Midgettes avenge loss to South Shore, dedicate win to Czarnecki
HURLEY - In a game they dedicated to a former teammate, the Hurley Midgettes rallied to beat South Shore 58-49 Friday night.
Hurley shut down a good shooting South Shore team in the second half to avenge a loss earlier this season in Port Wing.
The Midgettes dedicated the game to Brittany Czarnecki, who graduated last spring but had a stroke shortly after that. She's still recovering from that, but like she often does, she had a big smile on her face with the entire team gathered around her after the game.
Hurley holds a dedication night each year where everyone associated with the team chooses one person who has helped them become the person they are today and Hurley coach Steve Eder delivers letters to those people the night of the game. And the entire team came together to recognize Czarnecki.
"We're really big on, 'Once you're part of the group, you're always part of the group,' and so Brittany is in our thoughts all the time," Eder said.
Everyone signs a basketball with the names of the people they are dedicating the game to and they gave that to Czarnecki.
"We just wanted to make sure Brittany got to keep the ball for awhile, so that as she continues to go through rehab and working to get back to completing her goal of getting to college, that she can look at when she she's tired and not having a good day, she can look at that ball and realize all those names are in the fight with her," Eder said.
South Shore expanded its halftime lead to 34-25 with a couple of long jump shots.
It was all Hurley after that, though as they extended the lead to double digits.
"We did a better job finding their shooters," Eder said. "We missed a lot of shots in the first half and quite honestly probably should have had a lead going into halftime, but we didn't make very many free throws and we didn't make some layups and thinkgs that. Fortunately for us, it turned around in the second half."
South Shore coach Ryan Tiberg said the teams' lack of depth hurt in the second half.
"We got tired," he said. "And Hurley started to get some runouts in the second half that weren't happening in the first half because we weren't able to get back and stop the ball and those kinds of things."
He came with 11 total players for JV and varsity and two of them got hurt.
"Because of the tiredness, the shots we hit in the first half started to go a little short in the second half and I think it came down to the - taking nothing away from Hurley, they've got a very good team - but they've also got 10 players sitting over there, so they can sub in and they can stay fresh while we're out there getting (more tired) and I think that affected our shooting in the second half and I think it affected our defense in the second half," Tiberg said.
The Cardinals had one loss coming into the game and had quality wins over teams like Hurley and Ironwood.
"Just really happy with the effort. It feels good to play against a good team and actually show that we belong with them," Eder said. "We've had some instances where we came out flat or didn't play as well as we should have. But tonight, it felt good to play up to our potential, for the majority of the game. By no means was it a complete-game effort, but it felt good to watch them play to the best of their ability for a pretty good stretch, especially early in the second half."
In an odd series of events early in the second half, one of three referees left the game before it was over. That came after assessing Hurley coaches a pair of technical fouls. He ejected Eder, but Eder was ultimately allowed to stay in the game.
Five players finished in double figures. Aiyana Nickel, Tori Colassaco and Ally Olson all finished with 11 points and Maria Swartz and Tianne Kuula both had 10.
Shauna Kavajecz scored 21 points for South Shore.
Hurley (7-5, 6-4) goes to Washburn Monday.
South Shore - Kira Waters 5, Morgan Sorenson 6, Alyssa Kavajecz 16, Heather Ranta 1, Shauna Kavajecz 21. FTs: 11-14. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: S. Kavajecz 4, A. Kavajecz 3, Waters 1.
Hurley - Kaylyn King 2, Ashley Clement 2, Aiyana Nickel 11, Tiannue Kuula 10, Tori Colassaco 11, Ally Olson 11, Maria Swartz 10, Reggie Kelly 2. FTs: 9-17. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Kuula 1, Colassaco 1, Olson 1.
South Shore 29 49
Hurley 23 58