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North Central girls defeat Rapid River

POWERS — Brooke Granquist earned her first coaching victory here Thursday night as the North Central girls defeated Rapid River 44-29 in a Skyline Central Conference basketball game.

The Jets trailed most of the first quarter in this match-up before they took a 7-5 lead on a 20-foot jump shot from the right wing by senior Zoe LaBonte.

“It’s nice to get a win under our belt,” she said. “This is more the team we needed to see. We played with more intensity than we did at Forest Park (in Tuesday’s 54-24 loss).”

Junior Gracie Kleikamp sank jumpers from 20 and 15 feet, extending North Central’s lead to 12-5 with five minutes, 27 seconds left in the second stanza.

Freshman Dalyn Otradovec added a putback, senior Katelyn Synder sank a free throw and junior Sam Burton hit a layup on a pass from LaBonte for a 17-5 cushion with 3:20 remaining in the second.

Senior guard Aiyana Semear scored from the left baseline to trim Rapid River’s deficit to 19-9 before Synder drained on 18-foot set shot from the left wing to give the Jets a 21-9 halftime cushion.

North Central led 31-15 after Otradovec split a pair of free throws with 2:06 remaining in the third frame.

Rapid River shaved its deficit to 31-20 on a gifter by senior forward Megan Dausey before Otradovec put the Jets up by 13 points on a putback as the quarter ended.

The Jets led by as much as 38-20 early in the fourth before the Rockets closed within 40-29 on a lay-in by Dausey with 2:10 remaining.

North Central, however, didn’t allow the Rockets to get any closer.

The Rockets committed 17 turnovers and the Jets had 15.

“We went to a man-to-man defense and gave them a pretty good run,” said Rockets’ coach Scott Goodacre. “I thought we got a lot of good shots. Our goal was to cut down on turnovers and we cut them nearly in half. We had 30 at Engadine (in Tuesday’s 44-12 loss). We wanted to be more patient and make better decisions with our passing. We had some good leadership from our seniors.”

LaBonte scored 15 points and Kleikamp had 13 for the Jets (1-1). Semear led the Rockets (0-2) with 13 and Dausey added 11.

“Gracie hit a couple big shots in the second quarter,” said Granquist. “We started a little slow and really needed those. After that we really got it rolling. Zoe and Gracie had nice games. We were happy to get all the girls into the game.”

North Central is idle until Dec. 13 when it visits Stephenson. The Rockets host Norway Tuesday.

Rapid River 5 4 11 9 — 29

North Central 7 14 12 11 — 44

Rapid River — Semear 13, McCarty 1, Dausey 11, VanOss 2, Olson 2. FT: 3-9; F: 11: Fouled out: None.

North Central — LaBonte 15, Snyder 3, Burton 4, Corrigan 2, Kleikamp 13, Otradovec 7. FT: 4-12; F: 11; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: LaBonte, Kleikamp.

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