Dakota Valley falls to Tanagers 67-35

Dakota Valley falls to Tanagers 67-35 by Jim Prosser The Vermillion girls' varsity Tanagers crushed Dakota Valley 67-35 in girls' basketball Jan. 25 at McCook Lake in the first round of the Dakota Valley Classic.

"Dakota Valley made seven of their first eight shots to jump out to a lead," said Vermillion Coach Jamie Parish. "At the four minute mark we were were down 15-6. After that initial fire, our kids settled into the game and started to play better. By the five minute mark of the second quarter, we had gotten things under control and led 19-26. From there we just continued to play as hard as we're able to finish up the game.

"Our kids were tired and wore out from the night before. After a physical win that had as much emotion as our Friday night game, it wasn't easy to get up and do it again the next day," the coach said. "Dakota Valley was also at the end of a tough stretch of games for their kids. Unfortunately for them the fatique started to set in during the third quarter."

The Tanagers trailed 17-13 at the end of the first period, led 35-23 at halftime, and then held a lead of 47-32 after the third quarter.

Vermillion improved its record to 7-5, while Dakota Valley dropped to 2-10.

Vermillion made 7 of 17 three-point attempts and hit 4 of 13 free throw tries. The Tanagers sank 28 of 54 field goals, while Dakota Valley was 15 of 42 from the field. Dakota Valley made 1 of 6 three-point attempts and connected on 4 of 9 free throw tries.

The Tanagers had some excellent individual efforts in the win.

"Ashley played well for us again scoring 20 points in limited minutes," coach Parish said. "She such a special player, scoring, rebounding and often times matching up on the other team's best player. I cannot begin to describe how much she means to our team. Due to the flow of the game and the back to back games, we tried to give all of our kids some extra time on the bench. Jackie Thomas continued her emergence as a great player this week. She ended the game with 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists. On the week, Jackie scored 51 points in three games going 11-18 from the three point line. We are very happy to see her take on more of the scoring and decision making responsibilities.

"Kat Redlin and Melissa Olson also played well for us in the post scoring 9 and 10 points respectively," coach Parish said. "Kat has really improved as a defensive player; she is playing extremely hard and getting after a lot of rebounds to give us some much needed help on the boards."

Individual stats, Vermillion: Scoring � Ashley Bjorkman, 20, Jackie Thomas, 12, Melissa Olson, 10, Kat Redlin, 9, Annie Carlson, 4, Annie Roche, 2, Michelle Olson, 2, Kayla Mollet, 2, Brittany Babb, 2, Kelsie Austin, 2, Alisha O'Connor, 2. Rebounds � Thomas, 7, Redlin, 9. Assists � Thomas, 6. Steals � Bjorkman, 2.

Individual Stats, Dakota Valley: Scoring � Ashley Farwell, 7, Katie Rasmussen, 5, Megan Kahl, 6, Melissa Dixon, 6, Heidi Rosenbaum, 4, Renae Keppen, 4, Leah Lehr, 2, Kaitlin Hooks, 1. Rebounds � Keppen, 4, Dixon, 4.

Team rebounds: Vermillion � 31, Dakota Valley � 22. Team fouls: Vermillion � 11, Dakota Valley � 14.

HEAD:Tanagers pull away to defeat Ladybirds

by Jim Prosser

The Vermillion girls' varsity Tanagers pulled away in the last stanza to down the Lennox Ladybirds 74-65 Jan. 24 at Vermillion.

Vermillion had led by only three heading into the final quarter.

Ashley Bjorkman scored 27 points, grabbed eight rebounds and made two steals. Jackie Thomas added 19 points, scoring 11 of them in the second quarter, and sank four 3-pointers. Annie Carlson contributed 14 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and pulled down six rebounds.

The Tanagers fell behind 19-12 after the first quarter, but advantages of 20-12 and 20-18 in the second and third quarters gave them a lead of 52-49 going into the final period.

Vermillion held onto the win from the free throw line, making 28 of 38 charity tosses to 16 of 23 for Lennox. The contest was well-played, with the Tanagers committing only eight turnovers and the Ladybirds committing only nine.

The Tanagers heated things up from three-point range, hitting 8 of 15 from long distance.

"Tonight was a great win for our team; it sure helped that we could face the Ladybirds at our place instead of theirs," said Vermillion coach Jamie Parish. "They jumped out to an early lead getting too many baskets in the paint. We had to go to our zone and make them shoot more jump shots so that we could handle them a little bit better. Our kids battled back in the first half to really get the crowd into the game."

Vermillion improved its season mark to 6-5, while Lennox fell to 4-8.

The Tanagers connected on 19 of 50 from the field, while Lennox was 23 of 57 from the field.

Vermillion held a 39-24 edge on the boards.

A number of excellent individual efforts highlighted the win.

"Jackie Thomas played a tremendous first half; she hit a pair of three point baskets at the end of the first and second periods to give us a lead and huge swing of momentum as we went into the locker room," coach Parish said. "The second half was as good a half of basketball that Ashley Bjorkman has played all year. She was extremely aggressive and matched the physical play of the Lennox girls by going hard to the basket. During a crucial stretch of the game our young kids made some big plays for us. Michelle Olson and Annie Roche hit back to back jump shots to give us a little more breathing more.

"Our team started to do a much better job of rebounding and we made free throws to seal the win. Annie Carlson was 10-11 from the line and hit some big free throws down the stretch to keep Lennox from getting back in the game," coach Parish said.

Individual Stats, Vermillion: Scoring � Ashley Bjorkman, 27, Jackie Thomas, 19, Annie Carlson, 14, Annie Roche, 5, Michelle Olson, 4, Allison Stewart, 4, Melissa Olson, 1. Rebounds � Bjorkman, 7, Redlin, 6. Assists � Bjorkman, 3, Roche, 3. Steals � Bjorkman, 2, Carlson, 2.

Individual Stats, Lennox: Scoring � Rachel Poppinga, 12, Katie Peters, 11, Lindsey Buthe, 11, Katie Letsche, 8, Katie Hendrickson, 7, Jill Peterson, 4, Emily Olson, 2, Jessica Berens, 1. Rebounds � Hendrickson, 6, Buthe, 4, Poppinga, 4. Assists � Letsche, 1. Steals � Buthe, 3.

Team fouls: Vermillion � 18, Lennox � 26.

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