GARDEN CORNERS - Superior Central's district semifinal victory Wednesday evening went about how you would expect a game between a 21-0 team and an 0-19 team to go.
The Cougars took care of business in a game that was effectively in hand after the first quarter as they rolled over Rapid River 67-25.
"I thought the girls played pretty well. We got off to a good start, the defense was working and we were making easy buckets," said the Cougars' always stoic coach Greg Trowbridge.
Photo by Paul Gerard
Superior Central’s Vanessa Freberg and Rapid River’s Kristie Kerstner battle for a rebound during their game Wednesday, in Garden?Corners. The Cougars won 67-25.
Brooke Pasanen, who hit a career-high with 23 points, opened the game on a deep triple, and hit two more from downtown throughout the game. Her third one began the running clock with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Cougars (22-0) got out to a 16-0 start and led 25-4 after the first quarter.
"We didn't come out all that strong in the first half, but we gave them the best we had in the second half," said Rockets coach Michelle Carne. "I was proud of my girls and proud of my seniors for working hard and not giving up the whole season."
Sup Central 25 19 13 10 - 67
Rapid River 4 3 8 10 - 25
SUPERIOR CENTRAL - Pasanen 23, Barrows 9, Coleman 8, Richmond 4, Freberg 7, Tyner 10, Trowbridge 2, Swajanen 2, Pirman 2; FT: 8-9; F: 5; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Pasanen 3.
RAPID RIVER - Stropich 1, H. Kanyuh 3, A. Kanyuh 6, Pavlet 2, Stenlund 4, Brockway 4, Kerstner 3, J. Miller 2; FT: 3-4; F: 11; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: H. Kanyuh, Kerstner.
It was a tall order for the Rockets (0-20), who came close to a win multiple times toward the end of the season, to open their district against the No. 2 team in the state.
"Like I told the girls, we had a tough draw, but I told them not to play scared, to have confidence and trust in what we do, and they did that," Carne said. "They gave me their all, so I was proud of them."
Senior Averi Kanyuh in her final game, led the Rockets with six points.
For Superior Central, fresh off breaking the 1,000-point plateau Monday against Engadine, junior Vanessa Freberg had a quiet seven points. However, she was able to find her teammates plenty often with some nice passes inside, helping Pasanen to her career night along with Lindsey Richmond, who had seven assists. Trowbridge said the selfless performance spoke to Freberg's character.
"She had seven points and I never saw her looking to score," he said. "She got her teammates involved and that's so important. It shows what kind of player she is."
The Cougars rested nearly all of their starters in the fourth quarter and played their bench including a handful of JV callups.
"We got everyone in today and that might not happen again," said Trowbridge. "My starters got the job done early, we had a running clock, so I figured it was a good time for them to rest and get ready for Friday."
Superior Central will now meet Munising in the district final Friday night. The Mustangs beat Big Bay de Noc 50-33 in the second game of the evening.
"We beat them pretty handily," said Trowbridge. "We'll see what happens but I think right now all we have to do is play our game. I'm pretty happy with things right now."