December 30, 2009 at 2:24 p.m.
If there is a season that can be defined as a difficult one this early in the schedule, the Anoka Tornadoes are the team that can claim it.
The Tornadoes were 0-6 heading into their road game against the Wildcats, and they just had a few starters quit the team last week.
All of those things added up to what could be an easy Wildcat win. "We were not overlooking the Tornadoes," Head Coach Craig Walker said, noting that the Wildcats supplied the Tornadoes with their first win last year.
Walker knew the key for his team was to keep the pressure on the Tornado offense, as they'd be integrating some new faces into the lineup. "We knew that pressure defense would cause them problems, and it really helped us early," he said.
The 'Cats raced out to a quick lead, and they didn't relent until the halftime buzzer sounded, but by then, they had already built a comfortable 40-16 lead over the hapless Tornadoes.
Sophomore sensation Whitney Tinjum led all scorers at halftime, and had, in fact, out-scored the whole Anoka team, with 19 points.
Tinjum wasn't the only one getting in on the act though. Kelsey Ristow had another double-digit game, scoring 12 points for the home team. Hannah Trandahl also scored nine points with what Walker described as some nice drives through the defense.
A few unfamiliar faces were even able to make big impacts when the Wildcats stretched the game out of reach for the Tornadoes.
Rachel Diers had her best offensive night of the season, scoring eight points. "Rachel is getting more confidence offensively, and along with Kelsey and Summer Young, we are adding more scorers to go along with Whitney," Walker explained. "We'll get more time at our tournament this week in South St. Paul to refine some things and see what we can do as we start the second part of our season in January."