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Girls Basketball: New Hampton Puts Klinge's 1,000th Win On Hold

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NEW HAMPTON, Iowa History will have to wait.

Maybe a day. Maybe a little longer.

Class 4A 15th-ranked New Hampton denied Gene Klinge his 1,000th career win, closing with a 13-2 run and edging No. 12 Waukon, 54-51, in a Northeast Iowa Conference girls' basketball game Friday night at New Hampton High School.

"We knew what was going on," said New Hampton's Raelyn Webster. "We knew there was a lot of attention on coach Klinge. I hope he gets that 1,000th win. But I didn't want it to be here, tonight."

Klinge, 76, is stuck on 999 wins. The Indians play at Caledonia (Minn.) at 5 p.m. Saturday.

"I'll be happy when it's over and done with," said Klinge, in his 51st season of coaching. "We made some foolish mistakes, and you can't afford to do that against good teams."

Waukon (13-4, 7-4) went into the fourth quarter in good shape, leading 43-35.

The Indians appeared to be beneficiaries of a phantom basket at the end of the third period. With Waukon in front 39-35, Alyssa Collins missed a short jumper while Waukon's Daneshia Snitker and New Hampton's Nicole Mulford battled for rebounding position.

Mulford was whistled for a foul, and Waukon was credited with two points (later given to Snitker) and received the ball.

Snitker scored again for an eight-point lead.

The Indians still led 49-41 before New Hampton (12-4, 7-3) came back.

A drive by Webster tied it, 51-51, with 1:05 left, then Webster made three free throws in the final 42 seconds.

Snitker finished with 23 points, but was downcast afterward.

"We made some dumb, simple passes," she said. "We had some defensive errors. Our shot selection wasn't good."

Webster led the Chickasaws with 17 points. Knowlton didn't miss a shot all night (6 of 6 from the floor, 2 of 2 from the line) and scored 15.

The Indians climbed on the bus a little before 10 p.m. Friday, about 19 hours before taking another shot at history.

"It's going to be tough to rebound from this," Klinge said. "We just need to cut down on our mistakes."

Snitker said, "We need to play better. We need to play better defense, improve our shot selection. We have to play as a team and play hard the whole time."

Klinge has taken 16 teams to state, coaching Waukon to the 3A state title in 2004, his first year there. His record is 999-238.

According to the National Federation of High Schools, five girls basketball coaches across the nation have won 1,000 games.

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