The Fillmore Central girls basketball team has started the season with a pair of Three Rivers Conference losses to Plainview-Elgin-Millville, 78-34, and St. Charles, 33-64.

In the season opening loss to the Bulldogs, Morgan Malley topped the scoring with nine points, followed by Jordan O'Connor (7), Leah Scheevel (6), Sammi Bakke (6), Kaitlynn Aug (4) and Shelby Ebner (2).

The gals trailed by 20 at halfime, 46-26, but could only come up with eight points in the second half. "Always nice to get the first game jitters out of the way," said head coach Sarah Tollefsrud. "I thought we had a solid first half and came out strong. However, in the second half we had some foul trouble and I think we were a little tired. I do think we're a better team than last year and I did see some promising things from the girls."

Jordan O'Connor led the team with seven rebounds, Sammi Bakke had six boards and shooting guard Morgan Malley pulled down four. Malley also led the team with three steals and two assists.

The Falcons committed 34 turnovers against PEM.

Malley also led the team in scoring, 13, against St. Charles. Bakke and O'Connor each had seven.

Fillmore Central cut the team turnovers nearly in half, committing only 20 against the Saints. However, Tollefsrud said, "We didn't look as motivated, or as driven, as we did on Tuesday night. I felt the girls were just going through the motions and not really putting forth the effort I usually see. I thought Kenzie Broadwater (eighth grader) came in and gave the team a spark. She is such a hard worker and really gels with the girls." Broadwater didn't score any points, but pulled down three rebounds and dished out one assist.

Leah Scheevel was tops in rebounds with nine and tops in assists with two. Sammi Bakke had two of the team's four steals. Scheevel also had a couple of buckets for four points. Kaitlynn Aug rounded out the Falcon scoring with two points.

This week the gals have home games with Kingsland (Tuesday) and Chatfield (Thursday).

This year's squad has three seniors, two of which are foreign exchange students: Jordan O'Connor, Wiebke Buechsenchuetz and Nargiza Kanybek. There is one junior, Kayley Olson, and six sophomores, Morgan Malley, Cami Jones, Anna Christoph, Sammi Bakke, Leah Scheevel and Kaitlynn Aug. Also listed on the varsity roster are ninth graders Larissa Armstrong, Shelby Ebner and Gabrielle Shupe and eighth grader Kenzie Broadwater.

"We are still a fairly young team this year," said Tollefsrud, "but happy to be back in the Three Rivers Conference. We know we have a challenging road ahead of us. Hopefully playing the tough teams will prepare us for what is to come at the end of the season in section play. We lack experience, aggressiveness and depth in our post players. We will need to stress defense and transition basketball. We are guard heavy and fairly quick. We hope to have some nice outside shooting as well as inside play from our posts."

Tollefsrud sees Chatfield, Dover-Eyota, Caledonia and Southland as the teams to beat in the TRC and Spring Grove, Grand Meadow and Rushford-Peterson in the sub-section/section. And of course, they can't forget Goodhue.