Bombers 1-point short of championship, perfect season

Despite being saddled with fouls, senior Becca Dahlman led a second-half Bomber charge with 30 points in the final 17 1/2 minutes.  Photos by Greg Hunt

Despite being saddled with fouls, senior Becca Dahlman led a second-half Bomber charge with 30 points in the final 17 1/2 minutes. Photos by Greg Hunt

After being puzzled how to attack New Richland-H-E-G’s smothering 1-3-1 zone in the first half, the Braham girls regrouped and attacked hard in the second half to make Saturday’s Class AA championship a game. Braham senior Becca Dahlman scored 30 of her 32 points in that second half before closing her career with a fifth foul with 37.4 seconds remaining as the Panthers went on to win their first State title 60-59.

Panther junior Carlie Wagner knocked down 50 points to set a State single-game record while willing her team to the championship. Her team owned a 27-15 lead at the half, with Wagner scoring 19 in those 18 minutes.

Dahlman and the Bombers answered back with a hard-pressing defense which had that lead melting. Kayla Nickles’ three-pointer put Braham ahead for the first time at 37-35, but Wagner kept scoring to stem the tide. Her made free throw with 6.1 seconds left was the final difference, along with her making a steal on Braham’s final possession.

Braham freshman Jaclyn Hollenkamp fought for an offensive rebound against NRHEG in the March 16 State championship. Hollenkamp joined teammates Becca Dahlman and Dani Braund on the 'AA' All-Tournament team.

Braham freshman Jaclyn Hollenkamp fought for an offensive rebound against NRHEG in the March 16 State championship. Hollenkamp joined teammates Becca Dahlman and Dani Braund on the ‘AA’ All-Tournament team.

Nickles finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds for Braham, Dani Braund scored 9 with 9 rebounds, and Dahlman added 8 boards. The Bombers shot just 3-of-15 from the arc, along with sinking 14-of-22 free throws (Dahlman went 11-of-13 at the line).

The Bombers close the season with a 32-1 record– most all-time for wins for the girls’ program. The five-year State run saw them bring home one champion trophy and two runner-up trophies from the Target Center.

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