Northfield girls basketball hangs on late for win over Farmington - Northfield MN: Sports

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Northfield girls basketball hangs on late for win over Farmington

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:20 pm | Updated: 12:22 am, Sat Feb 23, 2013.

As seconds turned into minutes Tuesday and Northfield’s score stayed at 39, the eyes told everything. Northfield’s 18-point lead over Farmington with 15 minutes, 15 seconds to go slowly dwindled to 16, then 12, then nine, and the Raiders’ eyes grew continually wider with each missed shot and free throw.

Then, finally, almost eight minutes since Northfield had last made a shot, the ball dropped through on a junior Claire Vasilis free throw and got the Raiders going enough to finish off a 48-41 win.

“Every win’s a good win,” coach Tony Mathison said. “We hit that stretch and mentally lost our focus.”

That 7:50 dry spell came after Northfield took its game at Farmington as much as it has in any game this season, using senior Allyson Harris and junior Anna Pfefferle’s height advantage inside to get out to a big lead.

“We displayed patience, moved the ball around, and the inside was open,” Mathison said. “The first half we played really well.”

Harris finished with 20 points and Pfefferle had 19, but a fourth foul for Pfefferle put her on the bench early in the second half and gave Farmington an opening. The Tigers took advantage and cranked up the pressure on a suddenly turnover-prone Northfield team, slowly grinding to a half the Raiders’ offense that put up 39 points in the first 24 minutes.

“The second half Farmington got scrappy and we got a bit sloppy on both ends of the floor,” Mathison said.

A big part of that came at the free throw line, where Northfield converted just 20-of-39 attempts. That contributed to the Raiders managing just nine points in the final 15:15 and allowed Farmington extra possessions for 25 points in the second half.

“Credit to Farmington for fighting and getting it to seven points, and credit to us for hanging on,” Mathison said.

Leading 42-35 with 5:50 left, Northfield switched to a 1-2-2 zone defense late to neutralize Farmington’s ability to create open shots on the outside against the Raiders’ man defense.

“They were setting up that play to get the look at the top of the key and we weren’t reacting quick enough,” Mathison said. “We switched to that 1-2-2 and threw them a little bit.”

It turned out to be enough to hold off the late run, giving Northfield its second win in four games with just one regular season game to go on Friday against Academy of Holy Angels.

Pfefferle’s nine rebounds put her past 300 on the season. Prior to Tuesday’s game she was fourth in the state in total rebounds.


Harris, 20; Pfefferle, 19; Dimick, 3; Foley, 2; Zick, 2; Vasilis, 1; Arneson, 1.

Reach Sports Editor Jordan Osterman at 645-1111, or follow him on @NFNJordan.

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