Twin towers. Powerful posts. Board-working bigs.
No matter what term opposing basketball coaches used to describe 6-foot-1 senior center Kayla Lardy and 5-11 sophomore power forward Courtney Mosloski, the two Fairmont frontcourt forces proved formidable foes on the high school hardwood throughout southern Minnesota this winter.
Lardy and Mosloski packed a powerful 1-2 scoring punch in the paint to help engineer the Cardinals' record-setting 2013-14 campaign.
ALL-AREA’S BEST — Fairmont sophomore power forward Courtney Mosloski (left) applies defensive pressure to Marshall guard Sarah Buysse during regular-season basketball action at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
ALL AREA BEST — Fairmont senior center Kayla Lardy dribbles to the wing during the Section 3AA championship game on March 13 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. Lardy and Mosloski were selected as the 2014 Sentinel All-Area co-players of the year. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Fairmont mentor Don Waletich's talent-laden roster compiled a 25-5 record to establish the program's single-season mark for victories by eclipsing the Cardinals' 22-win performance in 2008-09.
Mosloski, Lardy and the Cardinals also captured the last-ever South Central Conference girls basketball championship by compiling a perfect 10-0 record against league rivals before reaching the Section 3AA championship game for the first time since 2008.
While Mosloski completed her first full campaign as a varsity starter, Lardy closed out the fourth and final season of her prolific prep hoops career.
The Cardinals' senior co-captain topped the team in scoring (329 points, 10.8 ppg), rebounding (271, 8.7 rpg) and blocked shots (46), in addition to distributing a second-best team total of 64 assists.
The three-time all-SCC choice connected on 135 of 290 field goals for 46 percent, while sinking 82 of 137 free throws for a 59-percent clip this season.
The repeat Sentinel All-Area selection exited her prep playing days as the Fairmont program's No. 4 all-time leading scorer with 1,043 points and No. 2 all-time leading rebounder with 908 - trailing only Ashley Alleven's top mark of 946 caroms.
While Lardy will take her basketball skills to Saint Mary's University in Winona next season, the powerful Mosloski will be an integral part of Fairmont's solid returning nucleus in 2014-15.
The all-SCC selection topped the Cardinals in field-goal accuracy by connecting on 133 of 263 shots from 2-point range for 51 percent en route to the team's No. 2 scoring clip of 10.3 points per game via a total of 309.
The two-year varsity veteran, who logged solid minutes midway through her freshman campaign a year ago, also garnered 187 rebounds (6.0 rpg), pocketed 54 steals and distributed 30 assists.
For their overall contributions on and off the basketball court, Mosloski and Lardy have been selected as the 2014 Sentinel All-Area co-girls basketball players of the year.
Here's an inside glance at the rest of the 2014 Sentinel All-Area girls basketball first-team selections and the second-team members.
Reilly Geistfeld (Martin County West) - A model of consistency.
The all-Valley Conference choice pulled down a team-leading 180 rebounds (7.2 rpg) to help stampede the Mavericks to an appearance in the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section championship game and a 20-5 record this season.
The second-year varsity veteran also produced the team's third-best scoring clip (12.6 ppg) on the strength of 315 points to pace MCW's runner-up showing in the Valley Conference.
The 5-11 sophomore post player proved an accurate shooter in traffic by connecting on 51 percent of her field goals to complement a 66-percent efficiency at the free throw line.
Geistfeld, who also pocketed 49 steals, dished out 16 assists and blocked 13 shots, will return next season to help form a solid nucleus for the Mavericks.
Kayley Shoen (Martin Luther) - Acceleration incorporated.
The three-time All-Area choice utilized her Mercurial speed and quickness at both ends of the hardwood court this campaign.
The three-time all-Valley Conference guard paced the Knights in scoring with 350 points (15.2 ppg) and 91 steals (4.0 spg), while distributing a second-best 50 assists.
The 5-7 junior backcourt standout also netted Martin Luther's third-best rebounding clip - 4.8 rpg - on the strength of 111 boards.
The fleet-footed Shoen made 96 of 257 shots from 2-point range, 12 of 53 behind the 3-point arc and 122 of 200 free throws to cap another stellar season.
Shoen will provide a solid foundation for the Knights to rebuild around in 2014-15.
Rachel Shumski (Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman) - The complete repertoire.
The two-time All-Area choice led the Mustangs in five major statistical categories during her second complete varsity campaign.
The two-time all-Valley Conference selection delivered 326 points - 14.2 points per outing - on the strength of the team's most accurate field-goal shooting clip - 129 of 262 - for 49 percent.
The 6-foot sophomore center also topped GHEC/Truman in rebounding (181, 7.9 rpg), assists (63) and steals (56).
The multi-tasking Shumski will continue to be a force to be reckoned with for the next two basketball seasons.
Taryn Tumbleson (Martin County West) - The natural.
The two-time All-Area selection rebounded from major offseason injuries to produce another outstanding campaign on the prep hardwood this winter.
The two-time all-Valley Conference playmaker led the Mavericks in 3-point shooting by scorching the nets for 42 percent - 27 of 64.
The 5-10 junior point guard generated the conference runners-up's No. 2 scoring pace - 12.8 ppg - on the strength of 308 points, while sharing MCW's top assist total (49) with All-Area second-team selection Kate Thiesse.
The multi-tasking Tumbleson also pocketed 72 rebounds and 71 steals, while rejecting 23 opponents' shots to help guide the Mavericks to a 20-5 record and an appearance in the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section championship game.
Tumbleson's return for her final prep season will make MCW a formidable force again in the Valley Conference and Section 3AA in 2014-15.
Alex Christianson (Fairmont) - The honorable mention all-South Central Conference choice topped the Cardinals in free-throw shooting accuracy - 75 percent on 82-for-109 - and steals (62) this campaign.
The 5-10 junior forward pulled down the team's No. 2 total in rebounds (210, 6.8 rpg) and netted 278 points for a third-best 9.2 scoring pace this winter.
The two-time All-Area choice, who also distributed 46 assists and made 98 of 221 field goals, played a key role in guiding Fairmont to an undefeated SCC championship, a single-season record 25 victories and an appearance in the Section 3AA championship game.
The 2013 all-SCC first-team selection and two-year starter will return next season to make the Cardinals a legitimate power in the section again.
Sarah Rolling (North Union) - The all-Corn Belt Conference first-team choice posted the Warriors' No. 1 numbers in scoring, rebounding and field-goal accuracy during the 2013-14 campaign.
The 5-10 sophomore forward netted 227 points (10.8 ppg), 91 rebounds (4.3 rpg) and sank 85 of 164 field goals for 52 percent during her second varsity season.
The hard-working Rolling, who also pocketed 40 steals and distributed 14 assists, played a key role in guiding North Union to an appearance in the Iowa Class 2A, Region 1 quarterfinals.
Rolling, a rare four-sport standout, will continue to be a formidable force in northern Iowa during the next two years.
Amber Schulz (Martin Luther) - The perennial all-Valley Conference selection averaged nearly a double-double every time she stepped onto the prep hardwood court this season.
The hard-working 5-8 senior power forward scored 252 points en route to an 11.5 clip to complement a team-leading 207 rebounds (9.4 rpg) this winter.
Schulz pocketed 39 steals and connected on 88 of 192 field goals to put the wraps on a brilliant four-year high school basketball career in Northrop.
Jenna Stevermer (Blue Earth Area) - The all-South Central Conference first-team hoopster topped the Bucs in scoring with 269 points (11.7 ppg) and free-throw accuracy (36 of 63) this winter.
The 5-6 senior foward displayed her tenacity by pulling down 111 rebounds, making 51 steals and distributing 18 assists during her final prep season.
Stevermer also connected on 64 of 235 shots from 2-point range and 35 of 133 attempts from behind the bonus arc to cap her solid prep basketball career.
Kate Thiesse (Martin County West) - The three-time All-Area choice topped the balanced Maverick scoring attack (324 points, 13.0 ppg) to close out her senior campaign.
The four-time all-Valley Conference selection also pulled down 139 rebounds (5.6 rpg), pocketed a team-best 77 steals, dished out 49 assists and recorded 17 blocks.
The 5-8 senior forward, who connected on 46 percent of her field goals, became only the ninth player in the Martin County West girls basketball program to eclipse the 1,000-point career plateau.
The hard-charging Thiesse played a key role in guiding the Mavericks to a 20-5 record, a runner-up showing in the conference and an appearance in the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section championship game.
Emily Zaharia (GHEC/ Truman) - The two-time all-Valley Conference forward displayed her long-distance shooting touch by topping the Mustangs in 3-pointers made (50) and accuracy (38 percent).
The 5-10 senior standout generated 243 points (10.6 ppg), grabbed 70 rebounds, distributed 37 assists and pocketed 30 steals this season.
The two-time All-Area choice connected on 89 of 220 shots from the field overall and 15 of 28 from the free throw line to put the wraps on her solid four-year varsity basketball career.