STAPLES -- Rachel Domier dominated the Brainerd Warriors girls' basketball team.
The Staples-Motley senior broke out and had a career game on a night designated for S-M seniors as she scored 26 points to lead the Cardinals to a 59-43 victory Saturday.
"I've been waiting for this a long time," said Domier. "It felt good. I've been waiting for a game all year where they left me open. The team was passing good so I just took the shots.
Brainerd sophomore girls lose to Cardinals
The Brainerd Warriors sophomore girls' basketball team dropped a 45-39 decision in overtime to the Staples-Motley Cardinals 45-39 Saturday.
Maria Swanson scored 12 points, Erica Nelson 11 and Breanna Olson eight for Brainerd. Haley Bower grabbed 12 rebounds for the Warriors.
"I think some of them were kind of lucky."
Domier, a 5-foot-9 forward, drained three 3-pointers and added another bucket in the first quarter to give the Cardinals a 24-13 lead.
"To be honest, I hadn't had her in the lineup because I was doing too much thinking," said Cardinals coach Ron Beachy. "She came back to us in our last game against Park Rapids and picked up 12 points. She's kind of been sitting in the background and I've been going 'Come on, I can use her somehow.' She's really come back and it's really good to see."
The Cardinals shot 8-of-12 in the opening frame and held the Warriors to just 6-for-16 shooting.
Warriors senior Amy Kittelson kept Brainerd close with 11 first-quarter points.
Kittelson added two more points in the second and Megan Arns scored nine of her team-high 20 to give Brainerd some life. Thanks to a 7-2 run to end the half, the Warriors crawled into striking distance, trailing 32-27 at the half.
"We figured out what they were doing on defense," said Brainerd coach Carl Hendrickson. "We started passing the ball a little better, but still we never were able to get the easy baskets that we needed to get at crucial times.
"There were a number of times that the ball was inside and we would either miss it or we got a breakaway and we missed it. That's where you generate some momentum."
Brainerd missed numerous chances to gain momentum. Missed layups, putbacks and 1-of-5 shooting from the foul line added to Brainerd's trouble.
That, and the fact Domier once again lit up the scoreboard in the second half.
She made two more threes and finished with 10 points in the third to give S-M a 54-35 lead.
"We shot a little better than we normally do, but that's why I have Rachel in the game," said Beachy. "There are some other things she doesn't do as well, but I thought she played very well. I was very pleased."
Domier was on fire. She scored all five of the Cardinals' fourth-quarter points. She finished 10-of-14 from the field, including six 3-pointers.
"That's probably the worst defense we've played in a number of games,' said Hendrickson. "We just did not move our feet well. One of the things we wanted to do was get the ball out of the middle of the floor so that we could determine which side we were going to jump to on the help side. We didn't do that all night.
"They were coming down the middle of the floor. We had kids jumping out on one side and that made the middle open and they got to the basket early. Then they started kicking it out and they got those big shots.
"Through the whole game we were thinking they were going to cool down, but they never did. They just shot the ball well all night."
Michelle Honek added 10 points for the Cardinals and Stephanie Rice threw in eight. Laura Warn scored seven points before going down with an ankle injury.
"We have eight seniors on this team and we've waited a long time for this day," said Domier. "We had a lot of momentum just in the locker room."
Brainerd 13 14 8 8 -- 43
Staples-Motley 24 8 22 5 -- 59
Joan Ebnet 3, Megan Arns 20, Amy Kittelson 17, Katie Ahlberg 3. Team totals: FG 19-54 (35 percent), FT 2-11 (18 percent). Overall -- 17-6. Next game: vs. winner of Moorhead/Bemidji at natural site 7 p.m. Saturday.
Laura Warn 7, Heather Gold 2, Michelle Honek 10, Rachel Domier 26, Steph Rice 8, Sarah Miller 6. Team totals: FG 23-45 (51 percent), FT 4-4 (100 percent). Overall -- 15-9. Next game: at Pine River-Backus 7 p.m. Thursday.
3-point baskets -- B 3 (Ebnet, Kittelson, Ahlberg), SM 7 (Domier 6, Warn 1). Rebounds -- B 24 (Arns 10), SM 26. Turnovers -- B 16, SM 18. Total fouls -- B 5, SM 12. Fouled out -- SM-Rice. Assists -- B 15 (Rollins 4, Arns 4). Steals -- B 10 (Arns 4). Blocks -- B 3 (Kittelson 2).
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