Mid Pen tops Big Bay in thriller

Senior Hanson delivers for Wolverines down the stretch

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Kennedy Englund (23) of Mid Peninsula drives toward the basket as Brooke Dalgord (22) of Big Bay de Noc defends Thursday at Mid Pen.

ST. NICHOLAS — The Mid Peninsula girls basketball team needed every bit of regulation to defeat Big Bay de Noc Thursday night.

Senior Sarah Hanson made some big plays for the Wolverines down the stretch as Mid Pen pulled out a 42-40 victory in this Skyline Central Conference matchup.

“The biggest thing I said to them after the game was resilience,” said Mid Pen coach Bobby Reichel. “We have three freshmen playing 90 percent of the time and I think that says a lot if you can win with three freshmen on the floor. They’re not playing like freshmen I can tell you that. I was really proud of the way we came out.”

The game was tied at 26 heading into the fourth quarter. Each team matched each other basket for basket until the Wolverines (10-8, 7-6 SCC) pulled ahead by four late in the game.

The Black Bears (7-10, 4-8 SCC) scored four unanswered points to tie the game with just under a minute to play.

And then Hanson took over. Hanson hit a shot to put the Wolverines up by two with 30 seconds left. After senior Caitlin Sefcik answered at the other end for Big Bay, Hanson drove in for a layup with five seconds left for the winning basket. Mid Pen stole the ball on the final possession to seal the victory.

“Sarah had a phenomenal game with 20 points and 21 rebounds,” said Reichel. “That’s her best game she’s ever had statistically and I was really happy with her effort. She deserves it more than anybody because she’s been here. This is her fifth year with me and that’s hard to do.”

Big Bay coach Brad McPhee was pleased with his team’s overall play.

“The girls came back after the second quarter and they could’ve tanked it but they didn’t,” said McPhee. “They hung in there and we had our opportunities.”

The first quarter was pretty even as the Black Bears pulled out to a 12-9 lead.

The second quarter was all Wolverines.

Mid Pen’s defense tightened up forcing eight turnovers and only allowing one point. The Wolverines converted five fastbreak opportunities off steals including three by Hanson. Mid Pen took a 21-13 lead and momentum heading into halftime.

“We played really good defense,” said Reichel. “The second quarter we just played really well.”

That momentum didn’t stick with the Wolverines in the third quarter as Big Bay rallied with an 11-0 run to take a two point lead. Mid Pen finally got on the board late in the quarter and tied it up at 26 heading into the final frame.

McPhee attributed many things to his team’s third quarter turnaround.

“Not shooting ourselves in the foot and being more patient on offense,” said McPhee. “Everybody was moving and getting involved instead of watching the play.”

Junior Haley Trudell added 16 points for the Wolverines.

Junior Brooke Dalgord and sophomore Holli Stapleton led the Black Bears with 11 points each.

Mid Pen hosts Stephenson Monday while Big Bay travels to Stephenson tonight.

Big Bay de Noc 12 1 13 14 — 40

Mid Peninsula 9 12 5 16 — 42

Big Bay de Noc — Yonker 2, McPhee 6, Sefcik 4, Dalgord 11, Rochefort 6, Stapleton 11; FT: 10-18; F: 10; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: none.

Mid Peninsula — Trudell 16, Croasdell 2, Hanson 20, Koski 2, Englund 2; FT: 6-9; F: 16; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Trudell 2.