Thunder strikes gold

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2003

ROCHESTER &045; Several members of the Minnesota Thunder AAU girls’ basketball team had played in the Star of the North State Games, but this year’s tournament was a whole new experience.

The Thunder, comprised of girls from the Albert Lea and Austin area, reached the championship game &045; a first for all the players. But they didn’t stop there. The Thunder went on to win the championship and bring home the gold medals.

In pool play, the Thunder set the tone early against the Lewiston-Altura Cards when Cara Thorn scored on a fast break lay-up after the tipoff. The Thunder continued to score easily on the transition game and went on to a 52-20 victory.

Email newsletter signup

Next up was New London-Spicer, a traditionally strong program, and again the Thunder established control early with Anna Hebrink converting a quick two points off the tip. The Thunder won 38-27.

Seeded first entering Sunday’s playoffs, the Thunder faced the Hibbing Bluejackets and won handily, 53-19.

That put the players where they had never been before &045; the championship game in the Star of the North Games.

The opponent in the title game was traditional state power Rochester Lourdes.

The first half was a slower pace than the earlier three games for the Thunder, but the team upped the tempo in the second half and ran away with a 41-27 triumph.

Members of the team included Thorn, Hebrink, Niki Hendrickson, Liz Thompson, Hali Hendrickson, Whitney Wilson, Jessica Sosebee, Amanda Arends, Leah Walters and Kat Ladwig.

Karol Hansen and Jess Hanson coached the team.