December 18, 2014

Lady Eagles win district championship

Tim Barnum
Chelsea Dery and Danielle Jurek embrace as soon as the final buzzer sounds.
Tim Barnum
Brianna Dery puts up a shot down low.
Tim Barnum
AE's Danielle Jurek orchestrates the offense.
Tim Barnum
The Arenac Eastern girls basketball team celebrates at center court with their fans.
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BAY CITY — The Arenac Eastern girls basketball team’s great season will roll, as the Lady Eagles defeated Michigan Lutheran Seminary 54-48 at St. Hyacinth gymnasium on March 5.

“It was an up and down game,” said AE coach Butch Beckham. “I knew we were going to have to step up and the girls did.”

But nothing came easy for AE. The North Star League champs led 24-20 at halftime and every time the Eagles seemed poised to put some distance between themselves and the MLS Cardinals, MLS would answer back, hitting several three-pointers in the third and fourth quarters.

“We might have lost a little wind there in the third quarter,” Beckham said. “But we recovered."

“It’s like I tell them, you have to finish every play and finish every game, and we did.”

Senior point guard Danielle Jurek said she didn’t feel any relief until there was only about five seconds left in the game, despite Ashley Navarre’s late game free-throw shooting keeping the Cardinals at bay.

“Anything can happen,” Jurek said. “It was a very close game and we haven’t had much of those.”

Chelsea Dery, who has played through the pain from a knee injury all season, said she felt no relief “until the buzzer hit zero point zero.”

But her attention quickly turned to the next game at Michigan Lutheran Seminary on Tuesday, March 9.

“I’m going to ice my knee and get ready for regionals,” Dery said.

Beckham said the game would be beneficial as the Eagles continue their season.

“Most of our games have been lopsided, so this was good for us,” he said.

Ashley Navarre led AE with 14 points. Chelsea Dery added 13.

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