Park girls basketball: Wolfpack tops Forest Lake for fifth-straight winThe Park girls basketball team earned its fifth-straight win and its eighth win in its last nine games with a 69-59 Suburban East Conference victory at Forest Lake.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The Park girls basketball team earned its fifth-straight win and its eighth win in its last nine games with a 69-59 Suburban East Conference victory at Forest Lake.
“We went to Forest Lake knowing it was going to be a very tough game,” Park head coach Stephanie Tolkinen said. “Forest Lake is a very good team. We knew they would be ready for us and would want to avenge their loss from a month ago.”
The game was tied 33-33 at the half, but Park outscored the Rangers 36-26 in the second half to come back to Cottage Grove victorious.
“Our kids stayed together the whole game,” Tolkinen said. “We believed we were the better team and the girls just kept plugging away and finished strong. I am really proud how the girls handled themselves throughout the entire game. It was close the whole way, but we finished it.”
Park senior Larissa Lurken, who set the all-time scoring record at Park last week, led all scorers in the game with 24 points. Junior Sydney Lamberty, who leads the SEC in scoring at 18.4 points per game, had 23 points. Five other players scored for the Wolfpack, too, led by junior Temi Ogrunrinde, who netted 11 points.
Forest Lake was buoyed by Bailey Norby, who is second in the SEC in scoring at 18.3 points per game. In the loss, Norby had 23 points, including 19 in the first half, which kept Forest Lake in the game early. However, Park held Norby to just four points in the second half.
“She played very well, but I thought we allowed her to play to her strengths,” Tolkinen said. “We made some adjustments defensively in the second half and came out and played a better half. I felt we were able to keep them off balance when we switched up our defense. They got in a little foul trouble and we were able to take advantage of that.”
Tuesday night Park took on SEC leading Roseville, which is ranked fourth in the state. It’s Park’s Fan Appreciation Night and the Timberwolves’ mascot Crunch was the halftime show.
On Friday, Park plays host to Cretin-Derham Hall in its final regular-season home game of the year and the Wolfpack will honor its two seniors – Lurken and Courtney Waldo. Game begins at 7:15 p.m.