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Published February 09 2012

Defense keys Packers past Moorhead girls

MOORHEAD – Things weren’t bad at the start, but they weren’t great either.

Giving up nine points in the first half made West Fargo girls basketball coach Barb Metcalf pretty happy. Going 8-for-35 in the first half, however, did make things a bit challenging.

“I thought we weren’t in our natural flow with our shot,” Metcalf said. “So I told our girls, there’s no shot clock (in Minnesota) so let’s relax and not rush things.”

It worked. The No. 2 Packers (14-1) picked it up, only missing five shots in the second half en route to a 48-28 win on Thursday over Moorhead.

Metcalf stressed to her team at halftime how there were going to be games where the offense might not be good, but the defense should be able to make up for it.

She was right.

The Packers defense was relentless and aggressive. The defensive pressure was so great that there were times the Spuds (7-12) just threw the ball away.

The defensive intensity made up for the fact that the Packers only scored 22 in the first half.

“We felt like we had to have more focus in what we were doing,” said Packers guard Lexi Lennon. “We came out with more energy.”

Lennon was the embodiment of the mindset the Packers took into the second half.

She went 4-for-4 from the field, including 2-for-2 from the free throw line and finished with a game-high 21 points.

Metcalf’s lesson proved true. Stick to defense and everything will be alright.

“There’s going to be nights where you aren’t going to have your shot,” Metcalf said. “When you end the game and you are shooting 40 percent from the field, that’s still not a bad night.”

MOORHEAD: Wixo 1-11 3-4 5, Gulsvig 0-3 0-0 0, Tonn 2-9 1-2 7, Rosenfeldt 1-4 1-2 3, Groth 0-1 1-2 1, Engen 2-7 0-0 4, Stephenson 1-3 0-0 2, Swanson 0-1 0-0 0, Clark 2-2 0-0 2, Rahman 0-1 0-0 0, Dalquist 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 10-44 6-10 28.

WEST FARGO: Krogh 3-6 0-0 6, Schnepf 0-2 0-0 0, Thorson 2-4 0-1 4, Lennon 7-11 3-3 21, Hummel 2-3 2-3 7, Baltezore 1-7 1-4 3, Levin 0-1 4-4 4, Gooding 0-5 0-0 0, Krogh 1-3 1-2 3 Totals: 15-41 11-17 48.

H: WF 22, M 8

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com