Tanager girls’ basketball drop season opener

By Scott Bormann

It is always tough to lose the season opener, but it hurts even more when it is against a conference and regional foe. The Elk Point-Jefferson Huskies beat the Tanagers 50-40 on Tuesday night.

Elk Point-Jefferson got out to a fast start, and didn’t let up. Vermillion trailed by 8 points after one quarter, 12 at halftime, and 10 after the third quarter and at the end of the game.

“For our first game of the year, we did some nice things,” said Coach Jon Brooks. “It was the first time most of these girls have ever played a game together, so I expected us to be out of sync at times.”

The Tanagers were led by Jose Huber with 16 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Shantel French had seven points and three steals. Kyleigh Melstad had five points and five rebounds. Haleigh Melstad had four points and five rebounds. Rachel Finnegan had four points and six rebounds. Sydney Peters had a pair of points and rebounds. Tori Gregoire had one point, while Hailey Freidel had one point and two rebounds.

EPJ was led by Kelly Bertram with 18 points.

Vermillion moved the ball, giving them great shots, but went through a couple of tough scoring droughts. Turnovers and rebounds were the downfall against a very good team. “They have good senior leadership, and are big and deep on the bench,” said Brooks.

“I couldn’t be more happy with our girls’ effort, and am very optimistic about the season,” said Brooks. “As we get more games under our belt, we will continue to improve.”

The Tanagers next travel to Tyndall to take on Bon Homme on Friday, Dec. 13, then to Sioux Falls to take on SF Christian on Tuesday, Dec. 17, both at 7:45 p.m.

Score by Quarters:

Vermillion: 9, 13, 30, 40

EPJ:         17, 25, 40, 50

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