FL girls take fifth of eight at Hopkins

The Forest Lake girls basketball team went 2-1 at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Holiday Classic at Hopkins over the weekend, earning fifth place in the process.

Hopkins took first place over Minnetonka, while Anoka placed third ahead of Bloomington Kennedy.

The Rangers went up against main section rival, Anoka, in the first round Friday and fell 63-47 in what head coach Jen Wagner described as a flat and disappointing game against the team which knocked the Rangers out of the section final last year.

Forest Lake turned things around on Saturday to defeat Prior Lake, 63-49.

In the matchup against the Lakers, Forest Lake had a one-possession lead at the half.

To open the second half, junior Hanna Vidlund drove the length of the court for a right-handed layup to put her squad up 30-26. But Prior Lake answered with a 3-pointer to keep things close. In the next few possessions, seniors Anna Eckert and Miranda Rice would lead their team on both ends of the court to extend the Ranger lead to 38-29.

Forest Lake wouldn’t look back, defeating the Lakers by 14 to move on to the fifth-place game against Park.

In the final game against the Wolfpack, Forest Lake held the Suburban East Conference squad to just 16 points in each half on their way to a 50-32 victory.

“We knew Prior Lake would be tough and Park would give a good effort, but our kids really took over in both games,” Wagner said. “It was nice to see because Anoka was a tough loss and everyone was frustrated and angry, but they responded in an appropriate way on Friday and Saturday — show that we are a team that has a lot of experience and that experience took over.”

Senior Bailey Norby led with 15 points against Park, while Rice and Vidlund contributed 10 and nine, respectively. Norby also earned all-tournament team honors. So far this season, the forward has recorded 141 points in nine games.

Over the course of three games, Eckert tallied 27 rebounds and recorded a double-double against Prior Lake with 12 points and 12 boards.
Forest Lake is 6-3 overall and returns home to host Stillwater at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3  for Alumni Night.