As the temperature plunged Thursday night so did the Brainerd Warriors shooting percentage.
Following a sturdy first half the Warriors collapsed in the second, dropping a 68-38 Central Lakes Conference girls' basketball game Thursday to the Rocori Spartans.
After shooting a sound 42 percent in the first half and leading 29-24, Brainerd made three baskets in the second half while shooting 10 percent.
The Warriors were outscored 23-3 in the third quarter, 21-6 in the fourth. They shot 6 percent in the third, 14 percent in the fourth.
"It was kind of like we had it going in the first half," Warriors coach Carl Hendrickson said. "We were getting points off the press, shooting the ball well, and they were turning the ball over.
Rocori 68, Warriors 38
The key: The Spartans outscored Brainerd 44-9 in the second half and posts Kari Schroeder and Shelly Tippelt combined for 32 points.
Next game -- Brainerd at Sauk Rapids 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"There was kind of a turn in the second half. We just threw it away too many times and gave them too many easy points, then our rebounding wasn't as good in the second half."
After being shackled in the first half, 6-foot Rocori posts Kari Schroeder and Shelly Tippelt seized control in the second. Schroeder followed a 7-point first half with a 15-point second. Tippelt, scoreless in the first half, finished with 10 points. They also dominated the boards.
"We knew Tippelt had been playing very well," Hendrickson said. "She was really good around the basket. Something they've been doing is bringing Schroeder outside. You have to guard her. She will shoot the three, and she's hit a couple.
"They were able to do some things with Tippelt inside. When she didn't get it, Schroeder was taking the ball to the basket a little bit more than we've seen her do."
In the third quarter the Spartans had a 14-point run and led 42-30.
Rocori later went on an 18-point run to grab a 60-32 lead.
Brainerd's only baskets in the second half were by Ally Hartje with 3:31 left in the third and three- and two-pointers by Cara Wiltse in the last three minutes.
Wiltse and Erika Austin each scored 10 points to lead Brainerd. Austin scored all 10 in the opening quarter, including the last six of the period, by making 5 of 6 shots. She was limited to two shots the rest of the game.
"We weren't patient enough in the second half when we got down," Hendrickson said. "We just came down and would make one pass or just come down and shoot it. When you're down a few points you've got to run a little time off, and we just were not very patient on offense."
Brainerd's fourth straight loss dropped it to 1-4 in the conference, 1-5 overall.
"We see signs of things with our kids but not consistent enough to get us over that hump to get a win," Hendrickson said.
Rocori 10 14 23 21 -- 68
Brainerd 16 13 3 6 -- 38
Tasha Schlangen 9, Bridget Burtzel 15, Sarah Fuchs 5, Shelly Tippelt 10, Kari Schroeder 22, Whitney Klein 3, Kim Nelson 2, Kendra Seifert 2. Team totals: FG 25-62 (40 percent), FT 18-25 (72 percent). Conference -- 3-2. Overall -- 4-4.
Danielle Uphoff 7, Erika Austin 10, Cara Wiltse 10, Lindsey Jourdan 3, Ally Hartje 5, Erin Karlsgodt 2, Kaitlyn Manlick 1. Team totals: FG 16-61 (26 percent), FT 2-8 (25 percent), 3-point baskets: 4 (Uphoff, Wiltse 2, Hartje). Conference -- 1-4. Overall -- 1-5.
Rebounds -- R 46, B 28 (Austin 7, Jourdan 6, Karlsgodt 6). Turnovers -- R 15, B 20. Steals -- B 5 (Jourdan 3). Assists -- B 12 (Jourdan 5). Blocks -- Austin.
Mike Bialka can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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