Eighth-graders place second in tournament The Vermillion eighth-grade Tanagers place runner-up in the Midwest Basketball Tournament in the Dome on Dec. 6,7.
Vermillion's first opponent was Gayville-Volin and the Tanagers came out fired-up. They out-scored Gayville-Volin 38-6 with exceptional defense.
Stacy Bottolfson had 10 steals and both Brittany Bye and Rachel Odens had six rebounds. The offense was led by Alicia Brown with 24 points, Stacy Bottolfson and Alexa Walker with 6 points each, and Brittany Bye with 2 points. The team was sparked on by good defense and hustle by Sara Bye and Margaret Mueller.
The next two games would turn out to be nail biters. The Tanagers' first opponent to get into the championship game was a very tough and talented Avon Pirates. This game ended up going into overtime to help the Tanagers seal a 22-21 victory.
The championship game was played against a tall and fast breaking Sioux City East Raiders. The Tanagers came out with aggressive defense to take away their fast break potential.
The Tanagers did an outstanding job of boxing out SC with rebounds of seven for Brown, five for Brittany Bye, four for Odens, three for Walker and Sara Bye, and one for Mueller.
The Tanagers were 10 points behind with approximately 6 minutes left in the game. The girls kept battling back with aggressive defense and a never give up attitude. The excitement was sparked by a 3-pointer by Brown and a steady stream of buckets by the Tanagers only to fall short of a victory by 1 point.
The final score was 27-28. The offense was led by Brown with 14 points, Odens with 7, Walker with 4 and Bottolfson and Mueller with 1 point each.
This team had to battle through many diverse situations, from sprained ankles and elbows, to near concussions and eye injuries. They kept hanging in there and never gave up.
The girls thank their coach Matt Brandhagen for keeping them focused and having fun. The girls also thank their sponsor Mick Odens at Innovative Financial Systems.