Although the team was unable to have a normal awards banquet due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Fergus Falls girls’ basketball team celebrated the 2019-20 season with its annual awards recently.
The Otters finished the season with a 25-5 record, a perfect 15-0 record in the Central Lakes Conference and were runner-up in Section 8AA.
“This was a fantastic group of girls to coach this season,” Otters head coach Brad Strand said. “They came to practice each and every day ready to work hard with super attitudes. We had great leadership on the court, in the classrooms, and around our community. We will miss our eight seniors a great deal next year. This team accomplished a great deal, including going undefeated in the CLC conference. This has not been done since the 2012-13 season. They earned the academic silver award by having a combined team GPA of 3.71! But one goal was not reached so they will be extremely driven in the offseason to earn a trip to the state tournament.”
Senior Sabrina Fronning was given the Ms. Defense award as she led the team with 93 steals. She would also be named to the Class AA All-State honorable mention, academic all-state, named to the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association All-Star game and Central Lakes All-Conference.
Senior Carlie Meis was named CLC All-Conference honorable mention, while also picked up team awards for Most Improved Player, Miss Hustle and Outstanding Team Member (Otter Culture). She also was a member of the academic all-state team.
Senior Gretchen Davis earned CLC honorable mention recognition.
Junior Paige Pearson was also an all-conference selection as she led the Otters with 158 rebounds, 5.3 per game.
Sophomore Ellie Colbeck, also received an all-conference nod, while also reaching the 1,000 career point mark this season. Colbeck would finish with the team’s best free throw percentage (80.5%), 3-point field goal percentage (48.8%) and most points (576), averaging 20.6 points per game.
Sophomore Tori Ratz was named CLC All-Conference and knocked down 87 3-pointers this season.
Letterwinners included seniors Fronning, Davis, Meis, McKenzy Braeger, Andreya Lockett, Gracee Albertson, Olivia Kaliher, Kaia Strom (manager), juniors Pearson, Logan Strom, Katie Strommen, Anna Anderson, Emily Nuss, Makayla Huus, Laci Strom (manager), sophomores Ratz, Colbeck, Hannah Polejewski and Ainsley Hansen.
Kenny Stensvaag was presented with a manager appreciation award.
“A few thank you's need to be acknowledged. Thanks to all of the area businesses that helped our team financially. Thanks to our parents for all of your efforts in the concession stand. Thank you to our school board, administration, music department, managers, bus drivers, Craig Olson Sports, Fergus Falls Journal, radio coverage, Eric Strom and our fans! The Fergus Falls community has the absolute best basketball fans! We can't wait to get back in the gym and see all of you again next season!
“I would also like to thank my assistant coaches Josh Steer, Kevin Pearson and Alyssa Huseby! This is a remarkable group of coaches and they understand the importance of how to serve, teach and coach. I am also very thankful for our middle school coaches; Matt Lemke, Andrew Gunther and Heather Schultz.”