ALTOONA — Regis’ Teryn Karlstad certainly displayed her case for most valuable player on Friday night. The Ramblers were an entirely different team when she wasn’t on the floor against Altoona.
Regis’ top weapon was forced to the sideline for a large chunk of the first half after taking her third foul midway through the period. Her absence allowed the Rails to take control for a majority of the first and stretch the lead to as large as 14 points early in the second.
But Karlstad checked back in with a focus on making up for missed time.
“Since I missed out in the first half, I knew I needed to make a difference in the second half,” Karlstad said. “I did anything I could to try to get points up and pass it to my teammates so they could get points up.”
Karlstad scored 15 second half points, outpacing the entire Altoona team by four in that time frame, as Regis completed an impressive 54-45 road comeback victory against its conference foe.
“I was proud that we stayed together and didn’t get down,” said Karlstad, who scored 17 points overall. “We could have gotten down and just gave up. Instead we worked for it and pulled it out.”
Altoona’s Kayla Wiggins was the driving force for the Railroaders in the first half, scoring 15 of the team’s 34 points. The Ramblers bent but didn’t break and cut the halftime deficit to eight points thanks to a frame-closing 6-2 run.
“At one point I had two sophomores and a freshman out there,” Regis coach Patrick Boughton said. “And we didn’t make any mistakes with the younger crew out there, which was nice to see. … They were able to hold their breath long enough under water for Teryn to get back safely.”
Karlstad was aggressive in her return, driving to the basket and earning 15 shots at the free throw line. She completed a 16-1 Regis run with a basket through contact to give the Ramblers a 43-42 lead with 6:41 remaining. Altoona took the lead back on the next possession, but that was the Rails’ last basket of the game.
Wiggins saw her impact dissipate in the second as a change in defense severely shut off her opportunities. She was held scoreless in the final 18.
“In that 1-3-1 we were able to sandwich her a lot easier,” Boughton said. “In the first half they were able to slide her to one-on-one situations, and with her height she could just shoot over people.”
Karlstad fouled out with two minutes remaining but her teammates had no issues getting the game to the garage. Altoona failed to score again before the buzzer went.