KELLER'S BB BLOG
9th grade SEC Conference CHAMPS!!!
February 28, 2012By Jen Wagner of Forest Lake Girls Basketball
Coming into the SEC tournament as the #1 seed… the freshman were the target of all the teams they played throughout the regular season. They faced three difficult games all in one day but they approached it like any other challenge… one game at a time.
From the opening tap of the tournament it was clear things would not be easy. A tense battle into the second half – the Rangers got a huge spark from Tayler Erickson in the form of great defense, rebounds, and a nifty put back bucket. The other Erickson – Jessica – was offering a bevy of moves in the paint that forced the Royals defense on its heels. The Ranger press featuring Heather Lipp and Chase Shortly kept Woodbury at bay and the freshman escaped the first round with a hard fought 41-36 victory.
The first two meetings of the season were nothing like the 3rd. Oak-Land had long prepared for the 3rd and final rematch… their energy and defense was stifling in the first half and the Rangers trailed 15-13 at the half. Facing a shocking 2nd round upset – Katherine Watson put the offense on her back and the Rangers fought back. Jessie Copt had one of the most impressive shifts of the year in terms of all around effort and her effort was all the inspiration needed.. The Rangers outscored Oak-Land 22-11 in the second half and Alex Rivas (who continued her streak of impressive play) put the game on ice at the free throw line. When the clock struck zero in this defensive war – a 35-26 victory pushed the Rangers to where they expected to be from the beginning… the title game.
Vs. Stillwater (Title Game)
It was no surprise that Stillwater was waiting for the Rangers when only two teams remained. This would be the 5th matchup of the season between these teams (2-2 in the first four), but this time it was all on the line. The Ponies raced out of the gates early and had a 7-1 lead before the dust had even began to settle. Emma Abress and Cassie Schmidtke then began forcing the Ponies to take some undesirable shots with their stifling paint defense. It was then that the Rangers offense awakened in the form of an 11-0 run to give the Rangers the lead. However, the Ponies would not go away and they buried a three at the halftime buzzer to trail only 23-16. Sara Trojanowski jumped passing lanes and finished two breakaway layups early in the 2nd half. Andi Forbord swished multiple jumpers from the top of the key and the momentum swing in Forest Lake’s favor. Emilie Antony (playing on an injured knee) provided a team boosting effort late in the game and the Rangers outscored the Ponies by ten in the second half (26-16), on their way to a 49-32 victory.
A great Saturday for a special team… a true team effort. 2012 SEC Champions – Congratulations Rangers.