Starting off slow

Poor start dooms Vikings in season-opening loss to Pickford

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Posen’s Brooke Ciarkowski (33) dribbles a ball past Pickford defender Lizzie Storey during the second quarter of a girls basketball game on Monday at Posen High School. The Vikings dropped the season opener 61-45.

POSEN — A dreadful first quarter put the Posen girls basketball team in a hole early on Monday and the Vikings were unable to dig their way out of it.

Posen battled from start to finish, but dropped its season opener to Pickford, losing by a final score of 61-45.

The inability to rebound and too many costly turnovers early on hurt the Vikings as they found themselves trailing by double digits within the first two and a half minutes of the game. The Panthers scored the first 12 points to start the game, forcing Posen coach Karl Momrik to call two early timeouts.

Posen was unable to respond after the timeouts and they were in a deep 19-3 hole after one quarter.

“We couldn’t overcome that big deficit tonight. You can’t fall behind that many points to a good team like Pickford,” Momrik said. “They outrebounded us and we made too many mistakes, you’re not going to win that way, but we’ll be alright. We showed some fight, but as soon as we went on a decent run, they answered right back so give Pickford a lot of credit, they’re a good team.”

Posen’s offense started to get going in the second quarter as Madison Menzel scored eight of her 12 points in the quarter as Posen did everything it could to get back in the game. But every time the Vikings rallied and gained some momentum, the Panthers had an answer, knocking down open shots.

Pickford had it going from beyond the three point line and hit five triples in the first half, but the Vikings were able to cut into the lead despite trailing 33-21 at the break.

“There’s a lot of things we need to work on and we just didn’t have it tonight. You just can’t fall behind like we did tonight and expect to come back and win, but it’s very difficult,” Momrik said. “We fought, but it’s so hard to get over the hump because you use so much energy just to catch up and then they get the momentum right back. This could have been a lot worse than what it was. There was some things that we liked, but there was too many things that we didn’t like.”

The Vikings scored the first two points of the second half to cut the lead to ten, but Pickford responded by scoring the next nine straight to take a 19-point lead midway through the third quarter.

Posen still showed a lot of fight, but still faced an uphill battle, going into the final quarter trailing 48-32.

The Vikings scored the first seven points of the quarter as Riley Krajniak buried a triple and got a layup to go before Makayla Kamyszek got a shot to fall to cut the lead to single digits, forcing Pickford to call a timeout.

The Panthers were able to regroup and once again went on another big scoring run, rattling off ten consecutive points to regain a 19-point lead. Posen made one more attempt to get back in the game with under three minutes to play, scoring six straight to cut the lead to 13. It was as close as Posen got the rest of the night as the Vikings fell at home in their season opener.

Posen had opportunities throughout the game, but the Vikings were unable to rebound, get to loose balls, hurt themselves after going 4-for-13 at the charity stripe and having no answer for Darcy Bennin who poured in a game-high 23 points on the night.

“We’re not a big team at all and it showed tonight because we got pounded on the boards and we have to do a better job defensively and pick up some more steals,” Momrik said. “Free-throw shooting was supposed to be a strength for our team and you can’t shoot that poorly at the line and Bennin really hurt us, she’s a good post player. We will be okay. I have a good feeling about this team.”

Menzel and Brooke Ciarkowski each finished will 12 points apiece to pace the Vikings. Krajniak added 10 points and Elizabeth Romel chipped in with eight points.

Pickford was led by Bennin, but also had double- digit scoring efforts from Tori Thurmes who finished with 14 and Kennedy Guild who collected 11 points.

The Vikings are back in action today at home against Whittemore-Prescott in a North Star League tilt.

BOX SCORE: Field goals made/Free-throws made/Free-throws attempted/Total points

PICKFORD (61): L. Bennin, 1 0-2 2; L. Storey, 2 0-2 5; C. Cottle, 3 0-2 6; D. Bennin, 10 3-6 23; K. Guild, 4 1-2 11; T. Thurmes, 5 2-2 14.

POSEN (45): M. Kamyszek, 1 0-0 2; R. Krajniak, 4 0-3 10; A. Eagling, 0 1-2 1; E. Romel, 4 0-1 8; B. Ciarkowski, 4 3-6 12; M. Menzel, 6 0-1 12.