Rasmusson breaks assist record, FF tops TRFPublished 11:18am Monday, February 11, 2013
The Fergus Falls girls basketball team traveled to Thief River Falls in an afternoon matinee that featured the undefeated No. 1 ranked Otters against the No. 9 ranked Prowlers, matching the Otters’ 19-0 record against the Prowlers’ 20-1 record and slugging it out for the top seed in the Section 8AAA North.
Thief River Falls was looking for some home court mojo to upset the Otters and their gym was full of fans in anticipation of the big game. The home fans were treated to some good basketball, but went away disappointed as the Otters used another strong defensive effort and some balanced scoring to control the game from the outset and win handily 55-41.
In a separate by-line, the Otters premier point guard Brianna Rasmusson now has dished 139 assists on the season, which has already broken the all-time girls’ basketball season record of 132, with 6 regular season games to go. Rasmusson’s total puts her right up there with the top assist leaders in the state.
Devonie Smith got the Otters off to a great start offensively with a couple of early three-pointers and Strand hit one also to get the Otters off to a quick 11-3 lead which they never relinquished. Thief River went on a small run and got within three points 23-20 at the 3:30 mark in the first half, but Rasmusson got a steal, made the lay-up and was fouled for a three-point play, then Hanna Swenson had a rebound put-back to get the Otters right back up to 28-20. The first half ended with the Otters ahead 29-22.
Strand had 11 first half points and Swenson had nine rebounds to control the game for the Otters. It was a physical game and the foul calls were coming often, with the Otters rotating players in and out to keep the players out of foul trouble.
In the first five minutes of the second half, the Otters out-scored the Prowlers 16-5. The Otter points came from several players, keeping the Prowlers from doubling anyone and allowing the Otters to control the offensive end. Mid-way through the second half, Fergus Falls changed to a zone defense to slow down the Prowler offense and keep out of more foul trouble and offensively slowed things down also, making TRF come out after them, and the Otters were able to score off back-cuts and drives to the basket.
The Otters won the battle of the stat line also. Swenson led the way with another double-double, in this case with lucky 13’s, 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Otters out-rebounded TRF 30-21 and caused 20 Prowler turnovers while having only 13 themselves. The Otters made 16 free throws to TRF’s 14 and 5 three-pointers to only one made by the Prowlers. Those stats would predict a 14 point victory and that’s exactly what happened.
“We had a great start with Devonie and Bailey hitting early 3’s, then had to back off a little because of foul issues,” stated Otter coach Brad Strand. “We came out with great intensity in the second half and went up by 20, then changed the pace of the game offensively to keep control while using a zone defense to slow down their driving. This was a great road win in a tough environment, they had a big crowd all cheering for the Prowlers but we stayed very focused and handled the pressure well.
In JV play, the Otters prevailed in a game that was close throughout, defeating the Prowlers 54-45. Rachel Johnson had a monster game, with 21 points, hitting 12 out of 15 free throws to seal the win for the Otters. Ashley Reinertson also chipped in 10 points.
Thief River Falls won the 9th grade game 51-21. Jessica Wahlgren led the scoring for the Otters with 10 points.
The Otters are now 20-0 on the season. They return home for a Central Lakes Conference game against Sartell next Tuesday, 7:30 pm in the Gold Gym.