PERKINS - The Bark River-Harris Broncos are now one step closer to becoming district champions after they defeated the Mid-Peninsula Wolverines 57-33 Wednesday night.
It was a high-intensity contest right away, and both teams battled in the first quarter. No one could find a bucket, until Sarah Madalinski nailed a three-pointer to put the Broncos on the board. After that, there was really no looking back.
"Our girls came out and played hard right from the get-go," said Wolverines coach Ryan Lyle. "We had them for the first couple of possessions, we just couldn't get shots to drop. We gave them our best punch right in the beginning, and they just took it. And then they started chipping away at us."
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Mid Peninsula’s Krysta VanDamme struggles against a trap by Kylie VanBrocklin (34) and Katie Schultz (32) of Bark River-Harris during the first quarter of their district tournament game Wednesday, in Perkins. The Broncos won 57-33.
The Broncos (18-4) got their speedy transition game going, and it helped them get off to a 16-9 start. The opening of the second quarter was the nail in the coffin though, as Madalinski drove in for a bucket and then Kylie VanBrocklin hit back to back triples.
Their momentum carried the Broncos to a 20-point halftime lead. All they had to do was play defense well enough to prevent a massive comeback, and a trip to the district championship would be theirs.
"I thought a critical point in the game was when we got enough separation to pull (Mid Pen) out of their zone defense," said Broncos coach Joel Schultz. "Once that happened, we had control of the game."
Bark River-Harris 16 20 10 11 - 57
Mid Peninsula 9 7 8 9 - 33
BARK RIVER-HARRIS - Jenshak 13, Starnes 4, Hardy 4, Madalinski 15, Schultz 2, VanBrocklin 6, Frazer 13; FT: 3-9; F: 14; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Jenshak, Madalinski, VanBrocklin 2.
MID PENINSULA - Westlund 1, Shope 6, Nummilien 9, Kayser 6, Branstrom 5, VanDamme 6; FT: 8-18; F: 14; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Shope.
With the win, BR-H advances to host the North Central Jets (14-8), who dropped Hannahville 61-18 Wednesday night.
"It will be a tough game, but they're all tough at this point," Schultz said.
Madalinski led the Broncos in nearly every category, putting up 15 points, six rebounds, five assists, six steals, and two blocks. Both Kortney Jenshak and Caitlyn Frazer scored 13.
Kelsie Nummilien paced the Wolverines with nine points.
"Bark River is a good team, so it's tough to keep a good team down," Lyle said. "The best you can do is go punch for punch with them and hope you land the last one, we just didn't do it tonight."
After the game concluded, coach Lyle and some of his senior players became a little emotional when it came time to leave.
"I'm very proud of these girls," he said. "I've had four years with them, so it's tough."