Two Harbors girls prepare for playoffs
The Two Harbors girls have won their last three games, easily topping Silver Bay and Duluth Marshall and putting up a tough fight against Cook County, defeating the team that beat them by more than 30 points earlier this season.
The Feb. 22 win at home was satisfying, Head Coach Chris Lemke said. In late November, Lemke told the News-Chronicle he hoped that by the end of the season, the team would have improved so significantly that they would be hard to recognize as the same team that started the season. His hope has seemingly come true.
The Agates played Cook County just two weeks into the season, and the results clearly showed the better team—Cook County won 68-35. Judging by that result, Friday’s game should have been another easy win for the Vikings. However, the Agates showed their improvement by notching a win, defeating the Vikings 45-38.
“To come back and beat them by seven…at the end, we just wanted to be a lot better than when we started. That was very rewarding,” Lemke said.
He said the girls played well offensively, spreading out the scoring among many players. The strong offensive plays from numerous Agates made them tough to defend, Lemke said.
The girls have their first playoff game against Eveleth-Gilbert on Wednesday. The Agates lost to the Golden Bears on Jan. 26 in a high-scoring, close game. Lemke said the team’s practices this week will focus almost wholly on specific strategies to defeat the Eveleth-Gilbert team. He’s been reviewing the game tape and devising drills based on the previous match against the Golden Bears.
If the girls win Wednesday’s match, they will go on to play the winner of the Marshall vs. Esko game on March 2 at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Esko (19-4 overall) is ranked first in the Polar League Conference while Marshall is ranked last in the Lake Superior conference (1-23 overall).
Silver Bay boys win second match of the season
The Mariner Boys lost to the tough Ely Timberwolves squad last Tuesday. The game ended with 71-33 score.
Senior Kyle Blood led the charge for the Mariners, scoring 12 points. Sophomore Spencer Tiboni was right behind him with 6 points and junior Eben Fisher had 5 points. Matt Vanderbeek led the Timberwolves with 17 points.
The Mariners held their position in the Polar League Conference by defeating the McGregor squad last Friday and winning their second game of the season. The McGregor squad is at the bottom of the Conference and the Mariners are one place above them. They won the game 59-44.
The boys then played Cook County on Monday, a rescheduled game and lost 48-60, with Blood scoring 20 points and Tiboni notching 11.
The boys play Mesabi Academy School at home on Tuesday.
Silver Bay girls
The Mariner girls lost two matches on their way to playoffs this last week. They put up a good fight against Ely last Tuesday. Though the Timberwolves had an 11-9 record while the Mariners were 3-15, the Silver Bay girls kept the pressure on. They answered Ely’s 31 first-half points with 21 of their own, and notched 17 more in the second half, although Ely ran away with the match by sinking 25.
Senior Alicia Nopola scored 27 points, while her younger sister Brandi had 6 and sophomore Tara Dow had 3.
The girls played a tough McGregor squad on Friday, losing to the Mercuries 79-28.
They are up against Wrenshall, a squad they defeated on Feb. 8, for their first game of playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Results weren’t available by press time, but if the girls win, they go on to play McGregor again on Feb. 28 at Hermantown.
Two Harbors boys
After their win against the Mariners, the Agate boys lost four in a row. They fell to Carlton last Tuesday, to Virginia on Thursday, to Cook County in a close game on Friday and they suffered a tough loss to Cloquet on Monday.
They held their own against Carlton at home, losing 57-44 to a team ranked three places above them in the Polar League Conference. Senior Charlie Pavlisich led the charge, scoring 15 points for the Agates. Sophomore Alex Lemke was right behind him with 10 points. Sophomore John Peer Jr. added 6 as did senior Eli Hebl. Erik Adams led Carlton with 24 points.
Thursday, they challenged Virginia on the Blue Devils’ home court, losing the game 84-42. Their game on Friday against Cook County at home was a bit more evenly matched, but in the end the Agates couldn’t keep up with the Vikings, who are ranked four places above them in the Polar League Conference. They lost by just 3 points, 46-43. Monday was another big spread, with the boys falling 26-86 to the Cloquet Lumberjacks, who scored 60 points in the first half.
The boys have an opportunity for a rematch against the Vikings on Tuesday at Cook County. They play South Ridge at home on Thursday and they head to Mesabi East High School on Friday.
The sports roundup is compiled by Reporter LaReesa Sandretsky. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 834-2141.