Fergus Falls Girls Basketball Heads to State With Experience As No. 2 Seed

Seniors Ellie Colbeck, Tori Ratz head up 24-5 Otters

FERGUS FALLS, Minn — Fergus Falls girls basketball returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2018.

It’s the second go around for seniors Ellie Colbeck and Tori Ratz who bring in more experience this time around having a combined record of 111-28 in five years on varsity.

“Were a lot more vocal. We were younger, we were more quiet but now that we’re senior in our last year, I think we’re leading by example,” Ratz said. “Just getting older and seeing those leaders before and how they lead has really helped.”

“Leaning on the fact I have a lot of experience. That’s something people look at me for,” Colbeck said. “Just be encouraging. Positive. Realizing it’s OK to make mistakes and the younger girls forget that sometimes. Just saying I can make a mistake, you can make a mistake, its fine.“

“When things are going well, they’re pretty even keel. The hills aren’t too high and the valleys aren’t too low,” head coach Josh Steer said. “Keeping that steady head. Being able to navigate some waters when things don’t go well, they lift their teammates up.”

The Otters have won 15 of 16 and their last 10 in row with Colbeck averaging 25 and Ratz 17 per game, giving the rest of the team some fire after knowing how it was to lose the opener last time.

“We’ve been playing real well and if we can bottle that up for one last week, we can be successful down there,” Ratz said.

“I don’t think I’ve been on a team that’s this close and this willing to work hard,” Colbeck said. “Not just for one’s own game but everybody.”

“Starting out this year, the girls hadn’t played much together,” Steer said. “With COVID last year, we kept things pretty separated. We have some juniors and a freshman on our team that had no varsity experience coming in. The girls who were on varsity really brought them along in the process.”

The Otters open up play Wednesday at 6 P.M. against Pequot Lakes at the Maturi Pavilion on the University of Minnesota’s campus.


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