COMPETING ON THE UNEVEN BARS is Lightning sophomore Jessaline Backer. The Lightning defeated Paynesville on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at the Ortonville Armory by the score of 101.7 to 100.9. Backer placed second in all around with a score of 26.95. The Lightning will host Morris Area this Friday, Dec. 19 starting at 6 p.m. and will travel to Milbank, SD on Saturday, Dec. 20 starting at 11 a.m.

Lightning earn first win of season over Paynesville

The Lightning gymnastics team has had a busy schedule the last two weeks including their first four meets.

As stated in last week's paper, the lightning started off strong with a 99.5 at their home meet on Thursday, Dec. 4. Even though it was a loss to Sisseton, SD, the young team competed with confidence and showed strength on floor and vault.

On Saturday, Dec. 6, the Lightning traveled to Morris for their annual holiday invite. This low key competition gave valuable experience to the varsity team. Although scoring was a bit lower than the first meet, the Lightning still scored a 95.75.

Other teams and their scores included: Detroit Lakes 136.75, Benson/KMS 125.275, New London-Spicer 124.875, Morris Area 121 and Long Prairie/ Grey Eagle, 110.325.

On Tuesday, Dec. 9 it was an exciting night for the Lightning at their home meet against Paynesville. Their goal was to break 100 and not only did they do that, but they won the meet in doing so! The final score was 101.7 to 100.9.

Jessaline Backer had an incredible night, scoring 26.95 in the all around competition to earn her second place. The highest scoring event for the Lightning was the vault where, combined, the team scored 30.5 by using the top four scores.

Vaulters included: Jessaline Backer, Julianne Backer, Maddie Gustafson, Callie Kleindl, and Ashley Neu. Other members of the varsity team included  Hannah Streich, Chrissy Anderson, and Nyah Kleindl.

The JV team also impressed by scoring an 84.45. That score is very high for an up and coming team.

“I was extremely proud with the team's performance,” said Coach Sara Winter. “ I expect the team to continue to steadily improve.”

The Lightning then competed in Benson on Friday, Dec. 12.  After an injury sustained by Hannah Streich during warm ups, the team was badly shaken but overcame this hurdle and competed their hardest. In the end, both JV and Varsity teams recorded a loss. The uneven bars continues to be a challenge for the team and Coach Winter says the majority of this week will be focusing on improving in that area.

The Lightning will be in action this Friday, Dec. 19 when they host Morris Area starting at 6 p.m. They will then travel to Milbank, SD on Saturday, Dec. 20 for a meet starting at 11 a.m.

Lady Trojans drop games to CGB, West Central Area

The Lady Trojans played two games on back to back days last week, hosting the CGB Wolverines on Friday, Dec. 12 and the West Central Area Knights on Saturday, Dec. 13.

On Friday night, the Lady Trojans came out fired up to get a victory aginst the Wolverines. Ortonville would apply pressure on the Wolverines and would force several turnovers early in the half. The Trojans would build up a lead 27-11 about half way through the first half. Foul trouble then began to hurt the Trojans.

The Wolverines would begin to handle the Trojan pressure better and would convert some shots. CGB would close the deficit to 29-26 shortly before halftime. Ortonville would hit a couple of buckets and would go into halftime with a 33-28 lead.

It would take a couple of minutes before either team would score in the second half. The teams would trade buckets until the Wolverines eventually tied the game up at 41 each with 12:33 to play. The Trojans would find themselves up by one with less than a minute to go in the game. Rachel Hoernemann then hit a layup to give the Trojans a three point lead.

CGB then went down and hit a bucket with 23 seconds to go in the game to pull within one. The Trojans would get fouled and head to the free throw line, but would miss the first of a one and one. The Wolverines grabbed the rebound and Kendra Gilsdorf would knock down a three pointer to give the Wolverines a two point lead, 58-56 with 10 seconds to go in the game.

Ortonville called a timeout and set up a play, but good defense by the Wolverines would not allow the Trojans to get a good look at the hoop. The Lady Trojans would fall by a final of 58-56.

Leading the Trojans in scoring was Rachel Hoernemann with 37 points, Stephanie Rausch and Gina Nelsen each had four, Kirsten Erickson had three and Makiah Gores, Alisha Ross, Hope Hasslen and Val Scholberg each had two points.

The Lady Trojans would not have much time to deal with the loss as they would host the Knights from West Central Area on Saturday afternoon.

Ortonville built an early 10-5 lead on the Knights, but foul trouble again would force some Lady Trojans to the bench early in the first half. The Knights even without their main post in Abby Van Kampen would put the ball inside and convert many easy buckets. The Knights would build a halftime lead of 41-17.

The Trojans talked about what they needed to do in the second half to make things go better for them. The Lady Trojans would come out with more intensity and would start to cut into the Knights lead and close the gap to 48-34 with 10:40 to go in the game. The Knights would take a timeout and match the play of the Trojans and start to build up their lead again. Ortonville would end up outscoring the Knights in the second half, but the lead the Knights built up in the first half would be too much for the Trojans as they would fall by a score of 70-47.

Leading the Trojans in scoring was Rachel Hoernemann with 26, Hope Hasslen and Gina Nelsen each had six points, Alisha Ross had three and Stephanie Rausch two points.

The Lady Trojans (1-3) will be back at it on Tuesday night as they host the Underwood Rockets. B-squad starts at 5:45 p.m. with varsity to follow. On Monday, Dec. 22, the Trojans will travel to Sisseton, SD starting with the B-squad at 6 p.m.

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