Bay cagers sweep Gogebic
ESCANABA — The Bay College women gave sophomore Caitlin Hewitt a royal sendoff Saturday as they concluded their inaugural basketball season with a 69-58 victory over Gogebic Community College.
“This was a great experience,” Hewitt said after her final game. “I’m glad I got an opportunity to play again.”
The Bay men prevailed in a barnburner as they rallied past Gogebic 81-79 in their season-finale in front of a near capacity crowd.
“I don’t think it can get much more exciting than this,” said Bay men’s coach Matt Johnson. “They got in foul trouble and I believe that made a big difference. Gogebic is a very good basketball team, but I think they had a hard time matching up with our big guys. These are two very evenly matched teams. We knew it was going to be a battle.”
The victories enabled the Norse to gain a split in the season series. The women fell at Gogebic 72-51 and the men dropped a 96-89 triple-overtime decision Jan. 24 in Ironwood.
“I think we were more prepared for them today,” said Hewitt, who collected 10 points and six assists. “I want to give coach Drake credit for that. He worked us hard in practice and prepared us well.”
Freshman guard Dre’ Touminen scored the last six points in the men’s contest, including a free throw with four seconds remaining.
Gogebic still had a chance to win it, but missed the last shot.
Tuominen sank a 10-foot running jump shot and free throw to pull Bay within 79-78 with 44.3 seconds left to play, then sent the Norse ahead to stay with a pair of gifters with 31 seconds remaining.
“I can’t say enough about the support we got from our campus community, sponsors and area fans,” said Bay men’s coach Matt Johnson. “The women’s and men’s teams put on a pretty good show. They did heck of a job building a foundation for our program.”
Gogebic took a 67-57 lead on a layup by freshman Dachau Lyle midway through the second half.
The Norse (21-9) responded with nine unanswered points and climbed within 67-66 on a gifter by Tuominen with 6:45 remaining, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish.
Freshman forward Tyler Willette paced the Norse with 25 points. Kobi Barnes added 24 and Tuominen finished with 16.
Sophomore Garfield Voker scored 25 points. Freshman Trevor Cook tossed in 21 and Davonte Williamson had 11 for Gogebic.
The Bay women led 40-26 at halftime, but the Samsons climbed within 44-37 on a free throw by freshman Vanessa Nasi with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
“When you get down it seems like it takes so much more energy to come back,” said Gogebic coach Mark Movrich. “We cut the lead in half, but we have to give Bay credit. They played hard and they played well. At times I was pleased with our defense, but overall we didn’t do a good enough job pressuring the ball. They did a good job taking away what we wanted to do.”
The Norse led 49-39 after the third stanza, then opened the fourth on a 25-foot set shot by Hewitt and a layup by freshman forward Teidra Fuson for a 54-39 advantage.
“This is probably the best we played against a quality team all year,” said Bay women’s coach Rae Drake, Jr. “I was pleased with our defense. Their effort was phenonemanl. I’m very happy for the girls. They deserve it with all the hard work they put in. They’ve improved through the year.”
Freshman forward Teidra Fuson led the Norse with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Guard Jordan Kraemer collected 15 points, 11 boards and five steals and Paige Welch had 12 points.
“They (Gogebic) picked up their defense in the second half,” said Drake. “They’re an aggressive team. I thought we handled the ball pretty well well and got it inside to Teidra. What a game she had.”
Sophomore guard Lori Wardynski hit 24 points. Freshman guard Bailey Froberg had 18 points and sophomore forward Lexi Engler grabbed 12 boards for the Samsons (16-14).
The Samsons held a 46-44 rebounding edge, hit 22-of-66 field goals and committed 23 turnovers. Bay was 24-of-66 from the field and had 20 miscues.
Gogebic enters the post-season Sunday, facing the winner of Wednesday’s Dakota College-United Tribes Technical College contest in its Region 13 opener.
Gogebic 40 39 — 79
Bay College 35 46 — 81
Gogebic Community College — Voker 22, Hill 8, Smith 4, Cook 21, Williamson 11, Sharrow 8, Lyle 4. FT: 6-13; F: 23; Fouled out: Voker; 3-point field goals: Cook 5, Sharrow 2, Voker, Williamson.
Bay College — Fields 8, Tuominen 16, Willette 25, McKenney 7, Barnes 24. FT: 17-29; F: 15; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Fields, Tuominen, McKenney.
Gogebic 13 13 13 19 — 58
Bay College 22 18 9 20 — 69
Gogebic Community College — Piilola 5, Wardynski 24, Engler 8, Froberg 18, Nasi 1, Mason 2. FT: 7-22; F: 21; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Froberg 4, Wardynski 2, Piilola.
Bay College — Welch 12, Hewitt 10, Kinnunen 5, Kraemer 15, Belleville 8, Fuson 19. FT: 13-18; F: 14; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Welch 3, Hewitt 2, Belleville 2, Kraemer.