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O'G defense too much for Lady Lynx
By Staff reports

December 23. 2013 1:21PM
A suffocating defense paved the way for O’Gorman on Tuesday night at the Brandon Valley gymnasium as the Knights held the Lynx to just one first-quarter point on the way to a convincing 66-30 victory in the season opener for both teams.

“They are a very good team and we struggled with their length and athleticism,” said Lynx head coach Mark Stadem.

Junior Dalee Stene led the way for the third-ranked Knights with 22 points, eight steals and three assists, while Peyton Bjorkman added 16 points. The Knights outrebounded Brandon Valley 23-15 and also forced 18 Lynx turnovers.

“That’s definitely where it starts for us,” O’Gorman coach Kent Kolsrud said. “We’re a team that likes to get up and down the floor, but it all starts on the defensive end. We got after them for sure, and we did a good job of getting hands in the face and getting hands in passing lanes.”

Stadem agrees.

“We have spent much time working against a zone in practice and it showed up,” he said. “We also need to get better with our transition defense. We gave up far too many lay-ups.”

O’Gorman built the lead to as many as 24 in the second quarter before the Lynx finally made their first field goal with under a minute to play in the second quarter. Brandon Valley’s Kasara Pollema hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the half to make it somewhat respectable at 33-11. O’Gorman hit two free throws with less than a second to play to make it 35-11 at the half.

In Brandon Valley’s defense, they weren’t even really capable of getting a shot off, let alone scoring in the early going. The O’Gorman defense was swarming and the Lady Lynx was forced several times to try a desperation shot as the shot clock wound down.

“We just can’t replicate a defense like that in practice,” Stadem said. “They’re very good in that respect. I knew that they’d bring some kind of pressure, and I think it shocked our girls a bit at the beginning by how aggressive they were on defense.”

The Knights built the lead to 32 just before the end of the third quarter when Bjorkman scored to make it 50-18 with 31 seconds remaining. Kara Schroeder hit a 3-pointer for Brandon Valley at the buzzer to cut it to 50-21, but O’Gorman kept pouring it on to start the fourth quarter, scoring two quick buckets for a 54-21 lead.

It seemed almost fitting that Brandon Valley missed a wide-open layup with five seconds remaining. The Lynx gave up 16 fourth-quarter points, many of those easy transition baskets for O’Gorman.

“I don’t care what the score is, you always need to keep playing hard,” Stadem said. “That’s something that can’t happen here. We always need to be playing hard, and I don’t think we did through some stretches in the fourth quarter.”

Brandon Valley 1 11 21 30
O’Gorman 10 33 50 66

Brandon Valley: Lexi Hoover 1 1-2 3, Kara Schroeder 1 0-0 3, Taylor Thorson 1 0-0 2, Becca Long 0 0-0 0, Carley Kueter 1 4-7 5, Minniya Wilson 1 2-3 5, Brooklyn Smith 0 0-0 0, Sydnie Buchheim 0 0-0 0, Hannah Paauw 0 3-4 3, Lilli Jasper 2 0-0 4, Kasara Pollema 1 1-2 4. Totals 8 11-18 30.

Stats: 3-point goals – OG 1 (Bjorkman 1), BV 3 (Pollema, Schroeder, Wilson 1). Rebounds – OG 23 (Messler 9), BV 15 (Buchheim 4). Assists – OG 14 (Lamberty 5), BV 2. Turnovers – OG 11, BV 18. Total fouls – OG 18, BV 18.

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