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Strong finish for Lady Hornets

WALKER -- The Frazee Lady Hornets started their 2009-10 season slowly, losing six of their first seven games. But the slow start was a bit misleading, as Frazee lost five of those games by eight points or fewer.

In the first game of the Walker Christmas tournament, Frazee players showed that they have learned from the close games and finished strong down the stretch to pull out a 45-41 victory over Pine River-Backus.

"This was a nice win over a quality team," head coach Dave Conzemius said. "We had a few times where we struggled tonight, but we showed some maturity at the end and finished the game strong."

The Lady Hornets (2-6) started slow, falling behind 18-6. After a time-out, Frazee rallied with a 13-0 run to claim a 19-18 lead. P-R-B (6-2) finished the half on a 5-0 run to take a 23-19 lead.

The second half was a back and forth affair that saw the lead change hands repeatedly. Frazee appeared to gain some control with a 39-35 lead with about four minutes remaining -- before the Lady Hornets turned the ball over three straight times, allowing the Tigers to tie the game at 39.

With 1:30 left in the game, freshman Alexis Tappe made a huge defensive play with a steal and lay-up to give Frazee the lead back for good. Tappe followed with two free throws to push the lead to four points. Sophomore McKinzie Tangen hit two free throws with 6.3 seconds left, to seal the victory for Frazee.

Tangen led the Lady Hornets with a career-high 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the floor. Freshmen Ashley Bachmann added eight, and Tappe and Kristi Smith had six points each. Tappe also had team highs in assists with four, rebounds with six and steals with six.

"McKinzie played a solid floor game and Tappe really played a nice defensive game, forcing many turnovers, and she really rebounded the ball well," Conzemius concluded. "It was nice to be able finish the game after dropping so many close games early in the season."

Frazee returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 5 when the Lady Hornets host Pelican Rapids at 7:30 p.m.