Esky girls fizzle against Miners

Girls basketball

Mike Mattson | Daily Press Escanaba’s Mykenzie Monkevich (10) puts up a shot over Negaunee’s Abby Nelson (42) in Tuesday night’s game.

ESCANABA — The Escanaba girls’ basketball team was “running on empty” Tuesday night against Negaunee.

The host Eskymos — playing their third game in four days — started fast but finished on fumes in a 62-41 non-conference loss to unbeaten Negaunee.

“We did get off to a good start,” Esky coach Mike Beveridge said about the Parents Night contest. “We had good pressure D and we were playing the game we wanted to play pushing the ball.

“I really believe the girls ran out of gas. Lexi (Chaillier) got off to a good start. Offensively, we were looking good, but when the legs get tired, and you start running out of gas, you have turnovers and the defense gets sloppy. We had three games in four days and it’s a lot. We still have one more to go this week.”

Esky (2-1) will turn around and host Marquette Thursday night.

Mike Mattson | Daily Press Escanaba’s Lexi Chaillier launches a shot in front of Negaunee’s Clara Johnson (10) and Natalie Bartle (33) in Tuesday night’s game.

Negaunee displayed its high-octane attack with its speed, defense, perimeter and post play. And Natalie Bartle led the way with 27 points, six rebounds and eight steals. The do-everything guard has committed to Division II Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

“Natalie was with these girls until seventh grade, she moved away and moved back for her senior year,” Negaunee coach Brandon Sager said.

“She s a special player. She anticipates the game so well.”

Esky started fast with Chaillier scoring her team’s first nine points. The Eskymos had a 15-4 early lead and 15-10 advantage after one quarter.

But the Miners, who shot 4-of-18 in the first quarter, turned up their pressure defense and made 11-of-18 shots, including four 3-pointers.

Just like that Negaunee led 37-25 at halftime and cruised to its third straight victory.

“Thats what we’ve done all season, even though it’s been a short season,” Sager said.

“Our defense has created our offense. We changed our lineup a little bit tonight and we brought Ielee Shiroda in and she was a spark plug in the second quarter. We’ve been struggling in our half-court sets, so if we can get out and run it’s in our favor.”

Guard Clara Johnson had 11 points, MacKenzie Karki came off the bench to score 11 points and Abby Nelson grabbed seven rebounds for the Miners, who shot 41 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Eskymos 36-20.

“I told the girls nothing is going to be easy tonight,” Sager said. “They battled with us. it was a good road win for us.”

Chaillier finished with a team-high 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists before fouling out, while Savannah Barron chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds for the Eskymos.

Esky had 18 turnovers and shot 23 percent from the field.

Negaunee will host Houghton Friday, while Esky will get ready for the Redettes.

“We have four games in six days and we knew it would be tough,” Beveridge said. “The girls are playing hard. They gave it all they had tonight, but it wasn’t enough.”

Negaunee also won the JV game 54-23.

The summary:

Negaunee 10 27 12 13 — 62

Escanaba 15 10 11 5 — 41

Negaunee — Karki 11, Johnson 11, Norman 2, Drew 2, Shiroda 3, Jacobson 1, Bartle 27, Nelson 3, Dempsey 2. FT: 6-12; F: 20; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Karki, Johnson, Bartle 3, Nelson.

Escanaba — Kamin 4, Monkevich 8, Chaillier 11, Wilson 4, Carter 4, Barron 10. FT: 14-24; F: 18; Fouled out — Chaillier; 3-point field goals: Chaillier.