The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva gym will be packed on Friday night to see Carlie Wagner. This time she won't be leading the Panthers to another state title, but rather seeing her No. 3 being retired. Wagner and her teammates from the 2013 and 2014 state title teams will gather for a championship reunion.

Wagner became the second-highest scoring player in the Minnesota girls' basketball history while engineering NRHEG to the state tournament three straight seasons, including AA titles in 2013 and 2014. She went on to a stellar career with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx afterward.

Wagner is currently nursing a knee injury and is home from playing in Spain, according to NRHEG coach Onika Peterson.

Peterson said, "We are bringing back any player or coach that is around from the state championship teams to celebrate and honor them for all that they accomplished a couple of years ago...And then we are also bringing back Carlie Wagner. We are actually retiring her No. 3 jersey, which is pretty awesome that she is around and is able to come back for it."

Peterson said third grade through c-squad players can attend Friday's tournament for free if they wear their jersey to the game. "We're hoping to take a large program picture of basketball and just celebrate the NRHEG basketball team as well as the past teams...Carlie's impact she had on the program in addition to the great career she had with the Gophers."

Thursday's schedule has Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial against Alden-Conger in the early game and NRHEG versus Albert Lea at 7 pm. The third-place game is 5 pm Friday, December 28 with the championship game at approximately 7 pm. The number retirement ceremony will occur Friday between games.

NRHEG sports
Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media

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