Park senior guard Elsa Olson brings the ball up court against a Burnsville defender Friday. Photo by John Molene
Girls basketball team falls on last-second shot

The host Wolfpack lost a home heartbreaker to visiting Burnsville Friday, falling 47-46 when a last-second shot couldn’t drop.

Park trailed by a handful of points most of the game. The Wolfpack were down 29-23 at the half, 35-31 with 10 minutes to play and 4140 with 4:54 remaining. It was a 47-46 game with a minute to play.

Park worked the ball to top scorer Justine Jameson under the basket for a last-second shot which just failed to drop through the net.

“It was a tough one,” said Park head coach Stephanie Tolkinen. “The kids played just so hard. I told them I think we’re still pressing a little bit much – trying to make things happen, trying to make things happen -and shots didn’t fall, they fell a little bit easier for Burnsville it seemed like. I thought we were contesting on the defensive side a lot.”

“The kids kept up their energy, they kept up their effort,” Tolkinen continued. “They didn’t get down when a shot went in for the other team. They came back and kept battling, kept battling. We were in the game the whole way. It was such a different energy tonight. They played hard against Eagan. Eagan was a totally different team but I feel like tonight the kids really played with a sense of more confidence, just really feeling like they can get these guys.”

Park had a good balanced scoring attack with Tori Henderson’s 15 points, Sydnee Nelson’s 13 and Jameson’s 10.

Burnsville came into Friday’s game with a 0-2 record, losing to Bloomington Jefferson 61-53 and to Holy Angels 78-26.

Park bounced back from a cold first half, but had dug to deep a hole in a 61-46 season- opening loss to visiting Eagan Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Eagan dominated play early, building a 35-16 halftime lead. The Wolfpack played much better in the second half but couldn’t come back from the early deficit.

Jameson scored 16 points to lead Park. Nelson added nine points and Henderson eight.

Park opens Suburban East Conference play Tuesday at Forest Lake and then hosts White Bear Lake Thursday.

December 8, 2021