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Girls Basketball: Pine Island posts too much for Lake City

Lake City's Brianna Gates (11) rises up for a shot over Pine Island's Nicole Fokken during the Panthers' 47-33 victory Tuesday evening. Gates scored a team-high 16 points, but Fokken trumped the Tiger with 28. (Republican Eagle photo by Kyle Stevens)

LAKE CITY – Lake City has been on a good run lately, winning four of its last five games prior to Tuesday’s matchup against Pine Island.

The Panthers put a damper in the Tigers’ spirits, however, with a dominating 47-33 victory at Lincoln High School.

“We had a slow start, and that’s obviously not what we’re trying to do. We couldn’t really get Madi Green going for us offensively. Brianna Gates tried to do what she could do tonight … We ask her to do a lot offensively and defensively, we have her pretty much do everything for us,” said Lake City head coach Candace Dudley. “Obviously you saw we haven’t had Lilly Johnson, our point guard, for a couple games now, and that’s changed the way we’ve had to play a little bit. She did a lot for us.”

While Johnson sat out, the Tigers tried to go inside to Green to little success. After Gates hit a field goal, and Green hit a free throw, Lake City was held scoreless for nearly seven minutes of the first half. Several turnovers contributed to the cause, though the Tigers were able to stay close as the Panthers missed shot after shot in the early going. But Pine Island found its stroke, running out to a 10-3 lead before Lake City got back on the board.

After Gates hit her second field goal, with 7 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the first half, the Panthers ran off nine straight points. Gates again stopped the bleeding, but just momentarily. A six-point spurt quickly grew the Panthers’ lead once again before a few baskets back-and-forth set the Tigers back 29-12 at halftime.

Pine Island scored immediately in the second half, though Gates scored three straight times for Lake City. The teams would stay fairly even throughout the rest of the half, but the damage was done.

And most of the carnage came from Nicole Fokken, who scored a game-high 28 points, including 18 in the first half.

“The posts that they have are very talented, veteran posts, especially Fokken,” Dudley said. “She gets it on the block, she’s scoring.”

Pine Island’s other forward, Sam Heeren, scored 10 points.

Gates led the Tigers with 16 points, while Green had three points, all in the first half, as well as five rebounds. Bailey Cronin dished out five assists to go along with two points. Julia Anderson was the only other Lake City player with more than three points as she finished with eight.

The Tigers (7-6, 3-5 HVL) will host Kenyon-Wanamingo Thursday and Byron Friday.

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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