WEST BASKETBALL: Lady Jays earn Fury win No. 350

WORTHINGTON -- Rachel Pavelko didn't know what was at stake Monday night. In fact, few did. Entering Monday's women's basketball game with Buena Vista junior varsity, Minnesota West head coach Mike Fury was sitting one win shy of a career milestone.

MW's Sam Lynn
Michael Brauer/daily globe Lady Jay Sam Lynn (23) lays up two of her 17 total points against Buena Vista Monday night at Minnesota West's gym.

WORTHINGTON -- Rachel Pavelko didn't know what was at stake Monday night.

In fact, few did.

Entering Monday's women's basketball game with Buena Vista junior varsity, Minnesota West head coach Mike Fury was sitting one win shy of a career milestone.

Pavelko made sure he reached it.

With an 85-55 victory, Fury won his 350th career game, improving the Lady Jays to 3-4 this season.


"Three hundred fifty is a good number, but we're more concerned about 3-4 right now," Fury said. "Three is really nice for (Monday). That was a good win for us; I think it got a little bit of confidence back. We played hard and did a nice job on a lot of things."

The ball seemed to bounce the right way all night for MW, who was coming off a three-game losing streak.

"We've played three tough, tough teams in a row and I think it paid off," Fury said. "We played better, we played more aggressive, more physical, which we've been having happen to us the last three games. But we really stepped up (Monday) and did things the way we can do them."

The Lady Jays seemed to be able to drive to the basket at will, scoring on layups and breakaways all night.

"I think things started falling for us and we've been working hard in practice on getting back on transition and hustling a little more and working a little harder on defense," Pavelko said. "Coach said it would pay off, and it did."

Pavelko finished with a game-high 19 points for the Lady Jays.

"We played good," she said. "We played together, we helped each other out. We had a lot of assists."

Pavelko also dished out four assists and had three steals.


"Rachel had a great game," Fury said. "The way she pushed it and she didn't have a lot of turnovers. When you push it, the girl that's guarding her has to stay with her or she's going to break her down and somebody else is going to have to help and we dished it a couple of times."

Sam Lynn, who started the game with a nice drive and jumper in the game for MW, finished with 17 points, six assists and eight steals.

In the game, MW had 15 steals and forced 29 Beaver turnovers.

"We were working really hard on defense the last couple of practices," Pavelko said. "It really showed out there. Coach said we wanted to keep them under 30 points per half, and that's exactly what we did."

BV scored the first basket of the game -- a 3 -- and had the early lead.

But Lynn's basket and a pair of layups by Pavelko sparked a 14-2 run.

"We looked for each other a lot and helped each other out on offense," Fury said. "Offensively, we're fine. Defensively we did a better job and I think we got on the boards a little bit better. We still have some improvements to make. But it's just good to get a 'W' and that confidence back."

That confidence continued to grow throughout the game, as a basket by LoRel Christensen (15 points, nine rebounds) gave MW an 18-7 lead.


That lead would shrink to 20-15 after a free throw, but Lynn, Pavelko and Brooke Kramer (10 points) each scored a basket, increasing the lead to 26-15.

Breanna Rients hit a trey and followed with a pair of free throws, pushing the first-half lead to 36-20.

Things continued to bounce MW's way late in the first half.

After Lynn missed a free throw, a BV player was jumping for the rebound. The ball went through her hands, bounced off her head and landed in Lynn's grasp, who then found a wide open Kristi Skorepa for an easy basket.

Skorepa then made a three-point play right before half as the Lady Jays kept the Beavers under 30 points, and led 44-28.

MW opened the second half on a 16-5 run and pushed the lead to 60-33 as Fury was closing in on his milestone victory.

Christensen made a basket late in the game, giving MW an 84-48 lead -- the largest of the game -- as the Lady Jays cruised to their third win of the season and Fury's 350th career victory.

"Better than that, is a 3-4 record and getting a 'W' (Monday)," Fury said of the milestone. "We don't worry about the 350 at all, we'll just worry about a nice effort by us (Monday)."


Fury is in his 29th season at the helm of the Lady Jays, and with a 350-316 career record, milestones are nothing new to the veteran coach.

MW will host the Northwestern junior varsity Monday, where Fury will hope to move one win closer to his next achievement.

"We're not going to worry about that one," he said. "All the other ones have been great teams and great girls and a lot of fun. But this has been a lot of fun. We're headed in the right direction with this group. If we keep going in that direction, we're going to have a lot more fun."

BV 28 27 -- 55

MW 44 41 -- 85

BV JV (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Noyes 0-1-1-3, Bogan 1-0-2-5, Davis 1-0-4-7, Hansman 0-2-0-4, Hanish 0-2-1-5, Lehner 0-3-2-8, Roder 0-1-6-8, Williams 0-6-3-15. Totals 2-15-19-55.

MW (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Pavelko 2-6-1-19, Rients 2-0-2-8, Kramer 1-2-3-10, Smith 0-1-2-4, Lynn 0-7-0-17, Christensen 0-7-1-15, Donkersloot 0-1-3-5, Skorepa 0-3-1-7. Totals 5-27-16-85.


MW's Alyssa Smith
Michael Brauer/daily globe Lady Jay Alyssa Smith (left) drives the lane in the first half against Buena Vista Monday Night at Minnesota West. MW won the game, 85-55.

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