Richland Center
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Junior forward Abby Ruetten shoots over two Mineral Point defenders during Richland Center's 7055 victory over the Pointers last Tuesday.

The Richland Center Hornets blitzed the Mineral Point Pointers with 13 consecutive points midway through the second half to produce a 70-55 win in the Richland Center Candy Cane Classic here Tuesday night.

Brooklyn Liegel scored seven points and Abby Ruetten four during the surge that broke open a close, hard-fought battle. Madison Rizner scored a game high 24 points while Liegel finished with 14 and Cassidy Whitney 13 to lead coach Steve Board’s unbeaten Hornets to their seventh straight win.

Mineral Point which fell to 6-2 overall was led by sophomore McKenna Reichling with 14 points while senior guard Syd Staver totaled 10 before fouling out with more than six minutes left.

“I thought we fought hard against a very good basketball team,” said coach Board. “It didn’t come easily. I thought we looked a little tired in the first half, but we battled through it and played better in the second half.”

The Hornets shot 37 percent (23 of 62) from the field and 71 percent (20 of 27) from the foul line. They made four of 13 shots from beyond the arc.

The game was close throughout the first half. There were seven ties and 11 lead changes before Whitney scored on a drive with one second left to give the Hornets a 33-32 halftime lead. The Hornets trailed most of the half and never led by more than two points. Mineral Point built a five-point lead, 23-18, when coach Board was tagged with a technical foul. 

The Hornets quickly battled back.There were only four lead changes early in the second half. The Pointers held a 41-40 edge when Kayla Monson knocked down a trey. The Hornets never trailed again. 

Rizner and Monson scored to give the Hornets 47-41 lead, but Staver hit two mid-range jumpers to pull the Pointers within 47-45 before the Hornets broke the game wide open. 

“Brooklyn really made some tough shots during that spurt,” said coach Board. “She hit them in the face of very good defense.”

With her 14 points, Liegel moved within 24 points of reaching the 1,000th point in her Hornet career.Rizner and Whitney each had 10 points during the first half. And Rizner picked up where she left off scoring the Hornets’ first seven points of the second half.

In addition to Rizner, Liegel and Whitney, Monson finished with five points, Ruetten four, Paige Perkins five, Jenna Thomas four and Gracie Adsit one. Besides Reichling and Staver, the Pointers got six points apiece from Mara Aschliman, Haley Chubb and Morgan James. Destinee Kruser and Cassie Bossert each had five points and Malorie Johnson three.

In other Candy Cane Classic action, Barneveld thumped Platteville, 59-46, and Mount Horeb clobbered Living Word Lutheran. The event concluded Wednesday. Games will start at 12:45 p.m. when Platteville faces Living Word Lutheran. Mount Horeb will battle Mineral Point at 2:30, and the Hornets will face Barneveld at 4:15. 

“We’ll have to see what we have left,” said Board, whose bench was shortened Tuesday night. 

Teegan Pickarts scored 27 and Mia Whitish 21 in Barneveld’s win over Platteville, but Whitish’s availability is unknown. She suffered an injury and left the game with about six minutes remaining and did not return.