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West Fargo girls basketball team has 'perfect trip' to Twin Cities

The West Fargo girls basketball team recently visited the Target Center in Minneapolis. Present are (back row, from left) Vanessa Vig, Rachel Hummel, Carissa Becher, Danielle Nelson, Katelyn Holland, Erin Krogh. (Front row) Hannah Schnepf, Christine Baltezore, Hayley Miller, Mary DeJong and Lexi Lennon. Submitted photo

The West Fargo girls basketball team made a trip down to the Twin Cities in hopes of finding some good competition.

They got it.

The Packers hammered out a 47-45 overtime win over Saint Michael-Albertville on Thursday, July 8, at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The game preceded a WNBA bout between the Minnesota Lynx and San Antonio Silver Stars.

"We really looked good," Packers coach Barb Metcalf said. "You can always take something out of it, even though it's summer ball."

The Knights, now part of the Mississippi 8 district, were 3A champions in 2009, but moved up to 4A last season and lost in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

The Packers and their fans got a chance to also watch the Lynx beat the San Antonio after the prep game.

"It was a perfect trip," Metcalf said. "I couldn't have done it if I didn't have such a great group of women to work with."

Overall, it was a team effort for West Fargo.

"Our whole team contributed to the win and played well," Metcalf said. "Kate Holland came up with a couple quick shots at the end, but everyone helped.

"It was a nice way to finish up the summer."

Summer isn't quite over for the Packers, however. There still will be the shooting program and open gym during the week, Metcalf said.

If the progress made during this summer is any indication, the Packers could be tough contenders come the high school basketball season this winter.

"Every kid that's out on the floor for us - it doesn't matter what time - has the ability to score. They're an offensive threat," Metcalf said.

The West Fargo coaches are stressing one-on-one fundamentals and the ability to react quickly to plays. Ball handling, Metcalf said, also will be a determining factor this season.

What Metcalf and the rest of the West Fargo coaching staff is most impressed with, however, is the team's depth and competitive spirit.

"It's going to be a fun year for us," Metcalf said. "The EDC will be tougher, so we're going to need those weapons.

"What I really did notice, they don't care who we play. ... They really perk up when they play better competition."

As for other trips in the future, Metcalf said she's certainly hoping it's a possibility, but some changes may need to be made.

"Everything went off without a hitch," she said. "The only thing I was told we have to do next year is work in a Twins game."