Late stretch lifts Rockets to win at Big Bay de Noc

Girls Basketball

Holli Stapleton

­­GARDEN CORNERS — The new year hasn’t been kind to the Rapid River girls’ basketball team — until Friday night.

The Rockets traveled to Big Bay de Noc, put it all together in the fourth quarter and pulled out a 47-42 Skyline Conference win for their first victory in 2018.

“We just ended a three-game losing streak,” Rapid River coach Mitch Hall said. “Hopefully that streak is done and we can get back on track. It was a good game. I was nervous right to the end.”

The Rockets overcame a 25-point outburst by Big Bay’s Holli Stapleton, who also had eight rebounds.

Rapid River (5-3) relied more on a balanced attack, with Elizabeth Goodacre producing 14 points and four rebounds and Kristin Goodacre supplying 12 points, four assists and four steals. Jaden Schwartz also scored eight points, Rachel Bintner chipped in with eight points, five rebounds and four steals, Emily Thibault grabbed five rebounds and Jenna Rubick had three steals.

It was a defensive game in the first half, with Big Bay (3-6) leading 19-16 at halftime. The Rockets pulled ahead 26-25 after three quarters.

Rapid River took advantage of a Big Bay cold spell and built a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Black Bears charged back to within five points at game’s end.

“We were doing really well except for a four-minute stretch late in the third quarter and early fourth quarter,” Big Bay coach Brad McPhee said. “We couldn’t hit a shot and these were not bad shots.

“We had some bad passing and we didn’t take care of the ball during that stretch. And Rapid got hot from the outside. Their run happened when we decided to go in a funk.

“It was back and forth up to that point. I was happy with our effort up to that point. I thought the girls dug it out at the end. Except for the four minute stretch, I was happy with how we played.”

Senior Brooke Dalgord generated nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Black Bears, who shot 52 percent from the field and were plagued by 30 turnovers.

The Rockets, who shot 33 percent from the field and overcame 25 turnovers.

Hall said his team applied effective full-court pressure in the second half.

“We knew we had to shut down Brooke and Stapleton,” said Hall, whose team made five 3-pointers. “Holli was a force with 25 points.

“I told the girls, ‘Our defense might not produce until the fourth quarter. And when we can make baskets, everything else goes better. It was hard to get into a rhythm. Thankfully, we hit it for a few minutes in the fourth quarter.”

Both teams return to action Tuesday, with Rapid River traveling to Carney-Nadeau and Big Bay hosting North Central.

The summary:

Rapid River 13 3 10 21 — 47

Big Bay 12 7 6 17 — 42

Rapid River — Bintner 8, E. Goodacre 14, K. Goodacre 12, Rubick 2, LaCosse 1, Thibault 2, Schwartz 8. FT: 14-22; F: 21; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Bintner 2, K. Goodacre 2, Schwartz.

Big Bay — McPhee 5, Mercier 3, Dalgord 9, Stapleton 25. FT: 12-23; F: 17; Fouled out: McPhee.