Girls' basketball Jaguars win third straight

The Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa girls' basketball team picked up double-digit wins on back-to-back nights to improve to 15-3 overall.

Last Friday at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City high school, the Jaguars built a huge halftime lead on their way to a 53-34 win to improve to 8-2 (second) in the Central Minnesota Conference.

On Saturday in a girls/boys doubleheader in Belgrade, the Jaguars defeated Section 5A rival Browerville 69-35 while handing the Tigers their fourth loss in five games.

The No. 16-ranked (Minnesota Basketball News) Holdingford Huskers appear poised to blaze through the CMC with a perfect record if they get past second meetings with Kimball, Eden Valley-Watkins, Maple Lake and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. EV-W gave the Huskers a tough contest in Holdingford on January 12 with a 41-32 final score. Kimball lost 59-46 to the visiting Huskers on January 6.

New London-Spicer and Albany are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in Class 2A, while Sauk Centre sits at No. 13..

In Class 1A, Hancock is ranked No. 4, while Henning is at No. 5.

Four other Section 5A teams are ranked in the Top 20: Nevis (No. 9), Barnum (No. 13) and Braham (No. 19). BOLD at No. 8 and Lac qui Parle Valley at No. 18 are other area Class 1A teams in the Top 20.

By the QRF ratings, the Jaguars have hovered in the Top 10 since January 9, and since January 30 they have stood at No. 2 out of all 146 Class 1A teams. Nevis is ranked No. 15 by QRF and appears to be a lock for the No. 2 seed in Sub-Section 5A-West behind the Jaguars. Braham (QRF No. 11) and Barnum (QRF No. 17) are leading Sub-Section 5A-East.

B-B-E's defensive average continues to fall after it hovered around 54 points per game earlier in January; currently their defense gives up 48.3 points per game with a scoring average of 64.9 points. Noteworthy: when the Jaguars last advanced to state in 2020-2021, their defensive average was just 37.1 points per game, which was tied with Hancock as the lowest defensive average in Class 1A.

The Jaguars resume action on Thursday this week with a home contest against Maple Lake. They host a very strong Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg team that's 16-4 overall on Friday in a border battle with the rival Fighting Saints.

Next Tuesday the Jaguars host Royalton (10-8, 4-4) for a rematch with the Royals. Next Friday, February 17, the Jaguars host Paynesville Area (8-11, 5-6).

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