GIRLS BASKETBALL: Park River/F-L reaches semifinals
The assignment for Taylor Knudson didn't sound all that easy. All she was asked to do was contain Jayden Warner, a dominant guard for Mayville-Portland-CG who averaged 16.2 points a game.
The assignment for Taylor Knudson didn’t sound all that easy. All she was asked to do was contain Jayden Warner, a dominant guard for Mayville-Portland-CG who averaged 16.2 points a game.
“Taylor is a very good defensive player,’’ Park River/Fordville-Lankin High School girls basketball coach Rob Scherr said. “If there is a better defender in the region, or the state, I want to see that player. TK can defend anybody.’’
Knudson didn’t just contain Warner. She shut out the Patriots senior standout. That highlighted the defense for Park River/F-L as the Aggies pulled away to a 48-28 quarterfinal win against May-Port-CG on Monday in the Region 2 tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
“We told TK that she had Warner and she wasn’t getting much help,’’ Scherr said. “They have too many other good shooters to help much. She had to take her away. And TK flourishes in that role.
“I think we played good overall defense most of the game. And that’s what we bank on, defense and the transition game.’’
The Patriots entered the game with a 45-point scoring average. But they struggled with turnovers and poor shooting. During one stretch of 9 minutes and 35 seconds, from late in the second quarter to early in the fourth, May-Port-CG went without a field goal, scoring two points on free throws.
“They took Jayden out of the game. That pretty much sums it up,’’ May-Port-CG coach Ben McClenahen said. “She makes a huge impact for us, not only as a scorer but with her passing.
“They (Aggies) are aggressive. We got careless with the ball. And I think they got in our heads (with that aggressive style).’’
The Patriots’’ defense caused plenty of problems for Park River/F-L, as well.
Park River/F-L held only a 26-19 lead until closing the third quarter with seven unanswered points in a 1:18 span. Bailey Beneda hit a trey to start the run, then Emily Zikmund scored back-to-back fastbreak layups, the second off her own steal.
“That run was very big,’’ Scherr said. “We needed some kind of spark.’’
The Aggies led 33-19 after three and by 10 or more the entire fourth quarter.
Beneda finished with 15 points and Taylor Dalbey scored 11 for the 20-2 Aggies. May-Port-CG (12-11) was led by Katelin Grinde’s nine points.