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Women's basketball: Warriors open with win

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Ridgewater point guard Jessie Kalenberg goes up for two of her 20 points after making a steal against Association Free Lutheran Bible School in the second half Tuesday in Willmar.

WILLMAR — The Ridgewater Warriors launched the season with a 78-39 victory at Ridgewater on Tuesday before a small but enthusiastic crowd.

Whom did they beat? It’s a mouthful: Association Free Lutheran Bible School, out of Plymouth, whose nickname is the Conquerors.

The scrappy visitors gave Ridgewater a better test than a year ago in a game that had the air of an exhibition. 

Carrie Ogdahl started her 18th year as the Warriors’ head coach (241-231 record) with two returning starters.

Guard Jessie Kalenberg (Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart) averaged 11.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 3 apg and was designated All-Division and Second Team All-MCAC last season. She led the scoring Tuesday with 20 points, 15 after the break

Wing Raeann Sorenson (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa) averaged 10 ppg and 5.1 rebounds and made All-Division Honorable Mention.

Shantel Kelly, a wing/post out of Willmar, returned after scoring at a 14.7 clip in 2011-12 but is sidelined by illness for now.

Wing Courtney Kramer, another Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart product, scored 10.5 ppg off the bench last season when Ridgewater finished 3-7 division and 14-11 overall.

For starters in the opener, Ogdahl went with Kalenberg at point and freshman Brooke Wuertz (Paynesville) at shooting guard, Sorenson at shooting forward and Kramer inside with Rachel Ampe (Paynesville.).

Off the bench, Ogdahl relied on Datri Jensen (Benson), Chelsea Ahl (Renville Co. West), Samantha Meade (Truman/Martin Luther) and Catie Sherman (Truman/Martin Luther). Anne Dunham (Willmar) has decided not to play, Ogdahl said.

The Warriors showed a lot of hustle, depth at forward and display the kind of size that won’t easily be pushed around (70 rebounds last night).

Wuertz followed with 15 points, Sorenson with 14 and Ampe 14 points to go with 14 rebounds.

Ridgewater 78, AFLBS 39

AFLBS (2-1)        20 19 — 39

Ridgewater (1-0)               36 42 — 78

ASSOCIATION FREE LUTERAN BIBLE SCHOOL – 12-55 FG (0-6 3-pt); 15-24; 17 rebounds; 22 fouls … Scoring Leaders: Elena Lee 10, Anna Franz 11, Katie Strand 9, Cassie Maier 6 … Rebound leaders: Strand 6, Maier 6, Lee 5, Franz 5

RIDGEWATER COLLEGE – 26-87 FG (5-16 3-pt); 21-33 FT; 70 rebounds; 19 fouls … Scoring: Jessie Kalenberg 20, Datri Jensen 2, Courtney Kramer 6, Raeann Sorenson 14, Brooke Wuertz 15, Rachel Ampe 14, Chelsea Ahl 3, Brooke Hein 4 … 3-point shots: Kalenberg 2, Wuertz 3 … Rebound leaders: Kalneberg 7, Kramer 5, Sorenson 7, Wuertz 5, Ampe 14 … Assist leaders: Kalenberg 3 … Steal leaders: Kalenberg 4, Sorenson 4, Wuertz 4, Jensen 3