ISHPEMING - Senior Kelsey Ross scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter as L'Anse broke open a close game and held on in the end for a 58-56 victory over Ishpeming at the Hematites gym on Monday night.
The Purple Hornets improved to 6-0 after holding their position as the No. 4 Class ABC team in the Upper Peninsula in today's second basketball poll of the year, while Ishpeming slipped to 6-2.
L'Anse led 24-19 at halftime but the home team chipped back to pull within 41-38 by the end of the third quarter. Then the Hornets built a lead up to eight points before Ishpeming came back.
"We went 0-of-5 on various layups at the beginning of the game, and that put us in an early hole," IHS coach Tom Graves said. "L'Anse wanted to play a fast-paced game, and we were in there challenging them.
"We dug ourselves that little hole in the fourth, but then we started attacking the basket and putting a lot of pressure on them, getting some turnovers and layups."
After L'Anse missed a pair of free throws in the waning seconds that could've iced the game, Hematites sophomore Jessica Penhale had the ball stripped away on a shot with seven-tenths of a second left to thwart one last opportunity, Graves said.
Hornets sophomore Abbey Hendrickson scored 13 points while senior Madi Swanson added 10.
For Ishpeming, junior Jessica Spencer led the way with 21 points as junior teammate Kaylie Engler added 10.
L'Anse is right back on the road to Marquette County tonight, where it will play at Negaunee.
L'Anse 10 14 17 17 - 58
Ishpeming 7 12 19 18 - 56
L'Anse - Alyssa Norback 3, Abbey Hendrickson 13, Valerie Rajala 4, Kelsey Ross 24, Madi Swanson 10, Maddy Etelamaki 2, Jackie Lister 2; FT: 7-15; 3-point field goals: Ross 3.
Ishpeming - Skytta 3, Engler 10, Simula 9, Spencer 21, Croley 2, Aho 3, Penhale 4, Thompson 4; FT: 18-24; 3-point field goals: Skytta 1, Aho 1.
Hancock 51, Baraga 43
BARAGA - Hancock handled itself best down the stretch, holding off Baraga for a non-league win Monday.
The Bulldogs, now 5-2, took control of the game early by holding Baraga to four first-quarter points. The Lady Vikings (1-7) evened it up in the fourth quarter, but Baraga coach Daryl Putala estimated Hancock capitalized on timely outside shooting all night and went 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the closing minutes to prevail.
"We got off to a slow start. We picked it up though, it was actually really tight until the end," Putala said.
The Bulldogs had three score in double figures, co-led by Molly Berg and Taylor Pertile's 14 points and three triples apiece. Quincy Lorenzetti tossed in 11 points.
Baraga was led by Audrey Barrett, who also scored 14.
Putala was pleased with his team's effort on the glass, with Gabby Mayo (13) and Melissa Putala (12) both clearing double-digit rebounds.
"We rebounded really well. I've been bashing my girls all year for not rebounding, but this year they crashed the boards real well," coach Putala said.
Baraga returns to league play Friday night at Jeffers, while Hancock hosts Ontonagon tonight.
Hancock 12 10 12 17 - 51
Baraga 4 11 15 13 - 43
Hancock - Molly Berg 14, Taylor Pertile 14, Quincy Lorenzetti 11, Maija Sebbas 5, Taylor Mattson 3, Taylor Nettell 2, Mackenzie Brunet 1, Laura Berg 1; FT: 14-22; Fouls: 17; Fouled out: Mattson; 3-point field goals: M. Berg 3, Pertile 3, Lorenzetti 1.
Baraga - Audrey Barrett 14, Gabby Mayo 9, Jenna Heikkinen 8, Tessa Gilbertson 3, Taylor Swanson 3, Melissa Putala 2, Tori Rasanen 2, Amber Tervo 2; FT: 7-13; Fouls: 18; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Heikkinen 2, Swanson 1.