The WCA girls’ basketball team is playing its best basketball of the season. In the past month, they’ve won 10 of 11 games with their only loss coming at the hands of highly ranked AAA Marshall and now, in the heat of the Section 6A Tournament, the Knights seem to be pulling it all together.
Last week was an absolute thrill for the Knights and their fans. They got a pair of huge wins, 76-37 over Brandon-Evansville on Wednesday night and 67-51 over Parkers Prairie on Friday night, to open the Section 6A tourney. The icing on the cake, however, came on Wednesday night when their leader, Lexi Bright – just a junior, broke WCA’s record for most points in a career.
During the second half of the Knights’ win over B-E, Bright, stepped to the line and calmly drained a pair of free throws to score her 1,741st and 1,742nd points, to jump beyond the record set by WCA phenom Liza Torgerson in 2010. The Knights quickly took a timeout to recognize Bright for her accomplishment. She humbly accepted the congratulations and moments later, drained a three-pointer in front of the Knights’ bench – right back to business for the blue-collar superstar!
The win on Friday night in Parkers Prairie avenged a loss to the Panthers from earlier in the season and kept the Knights moving forward in the tournament. Now, they’ll head to Hancock on Tuesday night where they hope to knock off the undefeated and number one seeded Owls in the South Sub-Section Championship game. The winner of that contest will meet the winner of the Section 6A North Sub-Section – either #1 seeded Henning or #2 seeded Underwood.
Knights – 76
Chargers – 37
The Knights hosted the Brandon-Evansville Chargers in the opening round of the Section 6A playoffs and showed, from the start, who was the better basketball team. The #3 seeded Knights jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead and never looked back. The Knights were dominant in the first half as they took a 44-18 lead into the break. WCA continued to push the tempo in the second half as they outscored the visiting chargers, 32-19, on their way to the lopsided win, 76-37.
The Knights’ offense was largely generated by their defense. They had 28 steals, and forced several more Charger turnovers, which led directly to many of the Knights’ scoring opportunities.
“Tonight, Lexi Bright became WCA School’s All-Time Leading scorer with the new mark of 1746 points,” said Knights’ Head Coach Eric Schoenbauer. “Lexi has been a phenomenal player from her first varsity moments to now, and she has worked extremely hard to put herself in the position to break the record. Her teammates continue to believe in her and play to her strengths as well as their own.”
The scorebook for the game was headlined by Bright with 18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals. Mya Foslien scored 10 points, and had four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Elizabeth Rustan had eight points, two rebounds and a steal. Brynn Fernholz had nine steals, seven points, two rebounds and two assists. Claire Stark had seven points, six rebounds and a steal. Macy Grosz had seven points and three steals. Kennedy Ulrich had five points, a rebound and an assist. Chloe LaRue had four points and a rebound. Sydney Ulrich had four points, three rebounds and a steal. Brooke Anderson had two points, two rebounds and a steal. Addison Staples had two points, two rebounds and a steal. Kaitlyn Hansen had two points, two steals and a rebound, and Halle Foslien had two rebounds and a steal.
Knights – 67
Panthers – 51
The Knights traveled to Parkers Prairie last Friday night to take on the Panthers in the quarter-final round of sections. The game was hotly contested from the start and saw the lead change hands three times in the first half. The Knights managed to gain the upper hand at the end of the half and took a 37-33 lead into the break.
The Panthers came out ready to go in the second half and soon tied the score at 40 apiece, but then the Knights went on an 11-2 run to re-establish their solid lead. From that point on, the Knights were not going to be stopped. They played their usual solid defense and made big baskets on their way to the win, 67-51.
In many ways, this was a typical, gritty Knights’ win in which solid, scrappy defense wreaks havoc with their opponent. However, this one was a bit different in that a trio of eighth graders put their stamp on the Knights’ program. Macy Grosz, Mya Foslien and Addison Staples combined for 37 points to help the Knights to the victory. That, along with everyone else continuing to work hard and contribute in their own way, spelled an impressive victory.
The Knights were led by Macy Grosz with 16 points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Mya Foslien had 15 points, two steals, two rebounds and an assist. Lexi Bright had 14 rebounds, 11 points, eight assists, five steals and three blocked shots. Claire Stark had nine rebounds, eight points and a steal. Addison Staples had six points, a rebound and a steal. Brynn Fernholz had five points, a rebound and a steal. Brooke Anderson had two points, a rebound and a steal. Halle Foslien had two points and two rebounds. Sydney Ulrich had two points, an assist, a rebound and a blocked shot. Elizabeth Rustan had five rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Chloe LaRue had two rebounds.
“Tonight was a product of a team rolling with the hot hand and still playing phenomenally hard on defense,” said Schoenbauer. “This was one of the best team efforts of the season and it came at the right time. Parkers Prairie is a very strong team and we did what we needed to do to walk away with the win. I’m proud of how we played unselfishly and never let up!”