GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cass Lake-Bena rides dominant defensive effort to Section 8A title game
Cass Lake-Bena smothered Fosston defensively in a 58-30 road victory Tuesday night in the Section 8A semifinals to advance to the program’s first section championship game since 2005.
FOSSTON -- The Cass Lake-Bena girls basketball team has reached heights it hasn’t seen in 16 years.
The Panthers smothered Fosston defensively in a 58-30 road victory Tuesday night in the Section 8A semifinals to advance to the program’s first section championship game since 2005.
East subsection title in hand, Cass Lake-Bena will face West subsection champion Stephen-Argyle at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 26, at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls for a state tournament berth.
The Panthers forced 30 turnovers in a dominant defensive performance right out of the gate.
“That’s amazing,” CLB head coach Martin Wind told KKCQ radio. “That’s a really good job by my girls. They stuck with the game plan.”
Cass Lake-Bena nearly led from start to finish.
The second-seeded Panthers (16-5) embarked on a 21-0 run to go ahead 23-2 eight minutes into the game. The top-seeded Greyhounds (18-2) had no answer for the relentless pressure imposed by the visitors.
“We had good ball movement and we pressured on defense,” Wind said. “We got our hands on a lot of steals and then we pushed the ball up the court.”
Fosston didn’t make its first field goal until 8:36 into the game when they finally snapped the 21-0 Panther run as CLB took a 31-12 lead into halftime.
The margin grew as wide as 50-19 midway through the second half, punctuated by Krisalyn Seeyle’s layup.
Seeyle led all scorers with 18 points for the game. Kailee Fineday chipped in 14 points for Cass Lake-Bena.
Taylor Kroening totaled 10 points to pace Fosston.
Wind’s father, John, was coaching the Panther girls the last time they advanced as far as the section title game in 2005. That year Cass Lake-Bena defeated Barnesville in the Section 6A title game en route to the state tournament.
John Wind will also find himself coaching in a section title game this week at the helm of the Panther boys, who will meet Badger/Greenbush-Middle River Thursday in Thief River Falls.
The CLB girls will follow the boys to Thief River Falls for a 7 p.m. tip Friday against Stephen-Argyle. The West No. 1-seeded Storm (17-3) defeated Red Lake Falls 67-58 Tuesday night to secure their place in the final.
No. 2 Cass Lake-Bena 58, No. 1 Fosston 30
CLB 31 27 -- 58
FOS 12 18 -- 30
CASS LAKE-BENA (16-5) -- Seeyle 18, K. Fineday 14, Frazer 6, LaDuke 5, G. Fineday 5, Wright 4, My. Reyes 3, M. Mitchell 2, Giffen 1.
FOSSTON (18-2) -- Kroening 10, Norland 5, Duppong 3, Mahlen 2, Noel 2, Rue 2, Vesledahl 2, Carlin 2, Rosendahl 1, J. Manecke 1.