Two Harbors bests Silver Bay in boys' hoops matchup
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
Last year, the Agates boys’ basketball team defeated the Mariners in a December matchup but the Mariners came back to best the Agates in February. The year before, the Mariners overpowered the Agates in both games that season.
The Agates took a step toward settling the score last week, defeating the Mariners 65-53.
Two Harbors Head Coach Tom Nelson was pleased to tally a win for the boys, putting their record at 2-3. So far this season the Mariners haven’t yet been able to pull out a win.
“We played a really good first half and we did what we were hoping to do. Offensively, our kids moved the ball really well,” Nelson said.
During the first half, the Agates shone, but the Mariners took over after the halfway point in the game. Though it wasn’t enough to claim a victory, the Mariners outscored the Agates 37-34 in the second half.
“Silver Bay really came back into the game,” Nelson said. “We went through a lapse in the second half…and got a little more careless with the ball. That being said, a win is a win.”
Senior Kyle Blood kept the Mariners on the scoreboard, sinking 33 points.
“Kyle Blood is a very nice athlete…and we knew we had to keep an eye on him,” Nelson said.
Senior Agate Charlie Pavlisich answered with 24 points of his own. Senior Trygve Lodin added 16 and senior Steve Frikken contributed 14, nearly half of which were from 3-point shots.
Nelson said his team’s biggest weaknesses now are offensive rebounding and defense, which they’ll be addressing during practice.
Silver Bay Head Coach Rick Frericks could not be reached for comment by press time.
The Mariners face the Ely Timberwolves at home on Friday at 7:15 p.m., their last game of 2012. The Agates play the Barnum Bombers on Dec. 27 at home. Tip off time is 7:15 p.m.
Silver Bay girls suffer tough loss to Barnum
The Silver Bay girls’ basketball team held off the Barnum Bombers as long as they could last Friday.
“For us, it was a great defensive game,” said Head Coach Dan Johnson. They kept the score close for the first quarter, Johnson said, but couldn’t keep pace throughout the game.
“The girls just got tired,” he said. The final score was 52-17.
Cheyanne Johnson led the Bombers with 17 points. Senior Alicia Nopola again took charge of the Mariners’ offense, scoring 15 of Silver Bay’s 17 points.
The Barnum basketball team is always a tough opponent, Johnson said. Last year, the Mariners lost 54-9 to the Bombers, the Polar League’s number one team.
“Barnum basketball is still Barnum basketball. We were very happy with how we played,” Johnson said.
The Mariners focus in practice will now turn to offensive play. Johnson said he hopes they can spread out the scoring a little more. After three games, Nopola is averaging 20 points per game and leading the team in scoring, but Johnson said he wants to see other players sinking shots, too.
“We’re going to make some adjustments and work on our off-the-ball screens. The timing is off a little bit…that just takes time,” he said.
On Tuesday, the girls are up against Cromwell, a team that handed them a 65-26 loss last year. Johnson said they will be switching up their defensive game to challenge Cromwell’s strong point guard Allie Cahoon. He also said the Cardinals play a fast game, which can exhaust his players if they try too hard to keep pace—and tired players mean more turnovers.
“They like to play an up-tempo game, so we’re going to have to try to relax a little bit,” he said.
Two Harbors girls wrap up three games in four days
On Tuesday, the Lady Agates hit their home court for practice for the first time in almost a week.
“We’re starving for practice,” Head Coach Chris Lemke said.
The girls played at Hermantown last Friday, Duluth Denfeld at home on Saturday and at Floodwood on Monday. They lost all three matches.
“We ran into a good string of teams,” Lemke said.
Eighth-grader Ayla Lemke led the scoring against Hermantown with eight points, junior Allison Nowacki led with nine against Denfeld and junior Lane Schraufnagel dominated the Floodwood game with her 20 points and 14 rebounds. Krista Keranen played a solid offensive game throughout the weekend, scoring five points against Hermantown and seven points each against Denfeld and Floodwood.
The team has been focusing on reducing their turnovers, and Lemke said their practice has led to improvements.
“A couple of our games, we actually met turnover goals,” Lemke said.
They also watched a video of one of their own games on Thursday for the first time, and Lemke said the girls were really receptive, noticing what the coaches have been pointing out in practice. As for the upcoming games, the skill improvements will be matched in importance by the mental game.
“I’m hoping that we get a little tougher, learn a lot and not lose momentum. So much of it has to do with confidence and staying together as a team right now,” Lemke said.
The girls play the formidable Barnum squad Dec. 27 at home at 5:45 p.m. After that, they play another string of games: Jan. 3, 5 and 8 against Wrenshall, Virginia and Mesabi East. Lemke said he’s hopeful of the girls’ chances in those first three games of the 2013.
The sports roundup is written by reporter LaReesa Sandretsky. Contact her at 834-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.