Taking over late
Big third quarter propels Hurons past Posen
ROGERS CITY — After an extended layoff for the holidays, the Rogers City and Posen girls basketball team returned to the floor and looked as if they all had their share of the holiday sweets as both teams came out with a ton of energy, flying down the court in what was a fast-paced and action packed first half of basketball.
The Vikings held a 17-16 lead at the break and could have had a bigger lead, but missed opportunities at the free-throw line and struggled making the easy shot.
The third quarter proved to be the difference for Rogers City who came out of the break and rolled, taking a lead they never surrendered the rest of way and the Hurons went on to win by a final score of 49-40 on Thursday night at Rogers City High School.
“We melted down in the third quarter. We shot poorly from the free-throw line. That game was layups and free-throws, a pretty simple game. We can’t miss the easy shots in a tough place to play like Rogers City and that’s what we did,” Posen coach Karl Momrik said. “We should have had an eight to ten point lead at the end of one quarter and we didn’t. You can’t let those kind of opportunities get away on you. We were our own worst enemy tonight.”
The Vikings shot a dismal 9-for-24 at the charity stripe and missed several easy looks from underneath the basket.
Despite the lackluster play, Posen stayed with the Hurons throughout the first half and held one point leads after the first two quarters, but fell apart in the third as Rogers City made adjustments.
The Vikings had eyes on Taylor Fleming all night, but Fleming still scored a game high 20 points.
Posen doubled down on Fleming, but in the second half, the Hurons found ways to get other players open for shots and Rogers City began knocking them down.
“We knew it was going to be a dog fight against a rival. Posen is well coached and we were kind of leery about playing a game over Christmas break and things look rough at first after taking a few days off,” Rogers City coach Duane Pitts said. “In the second half we found ways to get easier baskets with our press and we were able to create a double-digit lead and hold them off towards the end of the game. We wanted to push the ball up the court when it was available, but I thought at times we were pushing it when the numbers weren’t there. We did a better job cleaning that up in the second half.”
The Hurons took a 33-23 lead into the fourth quarter after a huge third on both ends of the floor.
Rogers City did a what it needed to in the fourth to preserve the lead and the Hurons secured their fourth consecutive victory.
“We definitely have some things we need to clean up coming into the new year. We have a tough stretch coming up here and we’re going to be tested,” Pitts said.
Along with Fleming, Karissa Rabeau also scored in double-figures with 10 points. Linnea Hentkowski added six points and Kyley LaFleche chipped in with five points.
Brooke Ciarkowski paced the Vikings with 10 points. Lizzy Romel finished with nine points, Riley Krajniak added six points and Makayla Kamyszek collected five points.
“I thought for the most part we did a good job on Fleming. They made adjustments in the second half and they beat us inside. It was our job to stop them inside and we didn’t do it,” Momrik said. “They made the shots and we didn’t.”
Rogers City improves to 4-1 overall on the year and 4-0 in North Star League play.
The Vikings fall to 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the NSL.
Both teams will return to the court after the new year.
BOX SCORE: Field goals made/Free-throws made/Free-throws attempted/Total points
ROGERS CITY (49) — K. LaFleche, 2 0-0 5; L. Hentkowski, 3 0-0 6; A. Budnick, 1 0-0 3; K. Altman, 1 1-4 3; G. Garrison, 1 0-0 2; K. Rabeau, 5 0-0 10; T. Fleming, 10 0-0 20.
POSEN (40) — M. Kamyszek, 2 0-0 5; R. Krajniak, 2 2-6 6; A. Eagling, 2 0-0 4; L. Romel, 4 1-5 9; H. Stone, 1 0-0 2; B. Ciarkowski, 2 6-12 10; M. Menzel, 2 0-0 4.