Teamwork leads to victory in first round

Teamwork leads to victory in first round by Jim Prosser Performing well together as a team, the Vermillion Tanagers overpowered the Dakota Valley Panthers 69-43 in girls' basketball Oct. 30 at Alcester in the first round of the District 8A Girls' Basketball Tournament.

Ashley Bjorkman scored 19 points and Tessa Tuetken contributed 15 points.

"Ashley and Tessa really started us off on the right foot hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 16 of our 20 first period points," said Vermillion varsity coach Lance Luitjens.

The Tanagers led 20-14 after the opening period, led 30-20 at halftime, and then led 45-26 going into the final period.

The Tanagers committed only 6 turnovers in the victory.

The Tanagers heated things up from three-point range, hitting 6 of 12 from long distance.

"It is so nice to see a team execute a game plan and dominate a very athletic and talented basketball team," said coach Luitjens. "These girls know it's now or never time."

The Vermillion varsity improved its season mark to 14-5.

The Vermillion varsity made 21 of 31 free throw tries. The Tanagers sank 21 of 44 field goals, while Dakota Valley was 19 of 51 from the field. The Panthers hit 4 of 7 from the line.

The Vermillion varsity held a 35-23 edge on the boards.

The Tanagers had several fine individual efforts in the victory.

"Abby Moore really showed up ready to play," coach Luitjens said. "We are a much better team with her overall contributions, especially on the defensive end of the floor."

Individual Stats, Vermillion varsity: Scoring � Ashley Bjorkman, 19, Tessa Tuetken, 15, Abby Moore, 10, Annie Carlson, 9, Carey Engstrom, 5, Melissa Olson, 4, Meggie Donnelly, 3, Jackie Thomas, 2, Brittany Gilkyson, 1, Allison Stewart, 1. Rebounds � Engstrom, 9, Moore, 8. Assists � Tuetken, 4. Steals � Thomas, 2, Donnelly, 2.

Individual Stats, Dakota Valley: Scoring � Krystal Pappas, 11, Rachel McCabe, 8, Jennifer Kahler, 8, Jenny Stevenson, 6, Jessica Meyer, 4, Barbie Fuxa, 4, Katie Rouse, 2. Rebounds � Stevenson, 6, Pappas, 5. Assists � Rouse, 2.

Team fouls: Vermillion varsity � 10, Dakota Valley � 23.

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