Chatfield’s Kirsten Keefe goes up and around a Plainview-Elgin-Millville defender for a shot. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Chatfield’s Kirsten Keefe goes up and around a Plainview-Elgin-Millville defender for a shot. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
If you scored 58 points last Thursday night in the 1AA East and 1AA West championships, you were on the short end of the score in both games.

The Chatfield Gophers lost their first game of the season, falling to Plainview-Elgin-Millville, 61-58, in the East, and Hayfield lost to Kenyon-Wanamingo, 60-58, in the West. PEM and K-W will play in the Section 1AA championship game this Thursday, March 13, 8 p.m., at the Mayo Civic Center Arena, Rochester. Rushford-Peterson and Goodhue will face off in the Class A championship at 6 p.m. Winners will advance to the state tournament next week.

In the loss to Plainview-Elgin-Millville, senior Camille Rasmussen led the way with 14 points, hitting six of her eight field goal shots and both of her free throw attempts.

"I thought Camille Rasmussen played extremely well," said coach Brian Baum. "She really kept us in the game. It was a great performance on a big stage. I was really proud of her."

Baum also praised the rest of the players: "I thought they (PEM) played very well on both ends and were impressive on defense, yet we only lost by three. That is what stings the most," he commented. "The girls have a lot to be proud of, despite the loss. It will hurt a little now, but in time they will appreciate all that they did."

He also added a "big thanks to all our fans and incredible student section. They were awesome."

Foul trouble plagued the Lady Gophers, especially in the second half. "Having (Maddie) Talamantes and (Maddy) Kammer in foul trouble, really hurt us. We didn't get too many bounces to go our way, either," added Baum, giving examples of "a banked-in three and a running eight-footer off the glass, along with some loose balls...but, give PEM credit."

Chatfield had very good balance in their scoring. Along with Rasmussen's 14, the Gophers had two with eight (Sydney Gould, Kirsten Keefe), three with seven points (Sidney Irish, Maddy Larrabee and Talamantes), one with five (Brook Irish) and one with two (Kammer). Rebound leaders were Brook Irish (six) and Rasmussen (five). Sidney Irish had two steals and four players (S Irish, Keefe, Megan LaPlante and Talamantes) had two assists each.

The Lady Gophers finished the season with a 24-1 record, 20-0 in the Three Rivers-South, good for first place. Four seniors, Sidney Irish, Mariah Pederson, Camille Rasmussen and Morgan Henry, finished their Gopher high school basketball careers. Coach Baum will miss each of them when the next basketball season rolls around.