Trudell cans 6 treys, Bay women cruise
ESCANABA — They can win in a number of ways, but two things have primarily been the focal points for success for the Bay college women this season — their intense, full-court pressure defense, and the outside shooting of sophomore guard Haley Trudell.
Both things were on display in the first half of Wednesday night’s basketball game at Bay College, as the Norse got 17 first-half points from Trudell and forced 18 turnovers to take a 40-24 lead into halftime and then held on the rest of the way for a 64-52 win over Gogebic Community College.
Trudell, a Mid Peninsula High School graduate, hit three of her six 3-pointers just a little over two minutes into the game to help the Norse (13-6) build a 9-3 lead. After the Samsons (10-7) pulled within 20-17 with 6:24 left in the first half, Trudell scored eight straight points in just 39 seconds to give the Norse a 28-17 advantage at the 5:45 mark.
“Haley was pretty hot to start the game,” Norse coach Rob Robinson said. “She’s been a little under the weather, so she hasn’t been feeling too well and she hasn’t been shooting too well, so it was nice to see her bounce back and really get things going.”
Kaitlyn Hardwick played a key role in the last five points of Trudell’s eight-point stretch. On Trudell’s second basket, Hardwick chased down a loose ball in the corner and found Trudell wide open underneath the basket. After Bay came up with another steal and missed at the rim, Hardwick grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to a wide open Trudell in the left corner for her fifth triple of the half.
“Kaitlyn had five steals tonight and did a lot of good things,” Robinson said. “She knows Haley’s hot, so she’s going to find her.”
Bay’s pressure defense rattled the Samsons (10-7) throughout the game, but particularly in the second quarter.
“We need to just have constant pressure, constant pressure, constant pressure,” Robinson said. “The main reason is we can frustrate people, and that’s what the point is. I don’t know if we had that constant pressure in the second half, but we definitely had it in the second quarter. Our team is about constant pressure, and the more we pressure teams without fouling, the better off we are.”
After the Norse extended their lead to 51-29 on a layup by Cierra Molina with 3:16 left in the third quarter, the Samsons went on a 12-0 run to pull within 51-41 on a floater from the middle of the lane by Rylee Nicoletti with 8:54 left in the contest.
“There was a stretch there in the third quarter where I was looking at the body language of our team and we were on the verge of giving up — that’s why I called that timeout then,” Samsons coach Mark Movrich said. “I basically told them we put ourselves in this situation, so we can’t hang our heads and place blame elsewhere. Bay kind of put us in that situation because of their pressure, so they had something to do with it, but it was nice to see the girls respond and just play hard until the end.”
The Samsons got as close as 58-50 after a driving layup by Aiyana Nickel with 3:02 left to play, but Holly Wardynski answered with a big bucket as the Norse were able to control the ball and bleed the clock out.
“We talked about it before the game — Bay plays with confidence and they expect to win, so because of that they just play hard,” Movrich said. “Our girls just played. One team came to win a ball game, and the other team just came to play. I think now we kind of know what to expect from them.
“You can talk about the pressure, the pressure, the pressure, but until you see it and somebody does it to you, it doesn’t mean anything. Hopefully now the girls will have a better of understanding of the pressure they’re going to see.”
Trudell finished with a game-high 20 points, while JuliAnn Wickman added 14. Trish McGuire chipped in seven points and nine rebounds.
Samaiya Buchanan led the Samsons with 15 points, five rebounds and four steals. Haley Grover added 10 points and nine boards.
The Norse shot 21 for 55 from the field, grabbed 36 rebounds and had 23 turnovers. Gogebic was 17 for 45 from the field, had 35 rebounds and committed 31 turnovers.
Bay heads to Sault Ste. Marie to visit the Lake Superior State jayvee team Sunday, while the Samsons visit Central Lakes College, Minn. Friday.
Gogebic CC 11 13 15 13 — 52
Bay College 18 22 11 13 — 64
Gogebic CC — Buchanan 15, Grover 10, Ross 6, White 9, Nickel 7, Wiggins 3, Nicoletti 2. F: 23; Fouled out: Ross. FT: 13-24; 3-point field goals: Ross 2, Buchanan 1, Grover 1, White 1.
Bay College — M. Ackerman 2, McGuire 7, Hardwick 3, Wardynski 8, Trudell 20, Wickman 14, Molina 3, Mannor 7. F: 19; Fouled out: None. FT: 15-27; 3-point field goals: Trudell 6, Wickman 1.