CRYSTAL FALLS—Forest Park’s girls game with Florence Dec. 18 went the regulation 32 minutes. In reality it was all over early.
With Lexi Gussert scoring 18 points in the first eight minutes, the Lady Trojans led 23-7 after the first quarter on their way to a 62-24 win. Gussert finished with 30 points.
FP’s scheduled Dec. 20 game with Rapid River was postponed to Feb. 19 by a snowstorm. The Lady Trojans take a 7-0 record into the holiday break, 4-0 in Skyline Conference play.
“We’re just really happy to be 7-0 after the first seven games,” Coach Jeff Syrjanen said, “and coming in with a relatively new team and injured players.”
Four by three: Gussert’s 18-point explosion, said the coach, “was pretty much the game. She hit four consecutive threes to start the game off.
“She was pretty much on fire, and they didn’t have anybody who could stop her.” That puts Florence in company with all the Lady Trojans’ other opponents so far.
Beyond Gussert’s scoring touch, Forest Park had its press working early in the game, producing plenty of turnovers and fast-break baskets. The stat sheet said the Trojans had 21 steals—Gussert led that category, too, with seven swipes.
Slow it down: Florence tried slowing the pace of the game in the second quarter to take Gussert out of the game. In the third quarter, FP backed off its press and used a half-court trap instead. “That got some easy buckets quick,” Syrjanen reported.
The Lady Trojans started rotating its reserves into the game early, and they got plenty of playing time. “Everybody played in the first half.”
Florence’s Maddy Doll scored 11 of the Bobcats’ 24 points. “She was a nice inside player,” Syrjanen reported. “If we allowed her to get within four or five feet of the basket, she was pretty much going to make it.” FP used Jessica Bawyn and Kaitlyn Bradley to try to force her further away.
Numbers: FP stats: 25-70 FG (36%), 7-23 3’s (30%), 5-8 FT, 26 rebs.
FP players: Lexi Gussert, 30 pts, 5x3, 13 rebs, 5 asts, 7 stls; Sierra Robarge, 11 pts, 3 rebs, 3 stls; Maria Stankewicz, 6 pts, 3 stls; Sam Nylund, 5 pts; Kelsi Hendricksen, 4 pts, 3 asts; Gina Graff, 2 pts, 3 stls. Florence scoring: Maddy Doll, 11 pts.
Bobcats 7 4 8 5 -- 24
Trojans 23 7 14 18 -- 62
Coming up: The Lady Trojans have home games against West Iron (Jan. 4) and Mid Peninsula (Jan. 7). .