Editor’s Note: This game was not completed when Wednesday’s edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune went to press.
Grand Rapids Herald-Review
GRAND RAPIDS — It was a rematch of last season’s Section 7AAA championship game Friday night when the Hibbing High School girls basketball team invaded the Grand Rapids High School Gymnasium to take on the Thunderhawks.
Like most games between the rivals, the game went down to the wire with Grand Rapids making more plays at the end to come away with a 59-53 victory over the Bluejackets. The Thunderhawks also avenged their loss to Hibbing in last year’s section championship game.
Grand Rapids coach Kris Hamling said it was a nice win for her team even though more work is needed.
“We are getting there; it is a work in progress,”Hamling said. “We have a lot of youth, a lot of inexperienced players this year and it is finding rotations, knowing who I can play, when I can play them and who is going to get the job done. Tonight we were in some foul trouble so we threw some younger girls in there. We were doing what we could do to get through the game.”
Hibbing coach Dave LaCoe said his team did not play particularly well in the loss on Friday.
“Fundamentally we are just not where we need to be,” LaCoe said. “Too many turnovers, giving up too many rebounds, missing too many free throws. Yes, we showed heart by coming back at the end but we have a lot of work to do.
“Grand Rapids was aggressive and when we are not strong with the ball where we had deflected passes and the such, it just makes things difficult for the girls. They panicked a little bit and gave them some easy baskets. We just didn’t make many smart plays.”
Grand Rapids led 29-24 at the half but Hibbing quickly drew closer to the Thunderhawks in the second half, taking a 33-31 advantage with 15:02 left in the game on a basket by Haley Hawkinson. Grand Rapids would retake the lead with 9:10 remaining when Maddi McKinney drained a 3-pointer to put the Thunderhawks ahead 40-38. A three-point play by Braya LaPlant with 8:28 left put Grand Rapids ahead 43-38.
But Hibbing fought back with a three-pointer by Jacie Clusiau giving the Bluejackets a 44-43 advantage with 6:58 left.
Grand Rapids then went on a nine-point run using two baskets and a free throw from Jenny Bowman, a three-pointer from Jayden Hanson and a bucket from Mya Roberts to lead 53-44 with 1:25 remaining. The Thunderhawks extended that lead to 55-45 with under a minute to play.
But Hibbing was far from finished. Reese Aune hit a 3-pointer with 57 seconds left, and then Natalie Hertling made a free throw to cut the Rapids lead to 55-49 with 53 seconds remaining. Another Grand Rapids turnover led to another Aune 3-pointer with 40 seconds left and Hibbing trailed by just 55-52. Kourtney Manning nailed a free throw with 35 seconds remaining as Grand Rapids’ lead was down to two points.
But then it was Grand Rapids’ turn to make some big plays as LaPlant hit a pair of free throws with 32 seconds left, and Taryn Hamling followed with two more free throws with 17 seconds left to put the Thunderhawks ahead 59-53. There would be no more scoring as Rapids held on for the win.
Hamling connected on four 3-pointers and led Grand Rapids with 24 points. Roberts scored eight, McKinney, seven, Bowman and Jessika Lofstrom both scored six, and LaPlant added five.
Hawkinson led a balanced Hibbing scoring attack with 13 points. Fanci Williams scored 12, Clusiau, 10, Aune had nine with three 3-pointers, and Manning added seven.
“We have a lot of work to do but our goal is to improve every day in practice and improve every game,” LaCoe explained. “If the girls work hard, that’s going to happen. We have a tough stretch coming up but we showed some heart tonight and it is a game we probably could have won. But Rapids wanted it more and played a better game.”
Hamling said the Thunderhawks are an aggressive team that sometimes plays out of control.
“We had some foul trouble tonight but as we get quicker and as we get better at playing and getting to know each other I think that is going to clean up a little bit,” Hamling explained. “But it was a nice win for us. The girls really wanted it; they knew that Hibbing is a big rival of ours and they left us with a bad taste in our mouth last year at sections and they wanted to prove that they could do it.
“I knew it was going to be a close game; it always has been and it was a pretty big battle on the floor tonight.”
HHS 24 29 — 53
GR 29 30 — 59
Hibbing: Reese Aune 9, Fanci Williams 12, Jacie Clusiau 10, Makenzie Clough 2, Haley Hawkinson 13, Kourtney Manning 7.
Grand Rapids: Jayden Hanson 3, Mya Roberts 8, Taryn Hamling 24, Jenny Bowman 6, Maddi McKinney 7, Jessika Lofstrom 6, Braya LaPlant 5.
Total Fouls: Hibbing 16; Grand Rapids 22; Fouled Out: Hanson; 3-pointers: Hibbing, Aune 3, Clusiau; Grand Rapids, Hanson, Hamling 4, McKinney; Free throws: Hibbing 23-of-34; Grand Rapids 15-of-20.
South Ridge 17
CHERRY — The Tigers had three players in double figures, led by 13 from Jessa Schroetter, in the home win over the Panthers Tuesday,
Lauren Staples finished with 12 and Karlee Grondahl had 11 for Cherry.
Adella Olesiak had seven points to pace South Ridge.
SR 9 8 — 17
CHS 37 25 — 62
South Ridge: Rylee Young 1, Svea Snickers 3, Lexi Bergum 4, Alana Young 2, Adella Olesiak 7.
Cherry: Katie Peterson 6, Lauren Staples 12, Karlee Grondahl 11, Danielle Clement 2, Kacie Zganjar 4, Kaelynn Kudis 8, Jessa Schroetter 13, Faith Zganjar 4, Jillian Sajdak 2.
Total Fouls: South Ridge 13; Cherry 19; Fouled Out: None; Free Throws: South Ridge 8-17; Cherry 12-23; 3-pointers: Snickers, Grondahl 2, Kudis 2.
North Woods 68
CHISHOLM — The Bluestreaks improved to 2-0 on the season with seven-point victory over the Grizzlies Tuesday on Bob McDonald Court in Roels Gymnasium.
Chisholm was led by Sofie Anderson with 21 points, followed by Katie Pearson with 10, Tresa Baumgard nine and Hannah Kne seven.
VIRGINIA — Lexiss Trygg had 23 points as the Blue Devils defeated the Raiders at home Tuesday.
Also hitting double figures for Virginia were Rian Aune with 13, Kaylee Iverson 11 and Anna Fink 10.
Jadin Saville and Hailey Pederson led Greenway with eight points apiece. Bailey Jo Norris had seven and Morgan Walsh six.
GHS 20 27 — 47
VHS 29 42 — 71
Greenway: Kennedy Hanson 3, Bailey Jo Norris 7, Emmalee Oviatt 4, Taylor Hocking 4, Nicholle Ramirez 5, Hailey Pederson 8, Morgan Walsh 6, Chloe Hansen 2, Jadin Saville 8.
Virginia: Anna Fink 10, Rian Aune 13, Halee Zorman 3, Lexiss Trygg 23, Kaylee Iverson 11, Macy Westby 1, Erin Haerer 8, Janie Potts 2.
Total Fouls: Greenway 23; Virginia 14; Fouled Out: Ramirez; Free Throws: Greenway 9-17; Virginia 19-33; 3-pointers: Kennedy Hanson, Norris, Ramirez, Pederson 2, Saville 2, Fink 2, Aune, Zorman, Haerer 2.