Big second half leads Fergus over Park girls, 52-33

Neil Patrick Healy
The Park High girls suffered their seventh loss of the season Saturday, falling 52-33 to the Fergus Golden Eagles. 
The Rangers kept pace for most of the first half, but the Golden Eagles ended on an 8-2 run to take a 23-13 lead into halftime. Fergus’ physical defense kept the Rangers from being able to score, specifically from the free throw line, where they went 1-for-2 in the half. 
“We lost confidence and composure in a matter of a minute and a half,” said Park head coach Scott Coleman. “We struggled with exceedingly physical play that challenged us to finish baskets. There truly seemed to be a lid on the rim at our end of the court.”
Riding the momentum of their play from the first half, Fergus outscored Park 13-5 in the third quarter and extended the lead to 18. Coleman attributes the team’s struggles on offense negatively affecting the defense in the second half. 
“I don’t think we responded well to our inability to score,” he said. “We posted single-digit quarters in the second and third quarters and we allowed this to affect our defense, confidence and poise.”
Thanks to running an effective 2-3 zone defense, Fergus was able to limit Park’s free throw attempts for the game, holding the Rangers to a mere 6-of-12 from the line. 
“We are used to shooting 20 to 30 free throws in a game,” Coleman said. “The zone (defense) and the physically permissive game hurt us in part of our game.”
Park freshman guard Kodie Vondra, who is the team’s leading scorer, was held to just 12 points and was scoreless in the second and third quarters. Abby Kokot finished with seven and Danielle Babcox added six. Anna Zimmer led Fergus in points with 18, followed by Hayden Potter’s 10.
Park falls to 3-7 on the year and will look to rebound with a home conference game against Havre on Friday.