Strand wins 400th as Otters rollPublished 11:35am Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Kennedy Secondary School Gold Gymnasium was bursting at the seams with fans Tuesday night and the fans were bursting with Otter Pride, and rightfully so as they saw their number 1 ranked Otter girls basketball team demolish Brainerd 77-29 and saw the number 1 band in Minnesota, the Pride of Fergus Falls Marching Band put on a halftime show as their dress rehearsal before they leave Thursday to play for the Presidential Inauguration.
Band director Scott Kummrow said it best when he said what an awesome community to live in when the fans, the school officials and the students take such pride in their school activities. You’ve all heard how the community has had an out-pouring of support for the band, financially and otherwise, and that was exemplified Tuesday night. Those same community members have been staunch supporters of the girls basketball team, and they were rewarded by both the band and the girls basketball team in seeing a great show. Where else can you get community grown and community supported entertainment like this than at the Gold Gym? The band has played at numerous sporting events, including the girls basketball games, and the girls team took their seats at halftime to support the band this time around and were happy to see the show.
Adding to the pride for the evening was the fact that the girl’s victory was coach Brad Strand’s 400th victory as a head coach in his career.
The game started slowly, only a couple minutes into play it was 7-4 Otters, but then Anna Monke and Hanna Swenson hit a couple of shots down low and it started raining. That’s right, raining; Brianna Rasmusson three pointers that is, as she hit five treys in the next 10 minutes which catapulted the Otters into a 49-21 lead at halftime. Rasmusson’s 15 points along with Monke’s 11 gave the Otters the insurmountable lead as the team settled down to watch the band perform at halftime.
In the second half, it was defense and more defense, even though all bench members played significant minutes, as the Otters only gave up two made baskets from the floor and a total of eight second half points. Devonie Smith hit three shots from the floor in a three minutes span early into the second half and the Otters never looked back.
Rasmusson finished leading all scorers with 22 points, while Bailey Strand added 15 and Monke 14. Jenna Degen was the only Brainerd player in double figures with 12 points. As you would expect, the Otters led in all statistical categories, shooting 53 percent from the floor to the Warriors 31 percent and out-rebounding Brainerd 32-18, led by Monke’s eight boards and Swenson’s seven.
The Otters caused 25 turnovers while only committing 13. The Otters again had a good passing night, having 19 assisted baskets, with Strand and Rasmusson each getting six.
“What a great atmosphere in the Gold Gym tonight,” commented Otter coach Brad Strand. “The support for our team and for the band tonight was overwhelming, and we couldn’t agree more that the community pride in their school and these wonderful kids in all their activities is indeed awesome. I appreciated the recognition for 400 victories, but that means I’ve had a lot of great players and great assistant coaches along the way, and I’m so happy to be in this supportive community and sharing the coaching milestone with this outstanding group of girls.”
In JV play, the Otters expanded an eight point halftime lead into a 24 point victory, 57-33, with a pressing second half that caused numerous turnovers.
Claire Kotschevar came off the bench to drain two 3’s and two 2’s in the first half and added five more points in the second half to lead the Otters with 15 points. Rachel Johnson added 13 points for the Otters. Ashley Reinertson led the Otters with eight rebounds while Johnson grabbed seven.
The Otters continue to sustain their number one ranking and unbeaten season, now 12-0 overall and 8-0 in conference play. They head to top rival Alexandria Friday night at 7:30 p.m. for another CLC clash sure to be entertaining.
Fergus Falls 77 – B. Rasmusson 22, B. Strand 15, A. Monke 14, H. Swenson 8, K. Traiser 7, D. Smith 6, K. Sawtell 5.
Brainerd 29 – J. Degen 12, M. West 6, A. Clanton 4, M. Boeder 3, A. Huber 2, H. Fletcher 2.
Fergus Falls 49 28 — 77
Brainerd 21 8 — 29