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Girls basketball: Barrage of threes carries Chargers past Ashby

Brandon-Evansville senior Megan Kokett goes airborne to try and get a pass that was thrown over her head during the second half on Friday night against Ashby. Kokett had a team-high 24 points and hit six threes for the Chargers. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team had its best shooting performance of the season and one of the best in school history in a 72-61 win over Little Eight Conference rival Ashby on Friday night.

The Chargers hit 12 total threes in the game. Head coach Dick Simpson said he believes that is a school record on a night when Brandon-Evansville also went 20-of-26 from the free throw line. Making it even more noteworthy is it came just one game after the Chargers shot 28 percent in a 68-51 loss to New York Mills this past Tuesday night.

“If you can figure that out, you let me know,” Simpson said with a laugh after his team moved to 7-5 overall and 5-1 in the LEC on Friday.

Senior guard Megan Kokett was the catalyst for a Chargers team that had four players finish in double figures. Kokett had half of her team’s threes, hitting six of them on her way to a team-high 24 points.

“It felt perfect,” she said of the rhythm she got in. “I didn’t even look sometimes. I just felt it. It’s fun, especially my senior year.”

She wasn’t alone. Sophomore Elizabeth Vinson hit three triples and finished with 18 points. Freshman Carrigan Okerlund had 14 points behind three triples and post Emma Friedrich had 11 points behind a 7-for-10 night from the free throw line. The Chargers needed that kind of depth after Ashby’s junior guard Cassandra Jordan had a game-high 26 points and sophomore center Kerstyn Schroeder had 15.

“Shooting covers up a multitude of sins,” Simpson said. “We had four in double figures and then when we could get the ball to Emma, she’s pretty strong and quick in the post. We had a few fouls on them down low and that helped us out a little bit because [Ashby] made shots too.”

This current group of guards for Brandon-Evansville isn’t afraid to get shots up. Ashby came out in a zone in the first half and it didn’t matter if it was Vinson, Kokett or Okerlund. They all shot the ball with confidence on the first open look they got.

“This is about the first group that I’ve ever had that if they miss it doesn’t bother them,” Simpson said. “And that’s fine. For years somebody will miss one or two and they’re done. These girls, they’re not bashful about putting them up…They want to score. That’s what I like about a bunch of these kids.”

It was a nice win for Brandon-Evansville as it helps the Chargers keep pace with Parkers Prairie and Battle Lake as the teams with just one loss in conference play. Ashby is just 2-10 on the season and 1-5 in the LEC, but the Chargers always get a good game from their conference rivals.

“It feels good,” Kokett said. “We always fight to the end. They’re great girls to play against so it feels good.”

The Chargers now hope their torrid shooting carries over into another game on Saturday. They are scheduled to be at the University of Minnesota-Morris for a 2:30 p.m. game against an Ortonville team that was 8-5 coming into a game with Morris Area tonight.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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