January 28, 2010 at 9:44 a.m.
The Vikings got off to a quick start on the week when they down the normally stacked Spring Lake Park Panthers.
"This was a very well executed and played basketball game for us," Head Coach Dan Schindler said. "We knew going into the game we were at a considerable size disadvantage with Spring Lake having three girls on the front line over six feet tall."
Making matters worse, NB's leading rebounder, Miranda Charley, had broken her nose in practice the night before. Despite the injury, though, Charley suited up and played for the Vikes. "Miranda is one tough girls," Schindler noted. "A lot of girls would have taken the night off, but Miranda doesn't fit that category. I give her a lot of credit for this win."
Schindler's strategy was to just stay close throughout both halves, and then overtake the Panthers at the end of the halves when they had more energy than the Panthers bigs. It worked out perfectly, as the Vikings were down 16-14 towards the end of the first half, but they scored the last six points to take a four-point lead into halftime.
The second half was the same story, as SLP stayed close until the Vikings started to stretch their lead at the 10-minute mark. The Vikings held on to beat the over-sized Panthers by seven points.
Schindler thought senior Rikki Beaver played her best game of the year, leading the Vikes with 17 points on seven-for-10 free throw shooting.
For the game, the Vikings were 15-of-26 from the charity stripe while Spring Lake Park attempted only five free throws.
"We played great defense, were patient on offense and won the free throw line battle, which is the formula for our team to have success," Schindler said.
Jessica Audette scored 11 points in the effort, and although Charley was held scoreless, she added 10 rebounds and seven steals with her gritty play.
Benilde-St. Margaret's 64, North Branch 33
The Vikings just didn't execute against the second-ranked Red Knights.
After their first 13 possessions, the Vikings only had one point, and the game was over at halftime. They were down 45-9 and were shooting very poorly.
For the game, BSM only took two more shots than the Vikings, but they made plenty more in the 31-point win. "After a game like this, we just have to forget quick and get ready for the next one," Schindler said.