by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The Zimmerman girls basketball season ended with a first-round playoff loss on Thursday evening but the Thunder can take heart that they quit on two strong games back-to-back.
No. 3 seeded Becker ousted the No. 6 Thunder 52-39 in Section 5AAA at Becker. Nicole Anderson netted 16 points and Mauren Theisen 11 for the Bulldogs (11-15).
“They beat us by about 30 in January,” said Thunder coach Lance Dalbey. “We could not get shots to fall tonight, or we might have bumped them. The kids played great especially on defense.”
Lexi Wiemeri led Zimmerman (8-18) with 11 points. Melissa Dorn had 9, and Brooke Borchardt and Amber Magnussen 7 each.
The young Thunder lineup had lost to Becker 77-48 on Jan. 5, and to Foley 68-41 on Jan. 24. But they got a payback win 48-33 over Foley to close the regular season last Friday, which raised them two notches in the section seeding, then gave Becker a good game in the rematch.
“We’ve been trying a different approach on defense and the kids have bought into that,” said Dalbey.
About the post-season one-and-done, the coach said, “Your last game is never fun, except for the state champs. But the kids have been playing hard. And we’ll have a lot of kids back.”
The Thunder have five juniors, two sophomores and a freshman in the top eight.