Lady Trojans get back in action with two wins

CRYSTAL FALLS—After an interminable layoff caused by inclement weather that ended at 17 days, the Forest Park girls basketball team finally got back to, well, playing basketball.
    The Lady Trojans returned to the court on Feb. 11 for their first game since Jan. 24 and came away with a 63-59 victory at Florence.
    Of course, with all the postponements and rescheduling, FP schedule is now quite busy. Three nights after their win over the Bobcats, the Lady Trojans traveled to Felch, where they fell to North Dickinson 55-35. The next night, Forest Park came back with a vengeance to rout Rapid River 59-32 at Eddie Chamber Gymnasium.
    Heading into this week, FP, which received votes in last week’s Division 4 poll, now sports an 8-5 record.
    Against Florence, senior forward Elle Soderberg scored seven consecutive points in the final three minutes and Claudia Nocerini hit two free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal the victory for the Lady Trojans.
    “Our team was definitely rusty since we had not played a game since Jan. 24,” FP coach Jackie Giuliani said. “We just didn’t have any flow to our game. But I was proud of how the girls fought through the hiccups and played tough the entire game.”
    Florence held a 57-54 lead with just over two minutes to play, but Soderberg sliced the gap to one with a hoop. After a Bobcat turnover, Soderberg scored again as FP scored nine of the final 11 points.
    Nocerini led the way with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Mercedes Simmons added 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Soderberg finished with nine.
    Destiny Ferrara added seven points and Cassie Divine contributed six points and 10 rebounds, for the Lady Trojans, who outrebounded Florence 41-26.
    “It was a great balance of scoring from our team,” Giuliani said. “I was proud of how different girls stepped up at different times and made big plays. That is the true sign of a team.”

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