•  Lakers to face KMS, Thursday after beating Litchfield in opener, 71-38

One down and three to go!

The Minnewaska Area Lakers girls basketball team opened up its postseason run with a 71-38 victory over Litchfield, Saturday night at home.

The Lakers never were threatened during the game and earned their 19th win of the season in the process.

Sydney Dahl had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead the Lakers, while Alia Randt added 13 points and Avery Fier had 10.

“Our team came to practice this week and worked hard to prepare for this game and I was very happy with our performance,” head coach Sidney Barker said.  “We played such great team ball; the ball movement between the players was awesome to watch.  Offensively and defensively, they played relentless basketball.  I’m very proud of them.”

Minnewaska Area, which was seeded second in its half of Section 3AA, was set to play again at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 29 against third-seeded KMS at Montevideo.

With a win, the Lakers would advance to the sub-section finals, set for Tuesday, March 5 at Willmar against most-likely top-seeded NLS.  The Section 3AA championship game is set for Friday, March 8 at SMSU in Marshall.

Albany 69, Waska 43

Minnewaska also played at Albany last Tuesday, losing 69-43.  The Huskies outscored the Lakers 34-16 in the second half on the way to the 69-43 victory.  

Minnewaska was outrebounded by a 46-30 margin and the Huskies also shot 43 percent compared to 33 percent for the Lakers.

Two players had over 20 points for Albany.  Tatum Findley had a team-high 22 points, while Kylan Gerads added 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Minnewaska Area, which trailed 35-27 at halftime, was led by Megan Thorfinnson, who had 16 points, connecting on 5-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line.

Sydney Dahl added nine points, five rebounds and two blocked shots, while Avery Fier had six points and three assists and Jayda Kolstoe also had six points.

Also scoring for the Lakers were Addy Kath with three points and nine rebounds, Carly Jergenson with two points and Olivia Danielson with one point and three boards, while Alia Randt pulled down three boards and Lauryn Ankeny had three rebounds and two assists.

The only negative for Albany was going 3-of-16 from three-point range.  The Huskies, who forced the Lakers into 15 turnovers, made up for that by going 25-for-49 on two-point field goals.

Waska 71, Litchfield 38 

The Lakers led 33-18 at halftime and then outscored the Dragons 38-20 in the second half to win the Section 3AA opener, Saturday night at home, 71-38.

The Lakers led early 7-0 and 10-3, getting early 3-pointers by Alia Randt and Olivia Danielson.  When the Dragons cut the deficit to 10-6, Jayda Kolstoe hit a 3-pointer and Megan Thorfinnson dished off a nice pass to Randt for an easy basket to get the Laker lead back up to 16-7.

Five-straight points by Avery Fier pushed the Laker lead to 23-8 and, after Litchfield cut the lead to 25-14, the Lakers answered with eight-straight points, including two on a steal and layup by Thorfinnson and four points by Sydney Dahl, to build the lead up to 19 points at 33-14.

Litchfield scored the final four points of the first half to go into halftime trailing 33-18, but the Lakers continued their strong play in the second half and were never threatened the rest of the way, eventually settling for a 33-point victory.

One of the keys to the win were 10 three-pointers by the team, including at least one by six different players.

“I get to see my players shoot baskets on a daily basis, so I have all the confidence in the world in them when they take their shots,” coach Barker said.  “Most of the players get to practice early or stay late after practice just to get more shots up. It’s awesome to see that dedication and work ethic, so all us coaches were glad to see those shots drop last night.”

Overall, the Lakers shot 41 percent from the field (25-for-61), and the only possible negative for the game was at the line where the Lakers were 11-of-22, including five misses in a row midway through the first half.

Dahl led the Lakers with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Randt had 13 points, two assists and two steals, and Fier added 10 points, four boards and two steals.

Ten different players hit the scoring column as Addy Kath filled up the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, three assists and five steals, Jayda Kolstoe had eight points, three boards and three assists, Olivia Danielson had seven points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Lauryn Ankeny totaled five points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Also scoring for the Lakers were Kendall Danielson with three points, Megan Thorfinnson with two points, two assists and three steals, and Carly Jergenson with one point.

“It was a great team effort,” coach Barker said.  “Moving the ball together offensively, having each other’s backs defensively is so important in every game.  If we keep playing together as we did against Litchfield, great things will happen!”

at Albany 69, Waska 43

Waska (18-8) 27 16 — 43

Albany 35 34 — 69

WASKA stats:  16-49 FG (3-8 3pt); 8-14 FT; 30 rebounds; 9 assists; 4 steals; 3 blocks; 15 turnovers; 10 fouls . . . Scoring:  Megan Thorfinnson 16, Sydney Dahl 9, Jayda Kolstoe 6, Avery Fier 6, Addy Kath 3, Carly Jergenson 2, Olivia Danielson 1. . . Rebounding:  Kath 9, Dahl 5, Danielson 3, Lauryn Ankeny 3, Alia Randt 3, Haillie Schulz 2 . . . Assists:  Fier 3, Ankeny 2 . . . Steals:  four with one each . . . Blocks:  Dahl 2

ALBANY stats:   Scoring:  Tatum Findley 22, Kylan Gerads 21. . . Rebounding:  Alyssa Sand 13, Gerads 13 . . . Other stats not available


at  Waska 71, Litchfield 38

Litchfield 18 20 — 38

Waska (19-8) 33 38 — 71

WASKA stats:  25-61 FG (10-27 3pt); 11-22 FT; 34 rebounds; 19 assists; 18 steals; 2 blocks; 9 turnovers; 8 fouls . . . Scoring:  Sydney Dahl 14, Alia Randt 13, Avery Fier 10, Addy Kath 8, Jayda Kolstoe 8, Olivia Danielson 7, Lauryn Ankeny 5, Kendall Danielson 3, Megan Thorfinnson 2, Carly Jergenson 1 . . . Rebounding:  Dahl 7, Kath 6, Ankeny 5, Fier 4, O. Danielson 3, Kolstoe 3 . . . Assists:  O. Danielson 4, Ankeny 4, Kath 3, Kolstoe 3, Thorfinnson 2, Randt 2 . . . Steals:  Kath 5, Thorfinnson 3, Ankeny 3, Fier 2, Randt 2, O. Danielson 2

LITCH stats:   Scoring:  Shelby Dengerud 9, Isla Dille 6, Morgan Falling 6 . . . Rebounding:  Falling 7 . . . Other stats not available

Check out more photos in our photo gallery!