Aggies win St. Thomas ‘B’ tourney
PR-F-L foils Spoilers’ three-year title run
It was a “win by committee” for the Park River-Fordville-Lankin Aggies girls’ B squad as they took the 4th annual St. Thomas tournament with an impressive 58-47 victory over the Grafton Spoilers Saturday.
The Aggies dressed nine players and all scored meaningful points as they ended a three year championship run for the Spoilers.
Perhaps more important than the points scored in this one was the fact the Aggies were able to handle Grafton’s full court pressure.
“The absolute key for us tonight,” said assistant coach Don Porter prior to the game, “is to be able to break their press.”
Hannah Swartz was the chairman of the scoring committee from the start for the Aggies.
Swartz proved to be too much for the Spoilers to handle. The 5-foot-8 sophomore scored 10 of her game high 14 points in the first half. Coupled with freshman front mate Emily Bratlie (12 points), the duo dominated inside.
“Our inside game was tough to stop,” Porter said after the game. “We controlled the boards and were able to score inside most of the night.”
The Aggies trailed only once in the game, when the Spoiler’s own inside presence in 5-foot-10 Rachel Dryburgh scored inside and converted a three-point play from the foul line to make the score 5-4 in favor of Grafton.
The Spoilers suffered a big blow moments later when Dryburgh went down with a knee injury and didn’t return.
Grafton’s lead was quickly erased when eighth grader Anne Welch drained a 10-foot baseline jumper. she added another basket on the next Aggie possession. By the end of the first quarter, the Aggies were on top 16 -7.
In the second quarter the Aggies inside game took charge. The Spoilers had virtually no second chance opportunities as the Aggies front line dominated the defensive boards. Grafton was able to stay close by making free throws as the Aggies found themselves in foul trouble early. The Spoilers went six of eight from the line in the second quarter and kept it close, trailing 30-19 at the break. PR-F-L extended that lead to 46-27 after the third quarter behind the play of Bailey Beneda. The point guard handled the Spoiler pressure and ran the Aggie offense with precision. She also scored six of her eight points in the third to go along with big baskets by Emily Zikmund, Welch and Knutson.
Grafton lost another player to an injury early in the fourth quarter when Paige Hanson left the game with a knee injury.
With Dryburgh and Hanson out and Emma Suda on the bench with five fouls, the Spoilers played with just four players on the floor for the game’s final 5:21.
The Spoilers four picked up the slack and scored 15 points over that last stretch of the ballgame overcoming a 20-point deficit to make game relatively close at the end.
In addition to 14 points by Swartz and Bratlie’s 12 points, Welch and Beneda added eight points each, followed by Taylor Dalbey, Knudson and Zikmund with four points each. Katie Bohn and Kayla Bohn each had two points to round out the Aggies scoring.
Emma Papenfuss led Grafton with 11 points, followed by Jillian Hanson with 10. Suda added eight points, followed by Miranda Dusek with six, Taylor Skjordal with five, Paige Hanson with four and Dryburgh with three.