Bjorkman sparks Tanager win

Bjorkman sparks Tanager win by Jim Prosser The Vermillion Tanagers defeated the Dakota Valley Panthers 54-41 in girls' varsity basketball Oct. 8 at home as the winners led after each quarter.

Ashley Bjorkman scored 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

"Ashley really stepped it up offensively and took advantage of her size inside," said Vermillion varsity coach Lance Luitjens.

The Tanagers took the lead 17-10 after the first quarter, and margins of 13-10 and 14-7 in the second and third quarters boosted the lead to 44-27 going into the final period.

"The key to this game was our mindset from the start," said coach Luitjens. "We played with so much more enthusiasm and intensity. We started with a spark and ignited a fire."

The Vermillion varsity improved its season mark to 9-4, while Dakota Valley fell to 9-4.

The Vermillion varsity connected on 3 of 10 three-point attempts and hit 9 of 16 free throw attempts. The Tanagers hit 21 of 45 field goals, while Dakota Valley was 18 of 45 from the field. Dakota Valley sank 2 of 8 three-point tries and connected on 3 of 9 free throw tries.

The Tanagers had several fine individual efforts in the victory.

"Meggie Donnelly played a much better game,"coach Luitjens said. "Our bench showed up big time in the absence of Carey Engstrom. Quality minutes were given by Kayla Mollet and Annie Carlson. I thought those two really sparked us."

Individual Stats, Vermillion varsity: Scoring � Ashley Bjorkman, 26, Meggie Donnelly, 10, Tessa Tuetken, 8, Abby Moore, 4, Brittany Gilkyson, 2, Jackie Thomas, 2, Kayla Mollet, 2. Rebounds � Bjorkman, 7, Annie Carlson, 6. Assists � Tuetken, 3, Stewart, 3. Steals � Mollet, 3.

Individual Stats, Dakota Valley: Scoring � Katie Rouse, 14, Jenny Stevenson, 10, Jennifer Kohler, 6, Krystal Pappas, 4, Jessica Meyer, 3, Barbie Fuya, 2, Rachel McCabe, 2. Rebounds � Meyer, 5. Assists � McCabe, 3. Steals � Rouse, 2.

Team rebounds: Vermillion varsity � 19, Dakota Valley � 20. Team fouls: Vermillion varsity � 18, Dakota Valley � 18.

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