Top-ranked Mustangs rout Rapid River

Girls basketball

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Rapid River’s Kristin Goodacre (30) puts up a layup over Munising’s Michaela Werner (30) during the first half of a Class D district game at Big Bay de Noc Monday.

GARDEN CORNERS — The Munising girls’ basketball team turned on the jets in the third quarter to blow by Rapid River 77-35 Monday during its opening Class D district game.

After just a 14-point game at the half, Munising exploded for 38 points in the third quarter to break the game open.

“I thought we played pretty well,” said Munising coach Matt Mattson. “Rapid had a good game plan in the first half. They were trying to pull it out a little bit on us. I told the girls just to be patient and it will come and sure enough it did. In the third quarter there was an offensive explosion and everything was going in. We know we’re going to get everybody’s best shot and we have to be ready to go.”

Munising came out of the gate ready as it took an early 11-4 lead. The Rockets would then pull within three before taking a 17-10 deficit going into the second quarter.

The Mustangs (20-1) scored the first five points of the second period to push the lead to 12. The Rockets (8-12) would get back into the game and at one point only trailed by nine before Munising built a 32-18 lead into halftime.

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Rapid River’s Jaden Schwartz (44) puts up a shot over Munising’s Nykole Fitzgibbon (23) during the first half of a Class D district game at Big Bay de Noc Monday.

“Our mindset was to hold the ball,” said Rapid River coach Mitch Hall on staying with Munising for most of the first half. “We figured the less time they have the ball the less time they have to score.”

When the third quarter started the Mustangs were done playing around. They picked up the full-court defense and forced 12 turnovers that led to plenty of offensive opportunities.

And they sure capitalized on those opportunities as the Mustangs shot an incredible 14-for-17 (82 percent) from the field on their way to a 70-30 lead by the end of the period.

“We had the pressure on them so we got some turnovers and made some 3-pointers,” said Mattson, whose team is ranked No. 1 in the U.P. and No. 2 in the AP state poll. “Even when we’re not getting turnovers the constant pressure gets to people at times. We normally keep it on for a while and tonight we might have kept it on longer than normal because it’s a district game.”

A big reason for Munising’s 3rd quarter run is the play from Kianne Wendt, who scored 14 of her game-high 23 points in the third period including a stretch where she scored 10 straight points.

“Kianne Wendt was just voted Player of the Year in our conference today and she’s a fantastic player,” said Mattson. “She takes her time in there and she can step out and hit the jump shot if she needs to. She had a very good night but we expect that from her.”

Shelby LaCosse led the way for the Rockets with 11 points and Elizabeth Goodacre added 10.

Daryn Johnson followed Wendt in scoring with 18 points including four straight 3-pointers to end the third quarter. Michaela Werner added 11 points for the Mustangs.

“You got to give credit to Munising’s team,” said Hall. “They got some great athletes on that team. They’re very well coached, very well rounded, can hurt you on the inside and they can hurt you on the outside. We wish them luck here in their tournament run.”

Munising will take on Mid Peninsula Wednesday at Big Bay de Noc for its next district game.

The summary:

Rapid River 10 8 12 5 — 35

Munising 17 15 38 7 — 77

Rapid River — Bintner 9, E. Goodacre 10, K. Goodacre 2, Rubick 3, LaCosse 11; FT: 3-7; F: 19; Fouled out: LaCosse; 3-point field goals: Bintner 3, E. Goodacre 1.

Munising — Wendt 23, K. Ackerman 9, M. Ackerman 4, Johnson 18, Werner 11, Downs 2, Stampfly 2, Fitzgibbon 8; FT: 11-24; F: 11; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: K. Ackerman 1, Johnson 5, Fitzgibbon 2.