Basketball: Royal girls nip St. Francis 78-74 after leading by 27

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The Rogers Royals had a 27-point lead at halftime but found themselves in a fight at the end, holding off the St. Francis Saints 78-74 on Thursday evening.

“We couldn’t miss in the first half, but we couldn’t buy a basket in the second half,” said coach Karlee Anderson. “St. Francis  came out the second half and really attacked the basket. We had some foul trouble. And they had seven 3-pointers, six in the second half.”

Senior guard Kelsey Frain scored 20 points and sophomore guard Taylor Paulsrud 17 for Rogers (3-1).  Lindsey Darr added 11 and Marin Nowak 10.

Free throw shooting finally nailed it down for Rogers as they finished 24-for-35, with Frain 8-for-12 and Paulsrud 5-for-5.

“They were putting Kelsey at the line down the stretch and that was fine with me,” said Anderson.

The Saints are 0-4 and were averaging just 44.5 points coming into the game but had a great second half, scoring 54 points. They finished 22-for-32 on free shots along with their 3-point binge.

Senior guard Nicole Borstner led the Saints with 23 points. Molly Kungel scored 11, and Sonja Homan and Worrell had 10 each.

The halftime score was 47-20. St. Francis got as close as three toward the end. The Royals were able to force a couple turnovers, and Courtney McClay drew a charge, to stay in front.

Rogers will host Simley, ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, on Tuesday.

Rogers — Kelsey Frain 20, Shelby Darr 5, Taylor Paulsrud 17, Courtney McClay, Marin Nowak 10, Megan Dobberstein 9, Lindsey Darr 11