Vermillion's girls blew past Dakota Valley in a 16-4 first quarter and played everybody in uniform in a 65-24 win over the Panthers at the VHS gym Tuesday, halting the Tanagers' four-game losing skid.
Seven of 15 in field-goal shooting and one turnover that could be classified as a good first quarter. That's what the Tanagers had Tuesday night. By halftime it was 40-15 as the Panthers, who are now 1-15 on the year, were no match for Vermillion.
Coach Nick Mayer said later he and his staff have been emphasizing that players should do a better job of finding open teammates and making an extra pass and concurred that his team did that against Dakota Valley.
With so many games piling up due to earlier postponements, it was a welcome relief to be able to rest starters early in the game. Players coming in off the bench kept the tsunami rolling over the Panthers. It was 55-22 after three quarters.
The win was important so far as the district tournament, only two weeks away, is concerned. Vermillion is currently No. 2 seed in District 8A and as such would get to host its first tournament game.
Lexi Regnerus led VHS in scoring with 14 first-half points. Kelly Amundson had 10, Claire Jones and Beth Szymonski eight each, Morgan Erickson seven, Blair Gilkyson seven, Val Robinson five, Bailey Carlson two, Josie Huber two and Mackenzie Huber two. The Tanagers shot 51 percent from the field and outboarded the Panthers 33-18. No Dakota Valley player scored more than four points.
Last Friday a smooth Sergeant Bluff-Luton, bringing in a 12-1 record and a No. 6 ranking in its class of Iowa basketball, erased a 10-6 Vermillion with a 14-2 explosion that began in the first period and extended well into the second quarter. From that point on SB-L cruised comfortably to a 46-29 win over the Tanagers.
Trailing 22-15 at halftime, Vermillion saw SB-L miss its first six shots of the second half, but facing tough half-court defensive pressure, the Tanagers couldn't do anything about the visitors' brief cold spell. Suddenly they caught fire again and made seven straight field-goal attempts to roar out to a 40-22 lead after three periods.
Vermillion shot a cool 29 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers compared to SB-L's five. Betsy Thomas scored 15 points and had seven rebounds to lead Sergeant Bluff-Luton. For the Tanagers Kelly Amundson had 12 points, Val Robinson 10, Lexi Regnerus seven, Claire Jones three and Morgan Erickson two.
Vermillion's girls join the boys for a doubleheader at Harrisburg tonight (Friday), do the same at Beresford Monday, then play at home in a twinbill against Wagner Tuesday to end the regular season.