Girls split, now 6-6 on basketball court

Rangers defeat Cretin-Derham Hall

A road win and a home loss last week put the Forest Lake girls’ basketball team at 6-6 on the season.

The Rangers picked up their first Suburban East Conference win by a score of 59-51 at Cretin-Derham Hall last Tuesday. Playing against one of their AAU teammates, sophomores Bailey Norby and Anna Eckert led the way with 24 and 12 points, respectively.

The output was a career best for Eckert. The versatile player is a defensive stalwart who uses her length atop presses and zones, and she also has displayed athleticism going the other way on fast breaks.

“She brings a dimension to our team we don’t get with many other players,” said coach Jen Wagner.

The Rangers led 35-22 at halftime and maintained the lead while absorbing a couple Raider runs down the stretch.

Junior KP Palo also hit double-digits with 10 points.

Forest Lake returned home on Friday and lost to Park, 51-42. Wagner felt most of the team’s mistakes were self-inflicted. The Rangers went just 12-23 from the free throw line and committed 25 turnovers.

“They were quicker and more athletic than us, but I don’t necessarily think they beat us,” Wagner said. “We beat ourselves…The good thing is they are fixable mistakes.”

The upstart Wolfpack is now 10-3 overall and 5-0 in the SEC. Park went 3-24 just two seasons ago, and improved to 15-13 last winter.

Underclassmen guards Larissa Lurken and Sydney Lamberty have keyed the turnaround, and they combined for 30 points on Friday.

“Every team kind of takes their lumps, and they were taking theirs a couple of years ago,” Wagner said. “They’ve done a nice job.”

Norby led the Rangers with 19 points. Sam Anderson and Emily Peters had seven apiece.

This week is full of road trips for Forest Lake. The team played at East Ridge on Tuesday, goes to Woodbury on Friday and travels to Duluth East on Saturday.