Round one goes to the Fergus Falls Otters
The first of two highly-anticipated battles between the Alexandria and Fergus Falls girls’ basketball teams went to the Otters in a 62-51 game last Friday night.
These two teams have battled for the Section 8AAA crown for the last three seasons and may be on a collision course to meet for a fourth time this year. Fans in Fergus Falls knew that as they packed their home gym on a night when the top-ranked Otters’ big three of Bailey Strand (19 points), Brianna Rasmusson (13 points) and Anna Monke (12 points) helped their team stay unbeaten at 12-0 and 7-0 in the Central Lakes Conference.
“The coaching staff was pleased with our performance, even though we had some breakdowns on both ends of the floor and fell victim to some tough calls throughout the game,” Alexandria head coach Wendy Kohler said. “We will utilize this game to make us better, analyze and assess what went well and what we need to improve on and take the practice floor this week to make adjustments.”
The Cardinals held an early 5-2 lead before the Otters went on a 10-0 run. They extended that to a 30-20 lead by the break. Alexandria was able to cut into that and made it a seven-point game at one point in the second half, but the Otters were able to close things out at the free-throw line down the stretch. Fergus Falls used the free-throw line to their advantage as the Otters got there 33 times, making 23 of those.
Alexandria shot 40 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free-throw line. Amanda Christianson and Brooke Heggie led the charge with 14 points apiece. Karly Betterman finished with eight points, while Sarah Bruzek and Macy Hatlestad each added four.
The loss was the first in Central Lakes Conference play for Alexandria. The Cardinals fell to 8-3 overall and 6-1 in the CLC. They will get another shot at Fergus Falls during the final week of the regular season when the Otters come to Alexandria on February 24.
The Cardinals have two more league games this week. They will be at Sartell tomorrow, Thursday, before welcoming in Sauk Centre on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Mainstreeters are 9-0 and were ranked fourth in the January 8 Class AA polls.
GAME STATISTICS FERGUS FALLS 30 32 – 62
ALEXANDRIA 20 31 – 51
ALEXANDRIA – Christianson – 14 points; Heggie – 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks; Betterman – 8 points, 2 steals; Bruzek – 4 points, 2 steals; Hatlestad – 4 points, 4 assists, 3 steals; Kendall Kohler – 3 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals; Cheyenne Hendrickson – 3 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block