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GC Girls Basketball: Shorthanded Frost Lady Bears down Itasca

Feb. 3—ITASCA — Ask any of the Frost girls who have put together such a remarkable basketball season, including Tuesday's 44-39 gut-check victory over Itasca, and they all sound alike:

"We have a close bond."

"We play for each other."

"We believe in each other."

Close?

Have you met the Lady Bears? These girls finish each other's sentences and finish each other's drives on the court. They put the "un" in the word unselfish.

It's all true for the Lady Polar Bears, who are state-ranked and 24-5 this season, including a 7-1 run in their district race, and headed to the playoffs after clinching early.

Then came Tuesday's district game at Itasca, where Dalton Smith's kids gave a a whole meaning to the phrase "playing together."

"We battled all night with Itasca at their gym in a tough environment," Frost girls basketball Coach Dalton Smith said. "We lost Brynna Banks in the first quarter with two minutes left. She sat the rest of the game. Karlee, Breelyn, Mackenzie, Brenda, Averyn and Madelyn all stepped up big time to hold on to a key win and secured no worse than second-place spot in the playoffs!"

Banks, a crucial team player, left after scoring three points, grabbing two rebounds and blocking a shot in a tight game that Frost led 12-10 after the first. The Lady Bears built the lead to 25-14 at halftime only to watch Itasca storm back and ignite the crowd with an 8-2 run in the third that closed the gap to 27-22 to start the fourth.

The Frost girls could feel the heat in the fourth, but matched baskets with Itasca in a pressure-packed 17-17 quarter that gave Frost an inspiring five-point victory.

The Frost players were everywhere they needed to be, flying all over the court and playing a brand of defense that lifted them to one of their biggest victories of the season — the kind of W that could carry the Lady Bears right into the playoffs.

The Frost girls stepped up everywhere in this one.

Brenda Manrriguez, a sophomore who has been a leader for two years, led again, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while handing out three assists. But that wasn't half the story. She never slowed down, hustling every minute on defense, where her effort and desire produced six steals, four deflections an a blocked shot.

If you think you can spell Frost without a D, you're wrong. Manrriguez's big D was just the beginning. Breelyn Dyer scored seven points and had eight rebounds and three assists, but she was relentless on defense, producing three deflections and turning heads with five steals and five blocked shots to frustrate Itasca.

Karlee Anderson came through with nine points and five rebounds and helped lead the way on defense with four deflections, two steals and a blocked shot.

Mackenzie Lee scored six points, grabbed three rebounds, handed out an assist and then turned it on on defense with three deflections, two steals, and three blocked shots.

Averyn Surovik scored two points, had a rebound and lit it up defensively with three steals and three deflections. Madelyn Shaw came off the bench and hustled like crazy to keep the defensive heat on Itasca.

By the time the game was over, Frost's Lady Bears had blocked 14 shots, made 15 steals and banged around for 17 deflections to win this game and a lot more.

Just to these kids:

"We have a close bond."

"We play for each other."

"We believe in each other."