Golden Eagles escape with wins over Huntley Project

Fergus’s Hanna Hayes passes the ball inside against the Huntley Project defense in the Golden Eagles’ battle over Huntley Project.                   Photo by Doreen Heintz

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Both Golden Eagles  varsity basketball teams escaped with victories Tuesday night against Huntley Project. At home, the Fergus girls defeated the Red Devils, 45-41, while in Huntley the Fergus boys came away with a 47-44 win over the Red Devils.
The Fergus girls got off to a strong start in the home contest against Huntley. Normally the Golden Eagles have dug themselves into a hole during the first quarters of a game, but Tuesday’s contest was much better for the Eagles. Behind 6 points from Ajiah Ross, the Fergus girls took a 12-6 lead at the end of the first period.
It was the second quarter that spelled disaster for the Golden Eagles. They were only able to put 4 points on the scoreboard off a field goal by Hanna Hayes and single made free throws from Anna Zimmer and Traci Choate. Meanwhile the Red Devils scored 13 points in the second period to take a 19-16 lead at halftime.
Several of the Fergus starters spent considerable time on the bench in the second period. Coach Deena Wier chose to sit any of her players who collected two fouls in the period, rather than take a chance with them picking up a third foul before halftime. Gracia Butcher, Val Kolstad, Haydn Potter and Ross all spent a good portion of the second period on the bench.
After halftime, the Eagles struggled to get back into the flow of the contest. The two teams traded baskets for much of the third period. Fergus fans watched Hayes score 5 points in the period, on a two-point basket and a three-point basket. Potter, Butcher and Kaitlyn Anderson added a field goal each. Heading into the final quarter, Huntley still led by 3 points, 32-29.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were able to recapture the lead when Anderson hit back-to-back three-pointers. Her second three gave Fergus a 37-34 lead. That lead grew to 39-34 when Ross scored from underneath off a beautiful assist from Butcher on an in-bounds play. Two free throws by Zimmer upped the Fergus lead to 41-34 before the Red Devils finally scored a field goal. Hayes added two more free throws a short time later to give the Eagles a 43-36 lead. Huntley scoring leader Josie Peterson went to the bench late in the contest with five fouls. She would end the game with 15 points.
Down the stretch, missed Fergus free throws allowed the Red Devils to cut into the lead. A Huntley field goal cut the Fergus lead to 44-39. Choate made one of two free throws in the final minute for Fergus’s last point of the game, and Huntley’s Heidi Cranford scored a field goal to cut Fergus’s final margin of victory to 45-41.
Anderson led Fergus with 13 points. Hayes joined her in double figures with 11 points. Ross added 9 points, and Zimmer contributed 6 more points.

Graham scores 18 for Fergus boys in win
Sophomore Jaden Graham scored 18 points in the Golden Eagles’ win over the Red Devils in Huntley on Tuesday. This contest was much closer throughout than the Saturday win over the Red Devils.
Fergus did jump to a 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and widened the gap to 33-22 at halftime. The Golden Eagles were only able to score 14 points during the entire second half, while Huntley added 22 points, as Fergus won, 47-44.
Tanner Trafton joined Graham in double figures with 10 points for the game. No other Fergus player scored more than 4 points in the game.

Fergus teams face Browning this coming Tuesday
This coming Tuesday the Fergus teams will make up a set of games against Browning. The Fergus girls travel to Browning, while the Fergus boys host the Indians. The Fergus c-squad will play the Browning freshman at 3:30 p.m. at the Civic Center. At the same time, the two junior varsity squads will battle at the FHS Fieldhouse. The varsity game is scheduled for approximately 5 p.m. at the Fieldhouse.

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