Anoka’s girls basketball team opened the season with an 80-56 win over Section 7-4A foe Forest Lake Thursday.
The Tornadoes leapt to a 43-23 halftime lead and pulled away in the second half for a comfortable win in front of the home fans for the first time this season.
Anoka senior guard Naomi Torgerson led the way with 22 points making 7-of-13 free throws and hit 6-of-12 from the field.
Junior post Brittany Bongartz made 10-of-11 shots from the field to also contribute 22 points along with seven rebounds, three blocks, three assists and one steal. Torgerson added seven steals and six assists as the Anoka defense made 15 steals and blocked four shots.
Anoka struggled to make three-point shots (3-14) but got to the free throw line for 40 shots, making 23.
The Tornadoes opened the season and a five-game home-stand Dec. 1 with a 74-43 win over Cambridge-Ianti, another Section 7-4A opponent. Bongartz led Anoka with 15 points and seven rebounds, sharing the game-high total with Bluejackets Lydia Westberg. Abby Slater added 13 points, seven assists, four steals and four rebounds; Torgerson added 12 points and three steals and Noelle Josephson added 10 points, eight assists, four steals and one block. Anoka’s defense had 15 steals and five blocks.
Lions nearly shutout PACT
Section 4A finalist, Legacy Christian Academy began the season, Dec. 3, with a 58-17 win over PACT Charter School in Andover.
PACT struggled to keep pace with the Lions, trailing 34-15 in the first half and things only got worse for the Panthers who were outscored 24-2 in the second half.
Kayla Ruf led the way with 17 points Mari Smitsdorf had 14 points, Cali Weddle had 12 points and Tori Cole had 10 points.
Legacy added a second win in three days with a 48-32 result at Class A Barnum Saturday.
Huskies off to 1-0 start
Andover got the season off on a strong note with a 58-42 win over Forest Lake in a meeting of Section 7-4A teams Dec. 1.
The Huskies held the Rangers to just 12 points in the first half as junior Jolene Daninger led the way with 19 points. Alyssa Hostad and Amanda Dagostino added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Bengals tripped up on the road
Blaine led 18-13 at the half of the Dec. 3 season opener at Roseville but that lead didn’t stick over the second half in a 43-41 loss.
The Raiders rallied to outscore Blaine 30-23 in the second half as senior guard Allison Jablonsky led the Bengals with 12 points and Kaia Porter led Roseville also with 12 points.
Jordan Sauve and Elisha Lindsey each had eight points for the Bengals.
The Bengals opened the season with an 88-44 win over Section 7-4A foe, Duluth East, on the Blaine Fieldhouse court Nov. 28. Jablonsky had a game-high 29 points and senior Abbey Romick added 21 points to get the season off to a strong start.
Three days later Blaine traveled east and came away from Mahtomedi with a 53-43 win, keyed by a strong defensive stand in the second half to hold the Zephyrs to only 19 points.
Jablonsky’s 28 points was another game-high while junior forward Theresa Grace Mbanefo had 10 points.
Red Knights spoil Spring Lake Park opener
Benilde-St. Margart’s scored a 61-52 win at Spring Lake Park Dec. 3 as the Panthers couldn’t overcome a three-point halftime deficit in a game of former North Suburban Conference opponents.
The Red Knights used a 34-28 second half advantage to post the win behind a game-high 21 points from Brooke Stanley.
Spring Lake Park had a more balanced offense led by Jenna Murphy with 16 points, Marissa Siegfried with 15 points and Aamira Redd with 14 points.