Otters fight off late scare by DL 48-43Published 10:51am Monday, February 18, 2013
The Fergus Falls girls basketball team had a tough test at the Detroit Lakes High School gym Saturday night, as they held on to defeat the Lakers 48-43 after leading by 20 points at the 11:30 mark in the second half. The Otters had a good finish to the first half, breaking open a 16-15 game at the 3:50 point in the first when Devonie Smith hit a three-pointer, Brianna Rasmusson drove to the basket for a two and a free throw, then Smith drained another three-pointer for a nine point run, allowing the Otters to leave the court at halftime with a 27-19 lead. The Otters widened that lead in the early stages of the second half on a basket by Hanna Swenson and a three-pointer by Bailey Strand, and they eventually sprinted out to their 20 point lead. But the Lakers had a three-point play on a drive, then canned a trey and came back with another two-pointer to get back within 11 points at the seven minute mark. The Otters went cold from the field and D.L whittled down the lead to five points with just under a minute in the game. An Otter turnover led to another D.L three-pointer and it was a two point game with 30 seconds left. But Fergus Falls kept the ball in Bailey Strand’s hand and she made free throws in the waning seconds to give the Otters the five point win.
Strand finished the night leading all scorers with 19 points while Rasmusson added 11. Shay Nielson led the Lakers with 12 and Trisa Hutchinson had 10. Rebounds were exactly even with each team having 23, the Otters were led by their guards with Rasmusson having seven and Strand six. The Lakers turned the ball over 15 times while the Otters had only 10 turnovers. The defensive player of the game was Anna Monke for the Otters, as she had five steals, all from denying the D.L players the ball in the post and she also blocked three shots. The slight difference in the game likely was the Otters shooting 45 percent from the floor to the Lakers’ 34 percent. Much of that had to do with the Otters’ continuous defensive pressure throughout the game. The Otters right now have the lowest points allowed average in the state in 3A level basketball with their 41.3 average points allowed. Tonight’s game was another exhibit of keeping a good team down around that level.
“This game was another example of how defense can help carry you through a tough game,” commented Otter head coach Brad Strand. “Anna Monke had a great game in the post defense area with her steals and blocked shots and our two guards came back into the paint and rebounded well for us. We had a good end to the first half and a nice start to the second half, but to Detroit Lakes’ credit they made a nice comeback and forced us to dig it out at the end.”
Detroit Lakes won the JV game 52-48 despite the Otters making eight three-point shots. Those three-pointers were offset by the fact D.L shot 29 free throws while the Otters shot only five. Claire Kotschevar drained four treys to lead the Otters with 12 points, Brooklyn Seland added 10 and Amber Boese had nine.
Detroit Lakes also won the ninth grade game, scoring information was unavailable.
The Otters, now 23-0, survived a big road test, but have three more away games to go in the regular season before the section tournament. They travel to state-ranked Staples next Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game. The different starting time is due to a reschedule and the fact it will be part of a girl/boy doubleheader for Staples that night. Next Thursday the Otters finish their CLC schedule at Brainerd, then finish the regular season schedule at Moorhead next Saturday.
FERGUS FALLS (48) – B. Strand 19, B. Rasmusson 11, H. Swenson 6, D. Smith 6, A. Monke 3, K. Traiser 3.
DETROIT LAKES (43) – Nielson 12, Hutchinson 10, Kerzman 9, Foster 5, Austin 4, Jorgenson 2, Olson 1.