Tigers thrash FalconsPublished 9:29am Monday, February 18, 2013
Albert Lea builds huge halftime lead during Senior Night, Red Out
The Albert Lea girls’ basketball team crushed Big Nine Conference foe Faribault 64-51 during a Red Out for heart disease awareness on Senior Night Friday.
“I’m just really proud of the seniors and how hard they played,” Albert Lea head coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa said. “They’ve been a great group.”
Before the opening tip, four seniors were honored: Danielle Staat, Lindsey Stewart, Dominique Villarreal and McKenzie Zuniga.
The upperclassmen made their mark from the beginning. Staat tied the game at two on a pass from Bryn Woodside after a pick and roll. Villarreal gave the Tigers a 7-4 lead with a pair of free throws.
“The girls did a great job of seeing each other when they were open and passing the ball,” Hugstad-Vaa said.
After a transition layup by Sydney Rehnelt, a free throw by Zuniga gave Albert Lea its first double-digit lead of the contest (14-4).
The Tigers continued to score in transition after creating turnovers to build a 31-6 lead.
“We were looking to push the ball, because our defense was intense, and we were ready to get steals,” Rehnelt said.
Albert Lea extended its advantage to 30 points with layups by Rehnelt and Megan Kortan.
The Tigers accumulated a 50-18 lead at halftime.
“We played really hard in the first half, and then in the second half we could work with different personnel combinations,” Hugstad-Vaa said.
In the second half, Faribault outscored the Tigers, but Albert Lea still earned a double-digit win.
“We got more people in the game who need more experience,” Hugstad-Vaa said “I thought we did a great job of adjusting to that and playing together.”
Albert Lea improved to 9-13 overall, 6-10 in the Big Nine Conference and 4-4 in its section.
The Tigers have won two straight games by double digits.
Next, Albert Lea will play at Rochester Century at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Earlier this season, the Tigers beat the Panthers 39-38.