hhs girls basketball

Hibbing’s Jacie Clusiau tries to create space from Grand Rapids’ Maddi McKinney during the teams on Jan 7. The Bluejackets travel to Cloquet for a game against the Lumberjacks starting at 7:15 p.m.

Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — The Hibbing High School girls basketball team is coming off a week where they beat both Grand Rapids and Esko, but now is not the time to rest on their laurels.

That’s because the Bluejackets will travel to Cloquet today to take on the Lumberjacks in a 7:15 p.m., contest at the Cloquet High School Gymnasium.

Hibbing assistant coach Matt Erickson has been pleased with the way the team has played over the past week or so.

“We were happy coming out with two-big wins last week,” Erickson said. “They’re a couple of teams who are usually playing to go to the state tournament at the end of the year.

“To beat two good teams like that is a big week for us, but looking forward, I’m hoping that we can still fix some things. I’m happy with the wins we’re getting, but we still have to find the things we need to work on, too.”

Cloquet is 1-11 coming into this game, but Erickson said there’s no way this edition of the Bluejackets can look past them.

“They’re a little bit down this year,” Erickson said. “We can’t let that determine how we’re going to approach this game. We have to play our style, and we’ve been better about getting the ball inside.

“We still need to work on finishing when we get it to the inside. We’ve stopped settling for outside shots. We’ve been more patient on offense to work the ball in, then those outside shots are always going to be there.”

The one issue is shooting percentage.

“We’re not hitting a high percentage of those shots, but the fact that we’re taking less outside shots has helped our inside game,” Erickson said.

An inside game that might be catching opponents by surprise.

“Last year, we had such a good group,” Erickson said. “We had taller, bigger players. We lost all of those girls so people might think we don’t have much of an inside presence. We actually do.

“We’ve had some games where Kourtney (Manning) and Fanci (Williams) are getting double-digit rebounds. In our last four or five games, they’re averaging between 10 and 15 rebounds. That’s been a huge key for our success right now.”

This game is a 7AAA contest, so it will be important for QRF when seeding time rolls around.

“With everybody beating everybody right now, it’s going to come down to tiebreakers,” Erickson said. “If we’re splitting with some of these teams like Rapids or someone like Hermantown, the teams we play twice, that section record will come into play.

“We have to take any win where we can get them, but the section wins are always big.”

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