The Forest Lake girls took first of four teams at the Rogers girls’ basketball tournament over the weekend, winning over St. Francis, then claiming the title with a 60-40 win over Anoka.
On Thursday, The Rangers jumped on the Fighting Saints early on and kept up the pace with a 40-15 lead at half. Head coach Jen Wagner said the girls focused on playing their game.
“We played to our pace rather than to St. Francis’ pace,” Wagner said. “Our focus was being able to win the second half, too. Sometimes it’s hard to get kids to buy into coming out strong again to win that second half and we did that.”
Junior Bailey Norby led the offensive effort with 22 points, followed by junior Anna Eckert with 10, senior Angie Frericks with eight and senior Emily Peters with seven.
On Friday, the Rangers started the championship game strong again with a double-digit lead within the first 10 minutes of the game against Anoka, who defeated the Rangers during the tourney’s title game last season, 56-48.
With a 36-22 lead at half, Forest Lake continued to shut down Anoka’s guards with the defensive efforts of Peters, Eckert and sophomores Hanna Vidlund and Sarah Jaeb. Although Jaeb contributed just two points on offense, Wagner said she caused the Tornadoes to rethink driving the lane.
“Sarah brings such a different dimension to the game with her length, quickness, speed and tenacity to guard their best player,” Wagner said. “Anoka plays with that length and quickness too, so it helps to be able to match that quicker lineup.”
Norby again led the Rangers in scoring with 23 points, followed by Peters with 13, Eckert with 11, Frericks with six and Vidlund with five. Norby and Eckert also earned spots on the Rogers all-tournament team.
The Rangers next travel to Park for a 7:15 p.m. game on Friday, Jan. 4 against a tough Wolfpack team, which is tied with Woodbury for second in the Suburban East conference with a record of 3-1. Forest Lake is currently 2-2 in the SEC, and 9-2 overall.