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Mariner basketball players, senior Alicia Nopola and sophomore Tara Dow, embrace at the end of last Tuesday's playoff win against the Wrenshall Wrens. It was Nopola's last home game. The girls lost on Thursday to McGregor, ending their season. Photo by Michelle Ketola

Sports roundup: March 8

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Silver Bay girls lose to McGregor in playoffs

The Silver Bay girls won their first playoff game against the Wrenshall Wrens on Feb. 26. The score was almost identical to the last time the girls played the Wrens--48-34. After their win, the Mariners went on to play the No.2 ranked McGregor Mercuries, and fell 77-23, ending their season.

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Alicia Nopola led the team and the conference in scoring, notching 21 points per game and landing just below McGregor's Abby Hawkinson on the list of top scorers. She also surpassed the 1,000 point mark of her career this season. She was No.2 in rebounds, with 12.4 per game. Sophomore Tara Dow also made the list, ranking No.8 with 6.9 rebounds per game.

The Silver Bay girls finished the season ranked No.10 in the Polar League Conference. Their final record was 4-20. The team will graduate two seniors: Rosie Sauerborn and Alicia Nopola.

Silver Bay boys show big improvements

Though the Silver Bay boys' record wasn't what they would have hoped, they've had a successful season in terms of growth, as evidenced by their improvements in scoring. In fact, they almost defeated a team last week that may have underestimated their abilities.

The boys lost to the Mesabi Academy Bulldogs at their first game of the season, back in November. The score showed that the Bulldogs were leaps and bounds ahead of the Mariners--the final tally was 80-36. When the Mariners faced the Bulldogs again last Tuesday, it was a different story. The boys held their own with the Bulldogs, and made them work for every bucket.

The score was close at halftime, 30-33, and the Mariners outscored the Bulldogs by one point in the second half. Although it wasn't enough to win the game, it clearly showed the Mariners' improvements over the course of the season.

Senior Kyle Blood scored 38 points in the game and junior Eben Fisher stepped up, sinking 25 points. Chazmun McBeath led the Bulldogs with 36 points.

The Mariners face the No.5-ranked Carlton Bulldogs for their first playoff game on Tuesday night (the Mariners are ranked No.10 in the conference). The results were not available by press time. If they win, they will go on to play the No.3-ranked Floodwood Polar Bears.

Two Harbors girls end season with Eveleth-Gilbert game

After a three-game winning streak, the Agates fell to the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears in their first playoff game on Feb. 27, ending their season. Junior Lane Schraufnagel led the scoring with 12, while junior Krista Keranen and sophomore Casey Cross scored 10 each.

The season, one of rebuilding for the girls, still ended on a high note with obvious improvements. They lost to the Golden Bears at the end of January, but they stifled them during the playoff game and only let them score 47 points, compared to 66 last time. They defeated the Cook County Vikings on Feb. 22, to whom they lost by more than 30 points in the beginning of the season.

Schraufnagel led the team and was ranked well in the conference. She was No.10 in scoring with 9 points per game, No.5 in rebounds with 8.1 per game and No.5 with a field goal percentage of 42%.

Keranen was No.7 for scoring, with 11.9 points per game. Cross was No.14 for rebounds, grabbing 5.2 per game for the Agates. Junior Allison Nowacki was ranked No.12 for rebounds with 5.7 per game and sophomore Briana Stuberud topped the conference in steals, averaging 4.8 per game.

The girls lose just two players this year: Holly Nowacki and and Kalee Prince. The Agates finished No.9 in the Polar League Conference with a 7-20 record.

Two Harbors boys win one, lose one on the way to playoffs

After putting up a good fight, the Agates lost to the South Ridge Panthers last Thursday. They started the second half winning, but the Panthers scored 44 in the second half to the Agates' 19 points. Junior Kyle Omtvedt led scoring with 13 points (including 3 three-point shots) and senior Trygve Lodin had 11.

The boys played Mesabi East on Friday, and redeemed themselves with 65-57 win. Sophomore Alex Lemke led the scoring this time, sinking 23 points. Omtvedt had 18, with three more three-pointers.

Now with a 6-17 record, the boys will face the Deer River Warriors on Wednesday. The Warriors are 18-7. If the Agates win, the will go on to play the winner of the International Falls vs. Marshall match.

Local hoopsters named all-conference

Three Lake County players were given top honors in the conference. Senior Mariner guard Kyle Blood was named to the first all-conference team, putting him among the top six players in the conference. Blood is the points-per-game leader in the Polar League Conference, No.5 in assists, No.8 in rebounds and No.3 in steals. He surpassed 1,000 career points this year and has led the Mariners in all aspects.

Senior forward Charlie Pavlisich and sophomore guard Alex Lemke, who both play for the Agates, were named as honorable mentions. Lemke and Pavlisich are the No.8 and No.9 scorers in the conference, respectively. Pavlisich is No.10 in assists and No.4 in field goal percentage. Lemke is No.6 in free throw percentage and Pavlisich is No.9.

The boys will play in the All Star Game at Barnum High School on April 2. Lemke will play on the blue team while Blood and Pavlisich will play on the white team, coached by Two Harbors Head Coach Tom Nelson.

The sports roundup is compiled by Reporter LaReesa Sandretsky. She can be reached at lsandretsky@lcnewschronicle.com or 834-2141.

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