Basketball: Rogers girls get past D-C in section opener 45-39


Emily Reichert scored over the outstretched arm of D-C's Nicole Nelson. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The Rogers Royals have been sinking their free shots lately, and that trait was a big factor in surviving their playoff opener 45-39 over Dassel-Cokato on Tuesday evening at home.


“It was not a pretty game offensively by either team,” said coach Jeremy Digiovanni. “Survive would be the right word.”


Courtney McClay got fouled shooting by D-C's Alexis Carlen. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Except for Rogers’ performance at the line, that is, as the Royals cashed 23 of 31 attempts while D-C was 3-for-10, for a 20-point edge.


Junior guard Emily Reichert led Rogers with 16 points and seven rebounds. She was 4-for-6 on free shots. Shelby Beach was 7-for-7 for all of her points, and Jordyn Motter 8-for-12 in scoring 14 points.


The Royals made 31 of 41 in a 68-65 win over Cambridge-Isanti and 15 of 20 in a 47-40 loss to Princeton in the last week of the regular season, a total of 69-for-92 in that three-game stretch.


Rogers, the No. 2 seed in a Section 5AAA tournament that has no standout teams, takes a 13-14 record into the semifinals against No. 6 Princeton (11-15). That game is slated for 7:45 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo. The other semifinal will have No. 1 Big Lake (19-8) taking on Monticello (13-14) at 6 p.m.


Nicole Nelson and Kelly Hartkopf scored 10 each for the Chargers (9-16).


Rogers had a nine-point lead early in the second half. The Chargers spurted ahead 36-35 but Rogers got back in front with free throw shooting.


The Royals have split with Princeton in conference play, but Princeton is closer to full-strength now after a season plagued by injuries.


“At least we’ve beaten Princeton once, so the girls know they can do it,” said Digiovanni.



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