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Patient Eskomos edge Wildcats at half


MINNEAPOLIS - Perhaps the Esko girls basketball team took a page from their state-championship boys while at practice this week.

Like their boys' calm, cool and collected experienced players en route to last week's first-ever title, the unseeded Esko girls' have looked persistently-patient and currently pose a potential upset over No. 3 New London-Spicer, leading 21-17 at halftime of their Class AA girls state basketball quarterfinal at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena tonight in Minneapolis.

Without a shot clock in Minnesota high school basketball, the Eskomos (25-5) exploded to leads of 11-2, 13-4 and 16-4 behind a time-working offense that has seemingly pestered the Wildcats (25-4) and their student section, leading to chants of "boring, boring."

Esko, making their 10th overall state appearance and first since 2007, has been anything but boring, rather effective, as Ashley Bergerson has nine points and Ava Gonsorowski eight.

New London-Spicer, a small cooperative program in south central Minnesota, is making their 15th trip to state and first since 2009.

Wildcats Coach Mike Dreier is the winningest girls coach in Minnesota history with 816 wins over 36 years.

New London-Spicer's Taylor Thunstedt, a North Dakota State University commit with nearly 2,800 career points and NBA-length shooting range, leads all scorers with 11 at the break.

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