FF girls undefeated at 26-0: Otters mash Spuds 91-55, ready for playoffsPublished 10:48am Monday, February 25, 2013
The Fergus Falls girls basketball team achieved what most teams can only dream about, an undefeated regular season, and will go down in the history books as the only girls basketball team from Fergus Falls to achieve that distinction.
They defeated Moorhead 91-55 in Moorhead Saturday night, scoring 91 points despite a running clock for the last six minutes of the game. We believe the 91 points is also a record for the highest point total of a Fergus Falls girls basketball team in history. Also, our local basketball historians have informed us that, including the girls basketball team’s victory in the last game of the state tournament last year, they now have 27 straight wins which eclipses the record of the 1957 boys team and becomes the new record for all Fergus Falls basketball teams.
The girls were allowed to celebrate with a stop at the Tutti Frutti ice cream shop on the way home and then it will be back to business Monday to practice for their first game of the Section 8AAA tournament.
That game will be against East Grand Forks Tuesday at the Kennedy Secondary School Gold Gymnasium, with a 7 p.m. tip-off. As they were finishing their ice cream, the girls were already talking about 26-0 is nice, but they are back to 0-0 now for the sections as you have to win or you’re done, and they don’t want to be done.
Moorhead came out with energy at the start of the game and was hitting their shots early, jumping out to a 7-0 lead before the Otters got on the board. By the 12 minute mark of the first half, the Otters had worked their way back to a 15-15 tie. Moorhead kept up their high percentage of shooting and the score see-sawed back and forth until the eight minute mark when it was tied 23-23.
Then Devonie Smith hit a three-pointer for the Otters to pull ahead and Moorhead called a time-out. That didn’t work out too well for them, as during the time out the Otters talked about putting more pressure up court and on the perimeter and that defensive change effectively shut Moorhead down for the next four minutes. During that span Fergus Falls went on an 18-0 run to take the wind out of the Spuds’ sails.
It was 41-23 before Moorhead scored again, but now the Otter defense was wearing them down and the inside-outside offensive game of the Otters was kicking into high gear. Bailey Strand ended up scoring 14 points in the first half from all corners of the court, Brianna Rasmusson sliced to the basket several times to score 11 first half points, and the Otters got the ball inside to Hanna Swenson for 13 big first half points.
The result was a 48-33 lead by the Otters when the first half horn sounded and Moorhead left the floor questioning what hit them. The hundreds of Otter fans at the game could have answered that question for them, it was the No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A basketball that hit them.
The Otters kept up the defensive pressure in the second half, holding Moorhead to only seven made baskets from the floor the entire period. Meanwhile Strand and Rasmusson tallied another 21 points between them and the Otter margin ballooned to the 36 point victory spread.
Strand finished the night with 27 points to lead all scorers, getting points on drives, pull-ups, three-pointers and at the foul line. Rasmusson added 19 points, and had a career high 13 assists in the game for her second straight point and assist double-double. Swenson also threw in 17 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for another one of her patented double-double games. Anna Monke got eight points and Kristin Traiser seven inside also to pad the Otter point total. The one bright spot for Moorhead was guard Hailey Wixo who dropped in five three-pointers on her way to 19 points.
Fergus Falls had a whopping 30 assisted baskets, a total that has to be near a team record if not the team record. The Otters pushed the ball up the court quickly and spotted open shooters who canned the shots, leading to a 56 percent shooting night from the floor. After a fast start, Moorhead ended up shooting only 35 percent from the floor . The Otters also out-rebounded the Spuds by a wide margin, 40-19, with eight different players grabbing multiple rebounds.
“Moorhead came out with a great deal of energy at the start of the game and they were making most of their shots,” commented Otter assistant coach Renae Rasmusson. “But we turned up the defensive pressure to slow them down significantly and that also helped us get our offense into high gear. Our 30 assist total indicates we were looking for our teammates well and we had great passes down low as well as on fast breaks for easy scores. When they would score in the second half, we would push the ball right back at them and score quickly which has a deflating effect on the other team.”
The Fergus Falls JV team finished their season on a high note with a physical and hard fought 40-37 victory over Moorhead. After a 5-4 start of the season, the Otters went 13-3 in their final 16 games to finish with an 18-7 season record. Brooklyn Seland led the way for the Otters with 12 points and Jileen Tenneson added nine. Seland and Rachel Johnson each hauled down nine rebounds to lead in that category.
FERGUS FALLS (91) – B. Strand 27, B. Rasmusson 19, H. Swenson 17, A, Monke 8, K. Traiser 7, D. Smith 5, K. Sawtell 4, S. Velde 2, R. Johnson 2.
MOORHEAD (55) – H. Wixo 19, K. Tonn 14, C. Rahman 6, K. Dahlquist 6, E. Uglem 4, K. Clark 3, H. Stephenson 2, S. Ginther 1.