Isabella punches ticket to regional semifinals with win over Calhoun

Published 10:43 pm Monday, February 14, 2022

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By Carey Reeder/ Staff Writer

The Cinderella story at Isabella High School continues for the Mustangs as the varsity girls take down Calhoun 52-48 to move on to the 2A southwest regional semi-finals in Montgomery.

Amelia Fjeldstad led all scorers in the game with 25 points and converted 12-of-20 opportunities at the free throw line. Fjeldstad played all 32 minutes minus a small break when she was forced out of the game after a hard fall. She was back at the scorers table as soon as she was off the

“She hardly ever comes off the floor unless it’s foul trouble, [Amelia] has always been like that since seventh grade,” Isabella head coach Jared Day said. “I think she likes it and she’s our leader on the floor so we need her out there.”

Calhoun jumped out to an early 6-0 lead before junior Lexi Higgins got the Mustangs on the board with a 3-pointer. The Mustangs kept it close throughout the first quarter behind Sadie Simon’s effort on the boards to trail Calhoun by one after the first frame. Simon hauled in 15
rebounds and added six steals and four points to her totals.

“She is absolutely a force on the boards,” Day said. “She gives us so many third and fourth opportunities and does a great job at it.”

Isabella captured its first lead in the game 56 seconds into the second quarter after Fjeldstad knocked down two free throws. There were four lead changes and two ties in the second quarter alone but a 5-0 Mustang run to close the second quarter gave Isabella the 30-27 lead at halftime. They would never lose the lead the remainder of the game.

Calhoun scored right out of halftime but Fjeldstad and the Mustangs answered every basket with their own and the lead bloomed to as many as eight in the third quarter.

Calhoun drew within four points twice in the fourth quarter but Isabella built a 10-point lead in the fourth as well to hold off the Tigers.

“They would never go away,” Day said. “We’d get a little lead and they just kept hanging around, but the girls responded and played to the end.”

Isabella now moves on to the southwest regional semi-finals where the neutral site games beginning Montgomery at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex. The Mustangs will take on the Washington County Bulldogs for a spot in the regional finals Feb. 18  an noon.

“This is huge for us after going through a rough patch midseason,” Day said. “They just kept working, fighting back and working well together as a unit and we’re all excited [for the opportunity].”