Kraemer’s perfect game
Norse guard shoots 21-21 in win over Bobcats
ESCANABA — Perfection. That’s the only way to describe Jordan Kraemer’s performance against Bryant & Stratton College.
Kraemer finished a combined 21-of-21 from the field and free throw line for a season-high 31 points to lead the Norse past the Bobcats 76-58 here Saturday. It was the first time a player went an entire game without missing a shot for the Norse in their young basketball history, as Kraemer was 10-10 from the field and 11-11 from the charity stripe.
The most impressive thing about her performance was she scored that many in just 24 minutes, as she landed awkwardly on her left leg after making a layup with 7:57 left in the second quarter, and was forced to miss the rest of the first half. She came back in the second half and picked up right where she left off.
“I just relaxed and tried to focus,” Kraemer said. “This game had a different feel to it because this team broke our winning streak (in January). We came out with energy and a fire lit.”
The Norse led 27-19 when Kraemer, a second-year guard from Norway High School, went down. The Bobcats took advantage briefly, going on a 10-5 run to pull within three at the 3:05 mark of the second quarter.
But JuliAnn Wickman came to the rescue, pouring in eight points within a 35-second span to push the Norse lead to 43-29 with 34 ticks left, and they led 43-32 at the half.
“JuliAnn has probably been our most consistent player for us the last five games,” Norse coach Rob Robinson said. “She is getting some confidence and is fun to watch. She was sick to start the year but she has really come on for us lately.”
The Norse’s ability to hold off the Bobcats (16-10) while Kraemer was out was the difference in the game.
“When I got hurt, I was trying to peek through the door of the training room to see what was going on,” Kraemer said. “I’m super proud of my teammates. Even if the trainer had told me I wouldn’t be able to play in the second half I still had full confidence we were going to win. Jordan Belleville made some passes today that I have no idea how they got there. I’m so happy. This is a complete team win.”
The Norse (18-6) pulled away in the second half, as the Bobcats never came within more than eight points. A layup by Ja’Taviah Conley brought them within 47-39 with 6:08 left in the third quarter, but the Norse responded with a 12-1 run.
“It’s a great feeling,” Kraemer said. “It gives us a big confidence boost. There’s a chance we could see this team in the tournament because we’re in the same division so I feel like we sent a message. We made a statement today.”
Robinson cited he also thought revenge played a big role, as the Bobcats beat the Norse 62-56 Jan. 9 to stop Bay’s nine-game winning streak. The Bobcats are the only team to beat the Norse since Nov. 30.
“We started off really emotional,” Robinson said. “I told them we need to calm down and catch our breath, and once we did that I told them to ride their emotion out the rest of the way. I’m super proud of the kids. They all know they’re great players, and they all step up at different times. They’re a fun group to watch. They work so incredibly hard every single day.
“Jordan had an incredible game. When she shoots well, we’re going to win. She’s an incredible player.”
The Bobcats led 4-2 in the opening minute, but never led again after Haley Trudell tripled from the right wing to put the Norse up 5-4.
“We didn’t finish around the rim,” Bobcats’ coach Jeff Lorenz said. “We didn’t get a call here or there. We executed our offense and got the looks we wanted, we just couldn’t finish.”
“So we can’t blame officiating. Give them credit. They’re a disciplined, well-coached team.”
Wickman chipped in with 13 points for the Norse, while Keshia Davis had nine points and 14 rebounds.
Ashley Moses and Taynique Hawthorne led the Bobcats with 10 points each.
The Norse visit Alpena Community College tonight.
Bryant & Stratton 15 17 14 12 — 58
Bay College 22 21 17 16 — 76
Bryant & Stratton — Moses 10, Hawthorne 10, McCoy 9, Rayford 7, Jackson 7, Nzeakor 4, Rodgers 3, Conley 3, Hortman 3, Robertson 1, Jones 1. F: 28; FT: 22-32; Fouled out: None. 3-point field goals: Moses 1, Hortman 1.
Bay College — Kraemer 31, Wickman 13, Davis 9, K. Ackerman 9, Hunter 7, Trudell 3, Welch 2, Belleville 2. F: 20; FT: 19-27; Fouled out: Davis. Technical foul: coach Robinson. 3-point field goals: Wickman 3, Trudell 1, K. Ackerman 1.