Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Cardinals start tourney with win over Panthers

WATERSMEET - Wakefield-Marenisco started what it hopes is a long postseason run with a 64-37 victory over Ewen-Trout Creek in the MHSAA Class D District 127 tournament.

The Cardinals' lead ballooned from 16-7 after one quarter to 38-12 at the half.

"We started out a little sluggish, but once we got the cobwebs worked out, we played really well," W-M coach Pete Yon said. "We were pushing the ball upcourt, we got back on defense, we shot well tonight. That intermediate jump shot, we were hitting that pretty good tonight. It was a really good team effort. Everybody played well. Everybody got to play. Nine out of the 12 girls got to score a bucket in the districts, which is a good experience."

Kassidee Yon led W-M with 13 points. Darienne Korpi and Hallee Yon both scored 12 points.

"Lauren Grace was just a beast on the boards tonight. Kassidee Yon rebounded well. All in all, it was good team defense," coach Yon said.

Molly Niemi led the Panthers with 18 points in her final game.

"Our focus was to stop Molly Niemi," Yon said. "For as much attention as we put on her, she still scored 18 points. They're a young team. They're just going to get better.

"To beat them three times in a season is really difficult, so I was really happy the way we played."

The Cardinals have now won five straight games.

"Our last five, six games have been our best basketball all year," Yon said. "Hopefully it continues Wednesday."

That's when the Cardinals (18-3) face Republic-Michigammee at Nimrod Nation in a district semifinal at 6:30 p.m.

"We don't know anything about them," Yon said. "We just have to go play our game and do what we can do."

Watersmeet and Crystal Falls Forest Park will meet in the other district semifinal. Forest Park beat Bessemer in the first game Monday. W-M beat Watersmeet twice and got a look at Forest Park prior to its game Monday.

"I thought Crystal Falls was physical inside, good passing, they're very quick, they've got great hands, they shot well from outside the arc, they've got a bench, they're a good ballclub," Yon said. "There's a reason why they're fourth in the U.P. (in Class D). They're very disciplined. They push it up the court. They're quick. That Watersmeet-Crystal Falls game might be out on the race track."

E-TC finishes the season at 1-19 and loses just one senior, Niemi.

E-TC - Kaitlyn Brady 4, Emily Driesenga 6, Molly Niemi 18, Madelynn Cronkright 9. FTs: 3-6. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Driesenga 2.

W-M - Darienne Korpi 12, Saundra Libertoski 2, Lauren Grace 8, Brianna Dalbec 4, Hallee Yon 12, Heather Hemming 7, Kassidee Yon 13, Ebanie Delich 2, Kirsten Heil 4. FTs: 8-10. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: K. Yon 1.

E-TC 7 12 20 37

W-M 16 38 56 64