Dahlman, unbeaten Braham keep marching on

Rebekah Dahlman's high school girls basketball career could end with a lot of zeroes -- as in 5,000 points -- but the only zero that the Braham senior is interested in is the one the Bombers have in the loss column.

Rebekah Dahlman's high school girls basketball career could end with a lot of zeroes -- as in 5,000 points -- but the only zero that the Braham senior is interested in is the one the Bombers have in the loss column.

Braham continued its march toward an unbeaten season and Dahlman continued her march toward a record that will be hard to top as the Bombers destroyed International Falls 91-30 Tuesday night in a Section 7AA semifinal at Romano Gym.

Dahlman scored 44 points in a variety of ways, from driving through three defenders with left-handed dribbles for layups to pumping in 3-pointers from all angles on the court, to push her career total to 4,932 and send the third-ranked Bombers (29-0) to Thursday's championship game against Esko.

"We have to get to the state tournament first (to be able to reach 5,000)," she said. "Stats mean nothing, I'd rather just get that 'W,' be a leader and a team player.

"I've always wanted to have an undefeated season. That would be a great way to end my senior year -- that's what I'm pushing for. We're going to do it."


Dahlman is the latest in a long line of standouts from one of Minnesota's most heralded basketball families. The bloodlines stretch to her maternal grandfather, Orr's John Kundla, former coach of the Minnesota Gophers and Minneapolis Lakers. Her five siblings include Isaiah, Minnesota's former all-time leading scorer and a Michigan State alumnus, and Noah, a former standout at Division I Wofford who held the Minnesota prep rebound career mark when he graduated.

"They push me to the max and are always there to support me," said Becca, who credits ultra-competitive games with her siblings for helping develop her game.

What the 5-foot-9 guard and her four older siblings have in common are state tournaments. Braham has won four consecutive section crowns -- the last three over Esko -- and hopes to add to the Class AA championship it won in 2011.

"She's a true leader, on and off the floor," coach Tim Malone said. "What she's doing is saying, 'Jump on my back and let's go for a ride.' I've never heard her once talk about individual stats, but I have heard her say that there are four more games left in her high school career. In order to do that, we're going to have to get through a very good Esko team on Thursday."

Whether the Eskomos have any defender who can stay with Dahlman and her neon-green sneakers is debatable. She hit a 3-pointer to send last year's section final into a second overtime and took over the game from there.

"We've been preparing for this game ever since the beginning of the year," she said. "They are well-coached and have a great team. It's going to be a battle."

Kayla Nickles added 16 points for the Bombers, whose 64-point first half was only its third-best effort in the last month. Rachel Foss' 15 points paced the Broncos (21-8).

International Falls 13-17--30


Braham 64-27--91

International Falls -- Reva Renollet 4, Rachel Foss 15, Sara Christianson 7, Teagan Anderson 2. Totals 10 7-7 30.

3-point goals -- Foss 3.

Braham -- Jaclyn Hollenkamp 6, Kayla Nickles 16, Jenna Winter 9, Stephanie Braund 1, Rebekah Dahlman 44, Dani Braund 10, Karla Herman 2, Janessa Malone 2, Natalie Bacon 1. Totals 32 18-22 91.

3-point goals -- Nickles 2, Winter 3, Dahlman 4.

Esko 67, Milaca 26

Marisa Shady scored 17 points and Claudia Turner added 10 as the Eskomos shook off some early sluggishness to defeat the Wolves in the first semifinal at Romano Gym.

Esko (25-3) outscored Milaca 32-8 in the second half to put the game away.


Savanna Trapp, Esko's 6-foot-9 center, sat out her fourth consecutive game with an injured toe but has resumed practicing with the team and is expected to play in Thursday's final, according to the Eskomos' coaching staff.

Milaca 18-8--26

Esko 35-32--67

Milaca -- Alex Ploeger 6, Molly Banks 7, Makala Paggen 8, Sarah Forker 5. Totals 10 3-5 26.

3-point goals -- Banks, Paggen, Forker.

Esko -- Kailee Kiminski 1, Kallyn Knutson 6, Marisa Shady 17, Bailey Mudek 3, Claudia Turner 10, Brooke Schramm 9, Ashley Bergeson 8, Molly Trapp 9, Hailey Salo 4. Totals 24 12-16 67.

3-point goals -- Knutson 2, Shady 2, Mudek, Turner, Schramm.

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