by Jason Olson
Girls’ basketball recap from games Jan. 5-7. [smooth=id:464] Spring Lake Park
Spring Lake Park narrowly lost to North Suburban Conference rival Totino-Grace 48-46 Jan. 10 after leading 24-23 at the half.
Christina Wakeman had 12 points to lead the Panthers and Breanna Semanko added 11 points.
Spring Lake Park had an up and down first week of 2012 as it began with a 49-38 win over Irondale Jan. 3 before succumbing to co-North Suburban Conference leader Robbinsdale Cooper 76-50, Jan. 6.
The conference win over the Knights featured Semanko with a game-high 16 points followed by Nicole Howard’s 12 points as the Panthers led by three points at the break and increased that lead on the road in the second half.
The return home wasn’t as fruitful for the Panthers, who found themselves down by 15 points at halftime. Cooper continued to score at a higher rate in the second half for the 26-point victory to remain perfect in conference play. Spring Lake Park took its first conference loss as Semanko was limited to three points, while Wakeman led the team with 11 points and Brianna Stenstrom had 10 points.
Cooper’s Talayiah Rich had a game-high 20 points.
Anoka continued to find ways to win as downed crosstown rival Blaine 49-35 Jan. 10.
The Northwest Suburban Conference game at Anoka featured the Tornadoes on a 26-15 run in the second half to improve to 4-8 overall as Claire Lundberg had a game-high 12 points for the Tornadoes.
Anoka began 2012 with a 60-53 win for its first Northwest Suburban Conference win of the season Jan. 3. Anoka built an eight-point lead at the half and made that stand in the second half for the third win in a row.
Anoka sophomore Claire Lundberg had a game-high 20 points on six-of-10 shooting from the field and she converted a perfect eight-of-eight free throws. Hailee Gifford had 17 points with six rebounds. Junior Kyrah Fredenburg had six points, but pulled down eight rebounds and had nine assists. On the defensive end of the court she blocked three shots and had three steals. Ashley Bray also had a stand-out performance as she pulled in six offensive rebounds, blocked two shots and had two steals.
Blaine opened the week with a 60-59 win over Coon Rapids Jan. 3 and added a second win in a row with a 42-33 score over Elk River Jan. 6.
Mickenzie Craft scored a game-high 20 points with six rebounds, while McKenna Heyda pulled down 10 rebounds and Alysha Heath had 16 points and six rebounds in the one-point win over the Cardinals.
Blaine post Courtney Langowitz had a game-high 12 points against the Elks after scoring 11 points and eight rebounds against Coon Rapids.
Legacy Christian improved to 3-9 after a 53-36 win over Heritage Christian Jan. 10. The Lions went on a 31-18 run in the second half as Kiana Ruf had a game-high 17 points for the Lions.
Legacy Christian dropped a 51-41 home game to MCAA-rival Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Jan. 5 before posting what possibly is the program’s most dominant performance in front of the Homecoming crowd with a 50-9 win over Spectrum Jan. 7.
Legacy Christian’s defense held the Sting offense to two baskets in the first half and things didn’t get any better in the second half as Spectrum scored five points. Lexi Weddle had a game-high 13 points and Ruf had nine points for the Lions, who ended a four-game losing skid.
St. Francis used a 38-36 second half to propel itself past St. Louis Park in a 61-56 final score for a North Suburban Conference win Jan. 10.
Kelsey Gale had 16 points to lead the Saints and Ameh Ogbemudia added 11 points.
St. Francis split its two games in the first week of 2012, opening with a 65-56 win at home over Fridley Jan. 3 before falling to North Branch in a North Suburban Conference shootout 87-78 Jan. 6.
St. Francis built a 32-24 lead at the half against Fridley and held on in the second half for the nine-point conference victory. Fridley’s Hannah Niewald had a game-high 18 points, while the Saints countered with a more diverse attack. Emily Larson and Ogbemudia each had 16 points and Gale added 13 points as nine Saints factored in the scoring. Ogbemudia had a triple-double with 11 rebounds and 10 blocks. The Saints defense had 15 steals and 13 defensive rebounds.
Three days later the Saints led North Branch 31-24 at the half, but the Vikings came out on fire in the second half to overcome the deficit with a 63-point performance in the second half. They outscored St. Francis 63-47 in the second half.
Samantha Salo scored a game-high 21 points and Larson had 20 points for the Saints, while North Branch had five players score at least 13 points.