Esky finds its stride, tops Flivvers
ESCANABA — After a first quarter stalemate, the Escanaba Eskymos girls basketball team (3-5) got rolling to defeat the Kingsford Flivvers (3-4) 57-34 in a Great Northern Conference contest Thursday night in Escanaba.
At the end of the opening eight minutes of play, the scoreboard read 4-3 in favor of the Eskymos. However, once the second quarter began, the Flivvers and Mos each put up five points within the first minute of play as Mari Bink hit a three — her first of five on the night — and Katelyn Stalboerger put up two for Escanaba while Abby Terrian and Paige Olsen scored two and three, respectively, for Kingsford. The remainder of the quarter, the Eskymos would outscore the Flivvers 9-2 and never look back.
“After the first quarter, I think we had four points, and they had three. But, I felt we were doing the right things,” said Escanaba coach Mike Beveridge. “We were making good passes, they were doing the right things, and I knew it would take a little time for that to drop. Once it started dropping, then we could go. And I really felt that’s where we were at, so I wasn’t too worried about the four points. I’m just glad they only had three.
“What I saw was my girls playing together, looking for each other and that was more important than the score. Everything else took care of itself.”
Beveridge was also pleased with how well his team played defensively.
“I thought our defense was stellar tonight. Our defense was real tough,” he said. “We did a couple different defenses and kept them off guard. But, the girls played real hard defensively, and that was a win.”
Offensively, Escanaba spread the ball around nicely, with three players in double digits and several more contributing throughout the night.
Bink had 19, including five triples on the night, Kiera Maki had 11 and freshman Grayson LaMarche had a career-high of 10.
Stalboerger had eight points and maintained a defense presence all night with several blocked shots and passes.
For the Flivvers, it was their first game in nine days and only second since Dec. 20. Head coach Jon Lorenzoni felt this may have played a factor in the team’s performance.
“I thought at the start of the game we did not execute well at all,” Lorenzoni said. “… We hadn’t played in a while. We did have a game last week, but with the Christmas break and a lot of practice, we just seem rusty. It took us a while to get the cobwebs off.”
The shaky start, Lorenzoni added, was compounded going into the second quarter. Despite coming up short, however, he was happy with the defensive play out of the Kingsford girls.
“We missed a lot of free throws early one. We missed some bunnies early on, and it snowballed in the second quarter,” he said. “Defensively, I thought we played well for the most part. We held them to 20 points in the first half, which, (Escanaba) is a pretty good team. I thought the effort was good. It’s just a matter of making shots and executing our offense a little bit better.”
Olsen collected 14 for the Flivvers, with Terrian (8), Laura Bracket (7), Elaina Bortolini (4) and Talia Wallis (1) putting up points as well.
The Eskymos pulled away late in a close JV game that ended 48-42.
Next up for the Mos is another road trip, this one to Menominee on Monday to play the Maroons.
The Flivvers, on the other hand, return home to Kingsford to host the Ishpeming Hematites Tuesday.
Kingsford 3 7 14 10 — 34
Escanaba 4 16 22 15 — 57
Kingsford — Olsen 14, Terrian 8, Bracket 7, Bortolini 4, Wallis 1; FT: 8-17; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Olsen 2, Bracket.
Escanaba — Bink 19 , Maki 11, LaMarche 10, Stalboerger 8, Barron 5, Monkevich 2, Carter 2; FT: 8-10; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Bink 5.