PAINESDALE - Anyone unsure of the exact meaning of the phrase 'to have your cake and eat it too' can look up Ontonagon's Molly Domitrovich for a definition.
It was a party all around for the Gladiators Friday, as Domitrovich drilled five three-pointers and scored a career-high 16 points on her 18th birthday as Ontonagon snapped a five-game losing streak with a 51-43 victory at Jeffers.
As her teammates serenaded her after the game, a relieved Ontonagon coach Dick Franti said, "Let's hope we can get another streak going on the 'W' side."
Ontonagon's Molly Domitrovich releases a three-point attempt during the second half of a 51-43 win at Jeffers Friday in Painesdale. Lindsey Johnson closes out on the play for the Jets. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
The Glads (7-5, 5-2 CCC) looked much more like the team that started the season with six straight wins than the one with five straight losses, and much of that had to do with how well they shot in the early going. Ontonagon had seven threes (and a 19-point lead) by the midpoint of the third quarter.
Franti said the key was "the fact that our wings were hitting shots. When they were in man-to-man, Molly hit some, and we didn't get a lot inside but at least we took it in there. When they went zone, Molly hit some shots, Brooke (Turin) hit a couple, Hope (Pintar), Paige (Blake) each hit one. We had some outside shooting, which has been kind of troublesome."
Jeffers (6-9, 4-3 CCC), playing its third game in five days, found a second wind, and a lot of it had to do with junior forward Haley Makela, who dominated the interior to the tune of a game-high 19 points and a stupendous 22 rebounds.
Ontonagon 15 16 12 8 - 51
Jeffers 5 11 19 8 - 43
Ontonagon - Molly Domitrovich 16, Brooke Turin 18, Lori Wardynski 9, Bradee Pollard 4, Hope Pintar 2, Paige Blake 2; FT: 12-23; Fouls: 11; Fouled out: Pollard; 3-point field goals: Domitrovich 5, Turin 2.
Jeffers - Haley Makela 19, Alexa Clouthier 3, Lindsey Johnson 2, Shelby Seppanen 17, Shania Nixon 2; FT: 11-13; Fouls: 19; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Clouthier 1, Seppanen 1.
She scored three times in a row in an 80-second span to spur an 11-0 run Jeffers made at the end of the third quarter to get back into the game.
"Haley Makela is one of the hardest working kids I've hard. She works hard, takes criticism well and when you tell her something, she does it. I'm very proud of her," Jeffers coach Joe Romano said.
The Jets' resurgence was a matter of just calming down and running the offense as it was intended, he said.
"They hustled, we did the basics on rebounding and we ran our offense. Sometimes we ran our offense, two, three times, and by that time, no one's on anybody. Everything's open."
Alexa Clouthier's three for the Jets made it 43-35 Ontonagon after three.
Senior point guard Shelby Seppanen scored the last two of her 17 points on a putback with 3:46 to play to make it 47-41, but it was the Jets' last field goal of the game and Ontonagon closed it out - tenuously - at the free-throw line.
"We played a tough Baraga team last night we're tired. The kids are tired," Romano said.
The defeat probably puts Jeffers out of serious contention for the CCC title, 2 1/2 games behind league-leading Dollar Bay, but after a difficult week against the Bays, Vikings and Glads, Romano is seeing progress.
"We went 1-2 this week out of three conference games, and that hurts. But they won three games last year. They've increased their output. I think if anything, they're coming together as a team and they're starting to get confident. They're starting to know that they can win," he said.
Jeffers hosts Watersmeet Monday.
Ontonagon, led by Turin's 18 points, remains a game in the loss column behind the Bays. The teams will meet again in conference play next Friday, but until then, Ontonagon has a non-league game at Ewen-Trout Creek Monday and hosts Houghton Thursday.
"We've got eight games in the next three weeks. I think that'll keep us busy," Franti said.