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High school girls basketball: Thousand Islands, Copenhagen rule

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Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”

Chances are, the late first lady would not have enjoyed Saturday’s Frontier League girls basketball championship games at Jefferson Community College.

Copenhagen and Thousand Islands each put on a predictable performance representative of their season-long divisional dominance.

Copenhagen beat Alexandria, 61-36, to repeat as Frontier League “D” Division playoff champions and cap off a second straight undefeated season against divisional opponents.

Thousand Islands routed Beaver River, 58-22, for its school-record fifth straight “C” Division playoff title. The Vikings haven’t lost to a divisional opponent since January 2009.

The two programs lost a combined nine starters from their respective championship teams of a season ago.

COPENHAGEN 61, ALEXANDRIA 36

Brooke and Maci Spaulding scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, to power the Golden Knights (15-2).

The sisters drained back-to-back 3-point field goals midway through the first quarter to ignite a 16-2 Copenhagen run. Its lead stretched to 17 points by the time it ended with five minutes, 30 seconds left in the second quarter, and Alexandria never got the game back to within single digits.

“It was very important that we come out right from the get-go and get started, not even let them get in the game,” Copenhagen coach Natalie Scott said.

Copenhagen completed a three-game season sweep of Alexandria (9-8), and went 10-0 against divisional opponents.

“We worked so hard through the regular season to be undefeated (in the division), so to not come into a game like this and play the way we did the entire season wouldn’t be good for us,” Brooke Spaulding said. “So we came in and gave it our all like it was our last game.”

The Golden Knights accomplished the same feat last year with a different starting five. This year’s first-string group played together on the second line last year and made a seamless transition to extend Copenhagen’s winning streak against divisional opponents to 21 games.

“They know each other,” Scott said. “They know where they’re going to move, where they can shoot from, where they can catch balls and where they can’t.”

Marinda Allen provided 13 points and Alicia Evans scored nine for Copenhagen.

Hannah Lynch scored 15 points and Lorraine Beard added 12 to lead the Purple Ghosts (9-8).

“They hardly ever missed a shot and we never really got into the game,” Alexandria coach Dave Hollis said. “That was the key to the whole thing. They certainly didn’t miss very much.”

The Golden Knights are expected to receive a top three seed in the Section 3 Class D playoffs when pairings are revealed on Wednesday.

They advanced to the sectional semifinals as the third seed last year before suffering a 43-42 loss to New York Mills.

“I think we feel good, we’re rested and nobody’s hurt,” Scott said. “I think if we play our game we can challenge just about any team that comes at us. I’m hoping that we can rise to the occasion and rise to the challenges.”

THOUSAND ISLANDS 58, BEAVER RIVER 22

Ashley Anchor scored a team-high 15 points, Kali Eyles and Kerstin Phelps added 10 apiece, and the Vikings overwhelmed the Beavers with their full-court pressure en route to improving to 15-3.

“We discussed it all week, we needed a good win and not a scoot-by win,” Thousand Islands coach Pete Pettit said. “It’s a team we already played twice. We had them well-scouted and know everything about them. If we can’t shut them down and have a great day then we’re going to have trouble down the road with teams.”

Thousand Islands held Beaver River (7-9) without a field goal from midway through the first quarter until 8th-grader Emma Puddington drained a 3-pointer with one minute, seven seconds left in the third.

The Vikings outscored the Beavers 28-1 during that stretch. Phelps drained three 3-pointers in the second to get things rolling.

Pettit said he called a timeout just before that run to “yell,” at his team for what he believed to be lackadaisical defense.

“I guess my yelling works,” Pettit said. “Maybe I should yell more, but my voice probably can’t hold up. But I thought we needed a great defensive stand in that second quarter to make them understand that we’re here for real and here to win this game.”

The Vikings, who fell in the Section 3 Class C-1 semifinals last year, should receive a favorable seed Wednesday.

“Having a win like this I think helps us boost our confidence and makes us realize how good of a team we actually are and how far we can make it,” Anchor said.

Eyles grabbed 13 boards and scored eight of her points from the free throw line.




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