By leading the Pequot Lakes Patriots to second place in the Class 2A state tournament, Flecia Foster and Teresa Parker showed the state what the Brainerd lakes area already knew.
The seniors displayed their talent on the grand stages of Williams Arena and Target Center and convinced many there was no better duo in girls' basketball.
Their resume of accomplishments includes: Class 2A All-Tournament team, 2A Coaches All-State team, Associated Press All-State second team for Foster and all-state honorable mention for Parker.
Foster finished her career as the leading scorer in Pequot Lakes history with 1,940 points. Parker is the second all-time leading scorer with 1,902.
Both were named to the Brainerd Dispatch All-Area team for the third straight year and both share the Dispatch All-Area Player of the Year award this season.
Teresa Parker and Flecia Foster were named the Brainerd Dispatch Players of the Year for girls basketball.
It's only fitting, considering their careers have benefited from each other.
"There was a process that we were trying to instill at Pequot and that was to bring up a point guard and a post player," said former Pequot coach and current Tartan coach Bill Larson. "That dated back to Brianna (Biebighauser and Heather (Neznik) and Joan (Ebnet) and Julie (Redebaugh).
"Flecia and Teresa were part of that process. When you look at those two kids back in seventh and eighth grade, you knew they were the future of Pequot Lakes basketball."
Team: Pequot Lakes Patriots
Stats: 626 points (19.6 per game), 153 rebounds (4.8 per game), 167 steals (5.2 per game), 129 assists (4.0 per game) and seven blocked shots. Shot 48.9 percent from the field, 67.5 percent from the foul line.
Next: University of Minnesota-Mankato
Team: Pequot Lakes Patriots
Stats: 501 points (15.6 per game), 300 rebounds (9.4 per game), 67 steals, 57 assists and 149 blocks (4.7 per game). Shot 52.2 percent from the field and 62.3 percent from the foul line.
Next: Southern Illinois University
The prophecy turned out to be true. Foster-Parker led Pequot to a 25-1 regular season this winter. The Patriots cruised through the Section 7 tournament, outscoring opponents 255-119.
In three state tournament games Foster totaled 62 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and six steals. Parker finished with 39 points, 30 rebounds and 19 blocked shots.
But Foster was quick to praise her teammates.
"You can't single out one person on this team," said Foster. "Every person was equally important. Jackie (Doty) doesn't shoot that much, but without her defense and bringing the ball up we wouldn't have been as good. Kristin Willer, she stepped it up so big with her rebounding and boxing out. I think she was better than anyone on the team at those things. I can't say enough about Chelsa (Schwegel). Her defense is amazing.
"Everyone was so unselfish on this team. Everyone did the best job they could do. Without one of them we wouldn't have gone as far as we did."
Few teams slowed the dynamic duo during the regular season. Foster finished with 564 points (19.4 per game), 137 rebounds (4.7 per game), 161 steals, 125 assists and six blocked shots.
"Flecia was great at penetration, getting down into the lane and dishing down into our post players," said Pequot coach Bob Nelson. "She could drive in the lane and hit a layup or pull up and shoot a jumper. She was quite a threat in there.
"We had a lot of games where teams had a good point guard and we would tell Flecia, 'If we can stop this point guard from driving in the lane we would win the ballgame.' Most of the time she would stop them. When we played Detroit Lakes they had a good point guard and I think the girl scored three points in two games."
Another example of Foster's defensive dominance was in the state semifinal victory over Minnesota Valley Lutheran. The Chargers' Karissa Kramer scored 14 points in the first half. In the second half, Foster held her to four.
Parker finished the regular season with 452 points (16.1 per game), 270 rebounds (9.6 per game), 130 blocked shots, 65 steals and 55 assists.
"Offensively, inside she has a really good shot," Nelson said of Parker. "She can power it up to the basket. She also has a good shot from about 15 to 16 feet. She could step out from the basket and hit that shot. She was a threat for us in a couple of different ways."
Parker finished the state tournament with 19 blocked shots, but altered the angle of many more attempts, helping Pequot hold Pipestone to 29.8 percent shooting, Minnesota Valley Lutheran to 28.1 percent and Rochester Lourdes to 38.1 percent.
"Teresa blocked so many shots," said Nelson. "We were able to put a lot of pressure on the guards and if they happened to drive by us, it was like the NBA with all the 7-footers. Once they got past us they knew they were going to get their shot blocked. Defensively, she was a force."
Said Foster of Parker: "Teresa makes everyone better around her. When she's on the floor everything runs a lot smoother. There aren't many girls around where you can throw the ball up and she's going to come down with it 99.9 percent of the time. There are lots of girls who are big, but none are as coordinated as she is. I can't say enough about her.
"When the season was over I wasn't really sad, but I was sad about not ever being able to play with Teresa again."
Parker probably would have said the same thing about Foster, but she was in Texas last week and could not be reached.
It is impossible to separate Parker and Foster. Throughout the years the phrase "Flecia and Teresa" was usually followed by praise.
"The class those two walked around with -- those two represent what basketball is all about," said Larson. "Those two fit what everyone should embody -- hard work, determination and dedication to their teammates."
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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