ROGERS CITY-The Rogers City girls basketball team learned an important lesson on Friday: every minute counts.
This lesson came at the hands of Newberry, which rode a 13-0 first quarter lead to a 43-29 victory on Friday.
This win came despite strong second and third quarters from the Hurons that saw them come within two points of taking the lead.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Rogers City’s Logan Fleming, left, drives to the basket while being defended by Newberry’s Cori Canfield during a girls basketball game Friday at Rogers City High School.
Rogers City head coach David O'Bryant commented on his team's history of slow starts.
"We play that way every time. We get down big at the beginning of every game and have to play catch up the rest of the game," he said.
The game started slow for both teams with no score until nearly three minutes into the game with a field goal from the Indians' Samantha Beaulieu.
The Hurons struggled to spark an effective offense. Players such as Logan Fleming and Brooklyn Idalski did a good job of getting the ball back from the Indians and driving it down the court but couldn't get shots to fall.
A big reason was the physicality that both teams played with during this game. Lots of players hit the floor during the game and one player for each team fouled out, Fleming for the Hurons and Darion Oberle for the Indians.
The Hurons struggled against the Indians rebound domination. Nearly every time the Hurons shot and missed, the Indians snatched the rebound, which made second and third chances rare for the Hurons.
A 13-0 deficit that early is always hard to fight back against but the Hurons seemed to come to life in the second quarter. Fleming scored the first basket of the quarter 30 seconds in to finally put the Hurons the scoreboard.
Fleming started to hit shots more frequently in the second quarter. She hit two free throws and two more baskets to help bring the Hurons closer to the Indians, 19-12. A basket by Streich with 50 seconds left in the half brought the game to a five point spread, the closest it would be in the half with Newberry ahead 21-16.
The third quarter continued the aggressive, physical play that had highlighted the first half. Oberle and Beaulieu each hit a free throw to put Newberry up by seven, but Brenna Hincka hit a shot to bring the lead back down to five.
This pattern continued throughout the third quarter as both teams struggled to mount successful offense. The highlight of the third quarter for the Hurons was a last-minute shot from Megan Quaine with 30 seconds left which helped keep the game to a six point spread at 29-23.
The Hurons' momentum continued in the fourth quarter as Fleming hit two baskets in under 20 seconds to bring the game to 29-27. Two missed free throws by Newberry's Marissa Rushford 30 seconds later left the game with seven minutes to go with a two-point spread.
Unfortunately for the Hurons, they were unable to mount a successful offensive push for nearly four minutes as Rogers City was unable to push past Newberry's defense.
This was true of the rest of the game as the Hurons seemed to collapse defensively and the Indians increased in offensive accuracy. Beaulieu hit two baskets and two free throws while Oberle hit two field goals before fouling out.
By the time Alexa Quaine hit Rogers City's last field goal of the night with 3:30 left on the clock, they were down 39-29. Although they continued to apply offensive pressure to the Indians, the Hurons were unable to convert and the Indians ultimately took the game.
O'Bryant commented on aspects of the game that contributed to his team's loss.
"We lost two of our starting players, our two big girls that snatch the rebounds. I don't know why the girls always start so slow but they just didn't come out and play tonight," he said.
This loss takes Rogers City to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the Straits Area Conference. The Hurons host Alcona on Monday.
The Rogers City JV team also lost 44-16. The top scorer for Newberry was Kelsey Huffman with 15 while Ally Streich of Rogers City scored four.
Newberry (43): C. Canfield 3-0-0-6: M. Buckingham 1-3-4-5: E. Charbonneau 0-1-4-1: D. Oberle 6-1-2-13: A. Hinkson 2-0-0-4: S. Bealieu 5-4-6-14.
Rogers City (29): B. Idalski 2-1-1-5: C. Streich 2-0-2-4: M. Quaine 1-0-0-2: L. Fleming 5-2-6-12: N. LaLalonde 1-0-0-2: M. Hall 0-1-2-1: A. Quaine 1-0-0-2: C. Pugiel 0-1-4-1.