12/19/2013 12:55:00 PM Lady 'Cats remain unbeaten with three tough victories
by JEFF NORTON
Chisago Lakes 69, Spring Lake Park 46 In the old North Suburban Conference, the Spring Lake Park Panthers always gave even the best Chisago Lakes teams some troubles. This year, with the teams no longer conference rivals, Chisago Lakes took it to Spring Lake Park and laid a beat down on them. The tone was set early when the Wildcats opened the game with an effective full court press, forcing SLP to take a timeout before one minute was gone on the clock. “We like to press when we can to take advantage of Sarah Greene's size and athleticism,” Head Coach Craig Walker said. Greene is a junior forward who is the Energizer Bunny for the ‘Cats, but brings size to the table, too, at six feet tall. On offense, the early part of the game was paced by Bryanna Fernstrom and Sam Forslund, the point-center combination that has been awfully effective so far this year.
The pair combined for 15 early points. The Wildcats were able to keep Spring Lake Park at bay throughout the game, despite not having their best performance. Greene was in foul trouble at times and CL shot under 40 percent from the field on the game, but their defensive effort kept Spring Lake Park from mounting any comeback. “We were in agreement after the game that this wasn’t our best possible effort, but it’s nice to come out with a win even when you don’t play real well,” Walker said. Fernstrom led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Eighth grader Carmen Backes had 15 points, and Forslund ended with 11 points and four assists.
Chisago Lakes 69, Irondale 41 The ‘Cats took on another old NSC foe on Friday, Dec. 13 and for the second time in two games, they came away with a big blowout. The Knights entered the game severely out-sized. Their tallest varsity player is 5’9”, while the ‘Cats boast a full complement of girls six foot and over. The game became a blowout early again, as the ‘Cats used their full court press with brutal aggression. Walker wanted to extend the defense past the three point line and limit Irondale’s dribble penetration since that was the only shot the Knights had against the tall and talented ‘Cats. Fernstrom led the ‘Cats again with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Greene had 12 points and five steals and Forslund had another 11 point, four assists line.
Chisago Lakes 83, Superior (WI) 77 (OT) The Wildcats came out on top in an interstate clash of top basketball programs. The Wildcats are ranked fifth in Minnesota in Class AAA while Superior was 3-0 and ranked third in Wisconsin’s Division 1, their highest class. The ‘Cats had double digit leads throughout most of the night, but the Spartans crept back into it and took a late lead before Dani Berg hit a game-tying three pointer with under 20 seconds left. Fernstrom scored five of the ‘Cats eight overtime points and Superior only score two in the extra period as CL took the victory 83-77. For a full recap of the game, check out next week’s Chisago County Press. The Wildcats’ take on Orono on Thursday, Dec. 19 before a week-long holiday break. They then travel to South St. Paul to take part in the South St. Paul Holiday Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28.