Braves sweep rival Eskymos

Fourth-quarter surge propels Gladstone to win

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Members of the Gladstone girls’ basketball team celebrate after a made shot in the fourth quarter against Escanaba Monday at Gladstone.

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone girls’ basketball team just couldn’t seem to pull away from Escanaba after three quarters of a Great Northern Conference matchup Monday.

Then the fourth quarter happened.

The Braves were only up two going into the final period where they separated themselves from the Eskymos on their way to a 51-40 victory.

“Our girls came out with a lot of energy,” said Gladstone coach Andy Cretens. “In the first half we turned the ball over a little bit but the second half we executed the gameplan really well.”

The Braves (8-7, 5-1 GNC) shot an impressive 21-for-43 (49 percent) from the field while the Eskymos (8-7, 1-4 GNC) shot 14-for-43 (33 percent).

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Escanaba’s Nicole Kamin (4) drives baseline against Gladstone’s Maddie Ahlgren (5) during the third quarter Monday at Gladstone.

“We didn’t play well and we came out flat,” said Esky coach Mike Beveridge. “We didn’t get shots early on and they did get shots early on. My girls gave their effort but things just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Despite the poor shooting night the Eskymos only found themselves down two going into the fourth quarter.

Gladstone took over from there opening the fourth quarter on a 13-0 run and it never looked back.

Esky did score the last four points of the game but it was too late as its first points of the period didn’t come until 1:10 left in the game.

“We were smart and strong with the basketball,” said Cretens. “We got some real good looks in the fourth quarter because they were overplaying the passing lanes. We did a good job being strong with the basketball and finding the open person underneath the hoop.”

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Gladstone’s Megan Crow (42) goes up for a shot over Escanaba’s Cassidi Stannard during the first quarter Monday at Gladstone.

The Braves jumped out to an 8-4 lead to begin the game but the Eskymos hit three free throws towards the end of the quarter to pull within a point going into the second period.

Gladstone would open the second quarter on a 9-2 run and held its largest lead up to that point at eight.

Esky would pick up its defense and chipped away at Gladstone’s lead and pulled even with the Braves with eight seconds to go in the half off a free throw from Kathryn Wilson.

“That’s where we should be playing every quarter,” said Beveridge. “That’s the energy that I needed four quarters and we got it for half of the second quarter. After that we just didn’t have that zip.”

In the third quarter Gladstone would go up by as much as six but Esky wasn’t going to go away.

Mykenzie Monkevich converted a three-point play from the free-throw line with two seconds left to cut the deficit to 38-36 going into the final period.

Taylor Hunter was the high scorer for Gladstone with 14 and she was followed by Kaitlyn Hardwick and Megan Crow with 13 each.

Lexi Chaillier led the Eskymos with 11 points followed by Cassidi Stannard with 9.

Gladstone hosts Gwinn Thursday while Esky travels to Menominee Wednesday.

The summary:

Escanaba 7 18 11 4 — 40

Gladstone 8 17 13 13 — 51

Escanaba — Beauchamp 4, Kamin 6, Monkevich 6, Chaillier 11, Wilson 2, Stannard 9, Barron 2; FT: 10-19; F: 16; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Chaillier 1, Stannard 1.

Gladstone — Ahlgren 2, Zeise 9, Hardwick 13, Hunter 14, Crow 13; FT: 8-10; F: 14; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Zeise 1.