Drayton, N.D., team downed in championship of Grand Forks Junior Grand Am
Why the quick turnaround? A little recruiting didn’t hurt.
The Drayton Boston Three Party was a melting pot of players from around the Greater Grand Forks area, including a pair of 1,000-point career scorers in Saturday’s lineup. The roster included players from eight different schools.
Three Party advanced to the title game before losing 36-32 to Dakota Phenom.
“We didn’t practice at all and just kind of threw the team together,” said Three Party coach Kristina Schuster. “The very first thing we had to do was introductions because no one really knew each other. These are such talented girls that you don’t really have to teach them much because they’re the top players on their teams.”
One of the recruits, junior Fallyn Freije of Lakota-Edmore, said it was a great experience getting to play with girls she had heard of and played against, but didn’t know on a personal level.
“All of us are kind of the studs of our own teams so it was fun to come and play together with them,” said Freije. “You could be dead running down the floor but you know when you come out of the game the girl coming in for you is at the same level.”
While Three Party was predominately composed of Class B athletes, its opponent in the championship was a 17-under AAU team which consisted mainly of Class A players. The lineup included 2014 Miss Basketball winner Paige Peterson from Jamestown.
This didn’t seem to faze the group of small-town Three Party girls, as they enjoyed taking on the underdog role.
“We are all Class B except for two East Grand Forks girls,” said Freije, who scored a game-high 18 points. “They got their nice jerseys and are an AAU team with practice while we have our t-shirts and were just kind of thrown together.”
The Phenom led 24-20 at halftime, but were able to widen the lead when Three Party went on a 10-minute scoring drought to start the second half. Three Party ended the game on a 10-4 run, but the Phenom scored a 36-32 win.
Though the game ended up close, Three Party was a little worried as the team was missing some of its players from Friday’s games.
“Two of our better girls (Kelsey Schlenk of East Grand Forks and Kennedy Henningsgard of Hillsboro-Central Valley) were gone so we were thinking we were going to get killed, but we ended up sticking with them,” said Freije. “It was a really fun time.”
Jaye Two Bears of Shiloh Christian led the Phenom with 11 points. Peterson followed with 9.