Eskymos finish off Flivvers

Girls basketball

Burt Angeli | The Daily News Photo Escanaba’s Mykenzie Monkevich (10) splits the Kingsford defense in Tuesday’s Great Northern Conference girls basketball game.

By Burt Angeli

Daily News Sports Writer

KINGSFORD — Escanaba reverted to form in the fourth quarter and held off Kingsford 60-54 in Great Northern Conference girls basketball Tuesday.

The Eskymos snapped a 54-54 deadlock in the final minute with a Lexi Chaillier field goal along with two free throws each from Savannah Barron and Cassidi Stannard.

“A game of two halves,” said Coach Mike Beveridge, whose Eskymos streaked to a 12-point halftime lead but trailed late in the third quarter. “In the first half we played very good basketball. We played exactly how we should and wanted to.”

Mykenzie Monkevich scored 21 points to lead the Eskymos (7-6, 1-3). Chaillier chipped in 17.

“Their speed killed us at the beginning of the game and they got lay-ups,” said Kingsford Coach Mike Cross. “Throughout the entire game they got lay-ups.

“I thought we were lucky to just be down 14 the way it was going.”

Six straight Monkevich points pushed Escanaba’s lead to 35-21 with 38 seconds left in the second quarter.

“We got up and down the floor, and kept the tempo up,” Beveridge said. “We had a lot of lay-ups and got them in foul trouble. We made things happen for ourselves.”

Kingsford moved to a zone defense in the third quarter, holding the Eskymos to just four points on a pair of Monkevich baskets. They attempted 13 field goals in that frame.

“The second half they changed things up a little bit on us,” Beveridge said. “We were a little tentative.

“That took us out of our game. Give them credit for fighting back and making some nice shots. They played good defense on us.”

A Renee Roberts’ basket put Kingsford on top 38-37 for the first time with 1:12 left in the third quarter. Jordyn Kriegl, who scored a game-high 23 points, closed out the third with a bucket and a 40-39 difference.

“In that third quarter they struggled against that zone and we started making some shots,” Cross said.

Escanaba launched the fourth quarter with 11 straight points including treys from freshman Niocole Kamin and Stannard.

Kingsford retaliated with a 14-4 blitz that tied the game. Kriegl had nine points in that run while Tori Kowalkowski hit a three-pointer.

“Jordyn had a nice night offensively,” Cross said. “She really looked for her shot.

“But we didn’t shoot particularly well throughout the game.”

Kamin blocked a break-away lay-up and also grabbed a missed free throw in the final seconds.

“My girls hung in there in the fourth quarter,” Beveridge said. “We kind of got it going again.

“My girls learned a lot. You have to play four quarters. You don’t play four quarters you’re going to lose games.”

Cross was encouraged with some aspects of his team, particularly the effort that erased a pair of double-digit Escanaba leads.

“How hard we play and the intensity, we don’t fault ever for that,” Cross said. “Escanaba certainly brought it tonight. That’s probably the fastest team we’ve played.”

The Eskymos host Calumet on Thursday and the Flivvers entertain GNC rival Marquette on Friday.

Kingsford won the junior varsity and freshmen games.

Escanaba 15 20 4 21 — 60

Kingsford 12 11 17 14 — 54

Escanaba — Kamin 7, Monkevich 21, Chaillier 17, Wilson 2, Stannard 7, Barron 6. FT: 11-16. F: 16. 3-point field goals: Kamin, Chaillier, Stannard. FG shooting: 23-53 (43 percent). Rebounds: 44.

Kingsford — J. Kriegl 23, B. Kriegl 8, Cross 3, Kowalkowski 3, Allen 6, Pickett 2, Roberts 9. FT: 10-18. F: 20. 3-point field goals: J. Kriegl, B. Kriegl, Cross, Kowalkowski.