By Scott Bormann
The Vermillion girls’ basketball team finally got to play a game at home on Dec. 20. Unfortunately, they were invaded by the two-time defending state champs from across the river.
The Warriors from Crofton, NE beat the Tanagers 83-37. Crofton (4-1) was able to dominate Vermillion (2-2) all night long.
“Obviously, they are a very good team,” said Coach Jon Brooks. “We knew that coming in, and were going to have to play hard the whole game, which our girls did.”
Crofton has the killer instinct of a champion. They kept pushing the pace, even when the game was out of reach. Crofton’s top scorers were: Quinn Wragge with 22 points, Allison Arens with 18 and Kelsey Sanger with 17.
Haleigh Melstad lead the Tanagers with 16 points. Kyleigh Melstad added 9 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist. Josie Huber had 8 points, 1 rebound and 2 steals. Rachel Finnegan had 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal. Tori Gregoire added 2 points and 1 steal. Shantel French had 1 assist and 1 steal. Jaida Anderson and Hailey Freidel each had 1 rebound. Sydney Peters and Maddie Regnerus each had 1 steal.
“They have great size and athleticism,” said Brooks. “We had to play zone against them because we couldn’t match up to their size, but it’s hard when they have such great shooters that can stretch your defense.”
Regardless of the Warriors’ swarming defense and fast, physical play, the Tanagers kept fighting until the final buzzer. The team kept fighting hard, mixing things up and attacking all night long.
“Overall, I am really proud of our girls for battling the whole game and playing together,” said Brooks. “I told them even though it doesn’t feel like it now, this game will make us better down the road.”
The Tanagers have a nice, long break before their next game. The Tea Area Titans (1-3 as of Dec. 20) will come to Vermillion on Jan. 3 for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off.
Crofton 24 47 64 83
Vermillion 8 17 32 37