Little Falls girls hoops finds spark at Stearns County Classic

The season hasn’t been easy for the Flyer girls basketball team. With a team boasting no standout star and a 2-10 record to start the season, the team is looking for reasons to remain optimistic.

Though the Flyers have posted an 0-6 conference record, the Flyers have found reason to cheer, thanks to the play of the underclassmen and a never-say-die attitude that permeates the team chemistry. Little Falls showed off that spark at the Stearns County Classic tournament Dec. 26-28. Though the Flyers didn’t bring home a trophy, they stuck close to their opponents and moved closer to respectability.

Albany 66, Little Falls 42
On any given night, the 3rd ranked Albany Huskies can torch the opposition with quick shooting and hustle. The Huskies had done it once already to the Flyers in a non-conference matchup.

Little Falls wasn’t going to let that happen again and came out strong against Albany. The Flyers fought hard in the first quarter, outscoring Albany 15-10. The Huskies battled back to take a halftime lead of 28-25. The Flyers couldn’t keep the score close due to 34 turnovers; Albany rolled on to a 66-42 victory.

The Flyers kept close for two quarters against Albany, thanks to the performances of Mel Waytashek and Sarah Kalis. Kalis was five of seven from three-point land, helping her net 18 points, while Waytashek added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Amanda Dunlap, while scoring zero points, played havoc defensively with three rebounds and six steals. Michelle Nieman, Nicki Olson and Holly Hoheisel added four points each.

Albany 10 18 24 14 – 66
Little Falls 15 10 10 9 – 44

Little Falls 41, Minnewaska 31
The Flyers built on their strong performance against Albany to defeat Minnewaska 41-31. Thanks to Michelle Nieman’s eight point, eight rebound, four assist performance, Little Falls improved to 2-10 on the season.

A slow start for the Flyers left the team down 21-18 at halftime. Little Falls charged back, thanks to some hot shooting, 44 percent, and a 21-14 rebounding ratio, and cut the 28-23 lead. Little Falls added thirteen points in the fourth quarter to lock down the victory, 41-31.

Kelly Feia scored eight for the Flyers; Laura Harms and Mel Waytashek added six. Amanda Dunlap had four points and six rebounds. Sarah Kalis with five points and Holly Hoheisel and Amanda Dunlap added four to round out the scoring.

Little Falls 7 11 10 13 – 41
Minnewaska 7 14 2 8 – 31

DeLaSalle 48, Little Falls 42
The defeat of Minnewaska brought the Flyers to the Stearns County Classic Consolation championship against DeLaSalle. DLS grabbed a early three point lead, all they needed to drop Little Falls 48-42.

Sarah Kalis continued to have a hot hand for LF, scoring 17 points. Nicki Olson and Amanda Dunlap teamed up on the boards, grabbing 11 and seven rebounds, respectively. Laura Harms and and Michelle Nieman added 10 and seven points.

Little Falls out-hustled the competition with 33 boards and nine steals but those pluses couldn’t grant the Flyers a victory.

DeLaSalle 13 7 11 18 – 42
Minnewaska 7 6 11 16 – 48

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