Indians advance to district finals
NEWBERRY – The Lady Emeralds’ run at a district championship came to an end in Newberry last Wednesday.
Despite holding the Indians to just five third quarter points, Newberry held on and won the right to advance to the tournament finals with a 49-45 win at home over Manistique.
Up 13-10 at the end of the opener, Newberry went on a 10-1 run at the start of the second quarter and held a 23-11 advantage with just three minutes left in the half.
Looking to break up the run, the Emeralds’ Lindsay Knuth hit a triple and followed that up with two baskets from the floor to close the gap to 27-18 at the half. Knuth accounted for all the Emeralds’ eight points in the period.
With six points in the books, Sammie Williams hit early with a pair from the floor, two more from Leah Cook and the Emeralds got within four at the 4:18 mark in the third.
Taking advantage of a stalled Indian’s offense, Williams hit again to tie the game at 29 with just over a minute to go in the quarter.
Just when it looked like Manistique would take the lead, the Indians’ Stoetzer nailed one from three-point range to give Newberry a 32-29 advantage after three quarters of play.
“We were able to tie it at 29, but that three point basket was like a dagger,” Coach Kelley Spettel said. “To work that hard to tie it and give that shot up was frustrating.”
Despite a solid fourth quarter effort by the Emeralds, Newberry caught a breath of fresh air with the triple at the end of the third and went on to push their lead back to 10 points (47-37) with under three minutes to play in the district semifinal.
Down but not out, Manistique put together a late charge off a triple by Cook; cutinh the lead to two when Cook hit for the second time from three point range but a five-for-five from the free throw line by Bryant sealed the win.
“Newberry came out ready to play, the early lead they got on us was tough to overcome,” said Spettel.
Newberry went on and lost 63-20 to the LaSalle Saints in the District finals.
Manistique- Williams 14, Cook 10, Knuth nine, Breanna Bosanic seveb, Maggie Morrison three, Allie
Newberry- Bryant 14, Rushford 12, Stoetzer 11, Huffman six, Charbonneau four, Tomica and Leafers one each.
With the loss, Spettel says goodbye to four seniors: Breanna Bosanic, Leah Cook, Carlie Chase and Jennifer Carlson.
Spettel said it was a tough season for the Emeralds, trying to find a replacement for her team’s leading scorer in Kyra Lauzon who averaged 13 plus points per game.
“I wasn’t sure if anyone was ready to step up and contribute like that. Although I didn’t have consistent double digit scoring from one player, someone would always step up each game. I wish my seniors well; it was a pleasure coaching them,” said Spettel.