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Bark River girls top Jets

Todd Rose | Daily Press North Central’s Zoe LaBonte (left) fouls Bark River-Harris’ Cara Zawacki (13) during a layup Monday at North Central.

POWERS — After a back-and-forth battle in the opening minutes, the Bark River-Harris Broncos girls basketball team (5-2) pulled away to defeat the North Central Jets (2-4) 56-36 Monday night in Powers.

“It’s always good to win at North Central. (They’re) the biggest rival for the girls,” said Broncos head coach Matt Richer. “I told the girls, ‘This is always going to be your biggest game until districts.’ It’s always good to win here.”

The Jets and Broncos traded shots for the lead in the opening minutes. Aspen Fredrick put the first point on the board for Bark River with a free throw 28 seconds in, but the Jets struck back quickly with a two-point shot from Sam Burton.

Burton’s two was followed up by Zoe LaBonte, who went 1-2 from the charity stripe.

Cara Zawacki hit a three 12 seconds later to put Bark River up 4-3.

Another two shots from North Central — from Andie Arsenault and Shea LaCoursier — put the Jets up again 7-4. They would hold on to the lead until it was 10-6. Then the Broncos smoothly took the lead off shots from Zawacki, Kassidy Roll, Alexis Berg and Allison Richer to earn a 17-11 advantage at the end of the first.

In the second, the Broncos outscored the Jets 16-6. North Central had the edge in scoring 9-8 in the third while Bark River, again, outscored them in the fourth 15-10.

“We took the press off, we were really struggling with the press,” said coach Richer. “They (North Central) did a good job breaking it.

“I think we just settled down defensively … (We) got a little more aggressive in the half-court man.”

Zawacki (13), Cappaert (11) and Richer (10) led the Broncos in scoring. Coach Richer also mentioned the performance of Kassidy Roll, who had eight points.

“I think Kassidy did good,” he said. “She’s playing multiple spots. She’s our helper on defense, our physical girl … She’s kind of versatile, and she’s been playing a lot better for us.”

For the Jets, the loss boiled down to the team’s youth said North Central coach Pete Schlenvoght.

“The inexperience showed and a little panic,” Schlenvogt said. “We got over it a little bit in the second half, but by then, we had dug ourselves a hole.

“Getting the girls to believe they can do what we’re telling them to do is the big thing.”

Leading the Jets in points was Arsenault with 21, who has done well stepping up as a leader for the team as Schlenvogt expected heading into the season.

“She’s being more vocal, she’s suggesting things in timeouts and she’s giving her teammates directions,” he said. “The leadership role is there.”

The Broncos take on North Dickinson on Wednesday night in Felch while the Jets host Mid Peninsula on Thursday.

Bark River-Harris 17 16 8 15 — 56

North Central 11 6 9 10 — 36

Bark River-Harris — Zawacki 13, Cappaert 11, Richer 10, Roll 8, Berg 7, Peterson 4, Erickson 2, Fredrick 1; F: 12; FT: 8-19; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Zawacki 2, Richer 2.

North Central — Arsenault 21, LaFave 4, LaBonte 4, LaCoursier 4, Burton 2, Kleikamp 1; F: 19; FT: 6-15; Fouled out: Burton. 3-point field goals: Arsenault 2.

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