Ranger basketball girls suffered their first loss of the season in a 58-56 heartbreaker to Mounds View last Tuesday, before coming back home on Friday to win 48-38 over White Bear Lake for the first time in head coach Jen Wagner’s tenure.
Despite giving away a three-point lead at half, Wagner said the loss to the Mustangs was a good learning experience for her team.
“It was a great game, they were a great team,” Wagner said. “We made a couple mistakes with missed rebounds, passes, and shots but I’m still pleased with how we played. A loss like this can be good early in the season. The girls learned a good lesson and that translated into a win on Friday.”
The 48-38 win over the Bears was a defensive and rebounding battle between the conference rivals that resulted in foul trouble for both squads.
Forest Lake struggled to control the boards early, and despite having good position under the basket, couldn’t get to the ball quick enough. The host team gave up 19 offensive rebounds, but made up for it with a tough defensive effort that caused the Bears to attempt 29 long-range shots.
Senior Bailey Norby led the scoring effort with 21 points, 10 being the first points of the game. Junior Emily Peters followed with 14, and was a solid presence at guard.
“That was maybe the best that Emily has played,” Wagner said. “She really took control and played within herself. She distributed the ball well and handled pressure.”
White Bear Lake came off a 23-7 season and a No. 7 (Class AAAA) ranking last year, but has struggled to clinch a win yet this season with an 0-7 record.
The Rangers traveled to Roseville on Tuesday, and come home Friday to host Cretin-Derham Hall at 7:15 p.m. Forest Lake is off until next Friday, Dec. 27 and 28 for the Rogers Tournament.