Girls Basketball: Sophomore duo sparks Little Falls to third in home tourney

Little Falls junior Kristin Stewart (15) puts in a layup over Perham junior Brittany Miller after a Perham turnover during the opening round of the Little Falls Pine Country Classic tournament, Dec. 27. Stewart finished with three points and five steals in the game as Perham rallied late for a 50-46 win.

Little Falls junior Kristin Stewart (15) puts in a layup over Perham junior Brittany Miller after a Perham turnover during the opening round of the Little Falls Pine Country Classic tournament, Dec. 27. Stewart finished with three points and five steals in the game as Perham rallied late for a 50-46 win.

After a late lead slipped away in the semifinals, Little Falls regrouped with a resounding 63-40 win over St. Cloud Apollo in the third-place game of its home Pine Country Classic holiday tournament, Dec. 28.

The Flyers once again leaned on the sophomore duo of Melanie Dorn and Sarah Gold to lead the way against Apollo, with each pouring in 10 points while combining for 11 steals.

“Melanie and Sarah are two very athletic basketball players,” Little Falls head coach Trent Grams said. “Sarah has progressed quite well for us these past two years and Melanie has been a great influence on her. The fact that they are both sophomores brings a smile to a coach’s face.”

It was a balanced effort after that as well with eight other Flyers scoring, including sophomores Laura Fregin (9) and Jordan Schuett (8), senior Brooke Finch (7), sophomore Brianna Anderson (6), juniors Kendra Pohlman (5), Katelynn Kanieski (4) and Marissa Virnig (2) and senior Laura Moe (2).

“I felt very proud of the girls for the way they bounced back after the close loss to Perham in the first round,” Grams said. “Perham is an up-and-coming team that we just couldn’t close out and it was a tough loss for us. Beating Apollo helped renew our spirits with what we’re trying to do here and it was a good way to end the holiday tournament.

The Flyers fell 50-46 the previous day against Perham, with the Yellowjackets nabbing the win with a 7-0 run to close the game.

Dorn scored 16 points, Gold had 10 and Pohlman put in nine to lead the Flyers, with Fregin adding six and junior Kristin Stewart chipping in three.

Stewart also had five steals and Schuett tallied four assists.

North Branch won the tournament championship game 52-39 over Perham.

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