The Firebirds split a double-header at home last night, Monday, Jan. 14, with the Fargo Davies Eagles. The boys had the early game and lost 73-40. The girls had the nightcap and won 88-55, and remain undefeated.

The Firebirds split a double-header at home last night, Monday, Jan. 14, with the Fargo Davies Eagles.  The boys had the early game and lost 73-40.  The girls had the nightcap and won 88-55, and remain undefeated.  

The boys game was a slow start with good defense on both sides of the court, and the game stalled for about four minutes with the Eagles up 8-7.  Then the Firebirds committed three turnovers in a row and the Eagles were gone.  They went on an 11-2 run.

The Firebirds were subjected to an intense Eagles’ trap at the high post and couldn’t find a way around it.  They forced passes inside, too often resulting in a turnover, and forced shots.  They did get some good looks in the first half, but there seemed to be a lid on the basket.  They ended the first half down by 19 to the Eagles, 40-21.

The second half was a continuation of the first, except the Eagles started pulling down more offensive rebounds and getting second-chance points.  The Eagles stuck with the trap and the Firebirds could find no way out of it.  They stuck to shots from the perimeter instead.

“Fargo Davies is a good team,” said Derek Gathman, Firebirds boys head coach.  “They simply are a good team and play a good game.  Turnovers were the difference, sure, but their trap killed us.  We have some things to clean up, but I’m happy with the way our boys played.  Davies is good, but our guys didn’t quit.  Our boys played hard tonight.  They got tired in the second half, but they fought hard and didn’t give up against a really good team.  There’s a reason Davies is number one in the state.”

The Firebirds lost 73-40.  They had 26 turnovers to the Eagles 15.  Grant Nelson was the only Firebirds in double digits with 16.  Jayden Klabo had 14 for the Eagles, followed by Braeton Motschenbacher with 13, and Cameron Van Dam with 11.  The Firebirds went 6-14 from the charity stripe, and the Eagles went 8-15.

The Firebirds are now 5-5 in the EDC and overall.


The Nightcap

The Firebirds girls came out on fire sinking three threes and taking a 9-2 lead right off the jump.  The girls went up 15-4 and then the Eagles started a run and pulled within one point, 18-17 game at the 12 minute mark.  Never again would the Eagles pull closer than 20.  It seemed the Firebirds couldn’t miss.  When they did those few times, they pulled down the offensive board for second-chances.

They went to a half-court press and took away any rhythm the Eagles had.  The Firebirds quick hands slapped away dribbles and passes and created turnovers out of many.  They went on a 34-8 run to end the half ahead, 52-25.

The girls were really good at drawing the contact, Averi Ziegler especially.  The Firebirds got into the double bonus in the first half and were shooting in the bonus most of the second half.  

And the second was much the same as the first.  The Firebirds controlled the floor and the boards at both ends.  They went up by 30 not long into the half, and the Eagles put together a short run to get within 20, but the Firebirds press and quick hands stopped the run.  The Firebirds won 88-55. 

“It was a good win,” said Justin Klein, Firebirds girls head coach.  “We came out strong shooting threes, which is something we haven’t done in a while, hit threes.  Our defense was really good, although with all the slapped balls you would’ve thought we’d have more steals.  But those slapped balls use up the clock and mess with the other team’s tempo.  They did everything really well tonight.  They played a good game against a tough team.”

Taylor Windjue lead the Firebirds with16, followed by Jess Mertens and Ziegler with 13 each, and Ramsey Brown with 10.  The Eagles’ Alyssa Paper led all scorers with 18, and was the only Eagles in double digits.  The Firebirds went 22-28 from the line, and the Eagles went 10-12.  The Eagles had 23 turnovers to the Firebirds 15.

The Firebirds remain undefeated and are now 10-0 in the EDC and overall.  They are the only undefeated team in the EDC.