Tigers hang tough

Amanda Olheiser had little luck in the District 13 championship game one week ago. The New England senior picked up her third foul a little more than a minute into that game.

Jordyn Bender
Press Photo by Dustin Monke New England guard Jordyn Bender, left, tries to put up a shot while being fouled from behind by Beulah junior Shelby Schields during Monday's Region 7 girls basketball tournament quarterfinal game at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

Amanda Olheiser had little luck in the District 13 championship game one week ago. The New England senior picked up her third foul a little more than a minute into that game.

So, the 5-foot-9 forward was determined not to let the Tigers' Region 7 quarterfinal game against Beulah be her last.

"I just knew I had to play my game today," Olheiser said.

And that's what she did, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds to help New England survive a test from the Miners 55-48 on Monday afternoon at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

Olheiser needed to be big after Beulah took away Jordyn Bender, New England's leading scorer who was limited to a season-low eight points.


"I thought she stepped up and played well," Tigers coach Jason Jung said. "I felt she was fairly dominating in the paint."

Olheiser went head-to-head with Beulah senior post Karsen Little Soldier, who scored a game-high 24 points on 11 of 14 shooting.

"That was a battle -- both ways," said Jung, whose team improved to 18-4 overall.

Little Soldier helped the Miners, who ended their season at 8-13, get off to a strong start.

Beulah led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter and the teams went back and forth until midway through the second quarter when Shari Hewson buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Olheiser made a shot in the post to put New England ahead 24-19 with 1:33 left in the quarter. New England led 26-23 at halftime.

Hewson continued to play well in the second half, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds. She finished 8 of 11 from the free-throw line.

"She came through," Jung said. "... We knew our seniors had to step up for us in the post."

Beulah kept things close, allowing the Tigers just a 36-34 lead at the end of the third quarter.


Fortunately for the Tigers, Bender finally got going in the fourth. She scored six of her eight points in the quarter and had a pair of nice assists to Olheiser and Hewson that helped keep Beulah at an arm's length.

"She's such a playmaker," Beulah coach Jim Petrik said. "We wanted to limit her touches."

Little Soldier made a second-chance shot in the paint with 2:32 left, cutting the Tigers' lead 50-46.

However, a little more than a minute later, New England junior forward Stephanie Herberholz came up with a crowd-pleasing steal and layup that gave New England a 52-46 lead with 1:10 remaining and effectively sealed the win, setting up a semifinal matchup against No. 1-ranked and undefeated Hazen.

The two teams have never met, which gave Olheiser hope the Tigers could engineer an upset.

"We're just excited to play someone new. We don't know anything about them," Olheiser said. "We just can't let (Hazen's ranking) get to our head."

Beulah 12 23 34 48

NE 11 26 36 55


B: Karsen Little Soldier 24, Jacey Pulver 6, Taryn Zacher 6, Emmie Miller 5, Jessie Battest 4, Brenna Johansen 3.

NE: Amanda Olheiser 20, Shari Hewson 15, Jordyn Bender 9, Megan Neprash 5, Stephanie Herberholz 4, Sara Wandler 2.

3-pointers: Johansen, Pulver, Hewson. Free throws: B 6-10, NE 16-29. Total fouls: B 22, NE 14. Fouled out: Zacher. Rebounds: B 29 (Zacher 7), NE 34 (Hewson 9). Assists: B 11 (Miller 3, Pulver 3), NE 12 (Hewson 4). Steals: B 8 (Little Soldier 3), NE 7 (Bender 3). Blocks: B 1 (Shelby Schields), NE 2 (Hewson 2). Turnovers: B 19, NE 20.

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