Lady Tanagers lose season opener

Lady Tanagers lose season opener by Jim Prosser The Vermillion Lady Tanagers were downed by the Sioux Falls Roosevelt Rough Riders 77-31 in girls basketball Aug. 24 at Sioux Falls after falling to a first-half blitz.

The Tanagers had trailed by 18 with 3:15 left in the first period.

This was the season-opening game for the Lady Tanagers. The loss gave the VHS girls basketball varsity team a record of 0-1 while Roosevelt moved to 1-0.

Vermillion Coach Lance Luitjens said if there was anything positive to take from the game it was that the Tanagers worked as hard as they could.

�They gave me 110 percent,� he said. �No matter what the score was they never gave up. That�s what we�re going to take to build on.�

In the first half, Sioux Falls Roosevelt�s pressing defense forced six Vermillion turnovers in the first five minutes, allowing the Rough Riders to score the first 18 points as the team cruised to a victory. It was the 39th straight victory for the two-time defending State AA champions. Four of the first seven shots made by Roosevelt were three-pointers. The team connected on 10 three-pointers the entire game. Krista Orsack opened the game with a three-pointer. She then closed the 18-0 run with two free throws.

The Tanagers trailed 22-2 at the end of the first period, trailed 34-8 after the second quarter, and then trailed 52-14 after the third period.

The VHS girls varsity team connected on 0 of 5 three-point tries and hit 9 of 20 from the line. The Tanagers sank 11 of 32 from the field. The Rough Riders made 7 of 10 free throw tries.

Despite the score, the Tanagers had some good individual performances.

�We have to keep the game in perspective because we�ll never see a team that good for the rest of the year,� Coach Luitjens said. �They�re a phenomenal basketball team.�

Individual Stats, VHS Girls Varsity: Scoring � Sarah Mollet, 6, Melissa Rydell, 5, Allison Obr, Leslie Larson, Tessa Tuetken, 4 each, Jacklyn Powell, Meggie Donnelly, Nikki Mollet, Carrie Engstrom, 2 each. Rebounds � Leslie Larson, 7, Melissa Rydell, 5.

Individual Stats, Roosevelt: Scoring � Mandy Kappel, 16, Courtney Farrell, 9, Erin Case and Krista Orsack, 8 each, and A.J. Iverson, 7.

Team rebounds: VHS � 22, Roosevelt � 32. Team fouls: VHS �14, Roosevelt � 21.

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