Alexandria girls' basketball: Cardinals claim runner-up spotSection 8AA playoffs opened last night, Tuesday.
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
Alexandria officially claimed the runner-up spot in the Central Lakes Conference Thursday night with a 64-54 win over Rocori, finishing with a 13-3 mark.
Their record earned the Cardinals the top seed in the Section 8AAA playoffs, which began yesterday, Tuesday.
Alexandria’s win didn’t come easy, however.
“The Spartans were playing for a first round home game, and it showed,” said head coach Wendy Kohler. “It was a night where we seemed flat and tired after coming off such an emotional victory against a tough Detroit Lakes squad. We seemed a step slow on both ends of the court.”
The Cardinals’ sluggish start led to a halftime deficit of 27-24 that didn’t seem to improve much in the early going of the second half.
“The Cards showed why a team sport is so amazing as we called on our bench to provide a spark for the team at the eight-minute mark left in the game,” said Kohler, “and that spark erupted into a forest fire.”
Alexandria found its stride defensively from that point on, and that intensity flowed into the offense as the Cards scored 40 second-half points.
“[We] got the offense cranked up with good ball movement and attacking from several different angles,” Kohler said of the turnaround. “Sarah Bruzek stepped up and provided the physicality and energy we needed at the time to neutralize freshman Abby Templin for Rocori.”
Templin was the Spartans’ go-to player for most of the night, finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds for Rocori, which finished the CLC season with an 8-8 record.
“The Cardinals went on a huge run and took excellent care of the ball in the final four minutes,” Kohler said.
Amanda Christianson was one of three players in double figures for the Cards with 21 points. Kalli Bowser added 13 and Kendall Kohler 10.
ALEXANDRIA 64, ROCORI 54
ALEXANDRIA 24 40 — 64
ROCORI 27 27 — 54
ALEXANDRIA – Amanda Christianson 21, Kalli Bowser 13, Kendall Kohler 10, Jessica Syvrud 8, Karly Betterman 6, Emily Thul 4.
ROCORI – Abby Templin 20, Kim Ficker 10, Maggie Young 12, Heather Buerman 10, Kristen Mehr 2.