AE girls stay unbeaten, win W-P Christmas tournament
AuGres-Sims 51, Hale 34
WHITTEMORE — The game very much resembled the first time the AuGres-Sims and Hale girls basketball teams met just a week earlier.
So did the final result.
AGS broke open a close game with an 18-0 run in the third and fourth quarters to defeat the Eagles 51-34 and earn a tournament championship game appearance against Arenac Eastern. Only six days earlier, the Wolverines used a similar late run to hand Hale a North Star League defeat.
"It was almost exactly the same as last week," said Hale coach Joe Kimmerer. "We just ran out of gas."
Hale was playing without center Sara Michalski, whose services the Eagles did have during the teams' first meeting. Without Michalski to contend with, the Wolverines built up a 35-23 edge in rebounding, including 10 each by Adriane Swaffield and Tasha Trombley.
AGS held a 22-17 halftime lead, but Hale crept to within 28-26 as Tarra Caverly scored five points during a 7-2 run.
Swaffield ended the third quarter with two free throws and the Wolverines went on to score the first 16 points of the fourth quarter. Ashli Maser, who hit a 3-pointer during the run, ended it with a traditional 3-point play that made it a 46-26 game.
Caverly led Hale (1-3) with 22 points and seven steals.
The Wolverines (5-1) were paced by Emily Lutz with 12 points and five assists. Swaffield, Trombley and Maser each added 10 points.
Arenac Eastern 52, Whittemore-Prescott 30
Arenac Eastern headed into Monday's first-round tournament game unbeaten, while Whittemore-Prescott was still searching for its first victory.
But for much of the game, it was hardly the mismatch most expected.
W-P stayed within two points of the Eagles for most of the first half before Eastern used a big third-quarter run to pull away to a 52-30 victory that earned them the right to play AuGres-Sims for the tournament title on Tuesday.
"We hung in there," said W-P coach Jeff Miller. "We were helped by the fact that Arenac didn't shoot very well, but we were getting some good post looks. We didn't take advantage of everything we got, but I'm seeing signs that things are coming."
Cortney Bork's 3-pointer late in the first quarter gave W-P a 9-7 lead, and a pair of Cory Durham baskets kept the Cards close. The last such hoop cut Eastern's lead to 15-13, but Marcy Langstaff closed the first half with a 3-pointer.
The Eagles' 18-2 run in the third quarter expanded a 22-17 lead to 40-19 and put the game out of reach.
In the end, it was 34 W-P turnovers that turned the table AE's way.
Bork led the Cardinals (0-4) with 15 points, while Durham had 13 rebounds.
Chelsea Dery led AE (5-0) with 22 points, with Erin Ecker adding eight and Langstaff seven.
Arenac Eastern 43, AuGres-Sims 31
The result was the first girls basketball trophy for the Arenac Eastern trophy case in many a year, but the Eagles didn't seem content to leave it at that, not after beating AuGres-Sims 43-31 to win the Whittemore-Prescott Christmas Tournament.
After all, it was only the first of potentially four meetings this season, with the North Star League and district tournament titles long from being decided, and both teams in the running for both prizes.
"It's a stop a long the road," said AE coach Butch Beckham. "We didn't shoot well, but we rebounded well and we defended well."
As for being 6-0 heading into Christmas:
"It feels pretty good," Beckham said. "But it doesn't mean much yet."
With both teams playing in a zone defense and patiently working the ball on offense, points were few and far between for the first two and a half quarters. Neither team led by more than four points in a tightly contested first half that ended deadlocked at 17-17, and neither team could score through the first six minutes of the third quarter.
"It was the same as when we played Posen," said AGS coach Gordie Ostrander. "We couldn't buy a basket. It's hard to imagine committing just nine turnovers in a game and losing, but we did."
"Once AE snapped the tie on a Chelsea Dery basket, the dam broke. The Eagles finished the third quarter on a game-deciding 11-2 run, with Dery scoring six of the points and Briana Dery adding a 3-point play.
Chelsea Dery opened the fourth quarter with a fast break hoop when the Wolverines put on their full court press, and the 30-19 lead was more than AGS could overcome, though the Wolverines at one point shaved the margin down to six.
"We made a little run, and then let them make a run to get back in it," Beckham said. "We held our composure and made the plays we needed to."
"They're pretty tough," Ostrander said. "You can tell their girls have worked very hard to improve, and it's paying off."
Chelsea Dery led AE with 14 points, her season-low, with Briana Dery adding nine.
The Wolverines (5-2) were led by Tasha Trombley with nine points and Emily Lutz with eight.
Hale 55, Whittemore-Prescott 41
Tarra Caverly scored 33 points, many of them coming off her own or teammates' steals, as Hale dropped Whittemore-Prescott 55-41 in Tuesday's W-P Christmas Tournament consolation game.
The Eagles broke the game open with a 20-8 run in the second quarter, and while Caverly was at her best for most of the game, there were plenty of contributors in the game-deciding run. Sara Michalski had three baskets, while Katie Runyan had three steals and two hoops that helped the Eagles build a 30-15 lead shortly before the half.
"You saw in that second quarter why Katie is a starter for us," said Hale coach Joe Kimmerer. "She plays all-out all the time. She was there when we needed a sparkplug. She made some steals, finished her layups and gave us a real good boost."
Cortney Bork's 3-pointer and Shanaisse King's two free throws helped W-P close to within eight in the third quarter, but the Cards could get no closer.
Cory Durham led W-P (0-5) with 15 points and 17 rebounds, while Bork added 12 points.
Michalski added 12 points for Hale (2-3), Caverly had seven steals and Laura Sidebottom had six rebounds and five steals.