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Northeast junior Ellie Rickertsen goes up for a shot during the first half of Friday’s River Valley North contest with Bellevue. Rickertsen led the Rebels with 14 points and added five rebounds and four steals, but a 20-2 run helped the Comets come away with a 60-37 victory.

GOOSE LAKE — It was making due with free throws early, but a scoring drought in the middle of Friday’s River Valley North contest with 2A No. 13 Bellevue stopped the Northeast girls basketball team’s upset bid.

Four straight free throws pulled the Rebels within seven points of the Comets in the second quarter, but those would be the team’s last points of the half.

Bellevue took advantage, scoring the final 12 points of the second quarter and then eight of the first 10 in the third quarter as well to pull away for an eventual 60-37 victory.

A slow start — the Comets opened the game with a 12-2 run — forced the Rebels to play catch-up early.

They kept Bellevue within reach early. Hoops by Emma Fowler, Ellie Rickertsen and Valerie Spooner cut the margin to nine at the end of the first quarter, and it was 19-12 after the last of Northeast’s four straight free throws — three from Alyssa Fowler, one from Rickertsen.

The next Rebels points, however, would come on the other side of halftime as Bellevue bridged the two halves with a 20-2 push.

Success on the offensive glass kick-started the Northeast offense in the second half.

The Rebels pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in the game, leading to numerous second-chance opportunities, including immediate put-backs for Makenzie Petersen, Rickertsen and Aubrie Kruse.

Rickertsen had a big fourth quarter, scoring seven of her team-high 14 points in the final frame. The junior pulled down five rebounds as well and came up with a team-best four steals.

A. Fowler added six points and matched them with six rebounds, while E. Fowler, Spooner and Petersen all had four points and Neveah Hildebrandt three.

A slow start hurt the Rebels in their 2021 opener three days earlier.

Traveling to Monticello, Northeast was limited to eight points over the first two quarters in the Panthers’ 59-23 victory.

Alexis Ehlers knocked down a pair of three-pointers and led the Rebels with six points. E. Fowler added five points, while Rickertsen and Ciera Krogman had four apiece.

A. Fowler grabbed five rebounds — Spooner had four — with Hildebrandt dishing out two assists and Rickertsen coming up with two steals.