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Eastview Lightning strikes early against Jefferson Jaguars

Like Lou Christie's hit 1966 song "Lightnin' Strikes", the Eastview Lightning girls basketball team was striking again against South Suburban Conference competition Tuesday night as Kari Opatz scored 20 points to pave the way to a 76-20 win over the Jefferson Jaguars in Bloomington.

The Lightning, number one in Class AAAA, set the tempo early with a 14-0 run. Balanced scoring was also evident as six players tallied in the early going. Abby Davern finally put the Jaguars on the scoreboard with 10:28 left in the first half. It was the lone bright spot for Jefferson in the first half as Eastview also went on a 19-0 run. They used solid passing and a three pointer from Madison Guebert as well as a solid 1-3-1 defense to keep the host Jaguars off the board. The Lightning led at halftime 49-6.

Opatz scored Eastview's first basket :51 seconds into the second half. Jefferson did show some life as Allison Riemersma hit a three pointer and they went on an 8-2 run. But Opatz hit a couple of shots from Old Shakopee Rd. and head coach Melissa Guebert sent in the reserves to get some playing time with the game decided.

Ruth Sinn, former Apple Valley head girls basketball coach and mother of Eastview's Emma, gave her thoughts on the team's success.

"I don't think there's another team in the state that can shoot the ball well from the perimeter as Eastview.They score in bunches since they shoot the ball well from the perimeter.

She also stated that Emma is also trying to be part of the program and make contributions.

Sinn, the niece of former Jefferson boys basketball assistant coach jake Lynch gave her thoughts on the possibility of the Lightning and the top ranked Apple Valley boys team winning state titles in March.

"It will be exciting for District 196 and a great possibility.

Melissa Guebert described Opatz as a really nice shooter who also has a nose for the ball. She also mentioned the key to her team's success is taking the season one game at a time.

The Jefferson gym got a makeover last summer with a new floor, new bleachers and a new scoreboard (the third in school history).

Eastview improved their record to 15-0 and will play at Friday night at 7 PM. Jefferson fell to 4-11 and will have a week off before returning to action Tuesday, January 28 for a 7 PM game at Eagan.