FIELD TWP—The Grizzlies girls overcame an early double-digit deficit and a late Carlton rally for a hard-fought 66-61 victory Monday over the visiting Bulldogs.Sluggish from the outset and …
FIELD TWP—The Grizzlies girls overcame an early double-digit deficit and a late Carlton rally for a hard-fought 66-61 victory Monday over the visiting Bulldogs.
Sluggish from the outset and hampered by Carlton’s full-court press, North Woods was staring at a 17-5 deficit when Coach Robbie Goggleye called time with 7:37 left in the first half.
“We struggled a little bit,” Goggleye said. “Four or five of us are sick here, so our energy is a little low.”
When they came back on the court the Grizzlies were a different team.
Two free throws and a basket by Nicole Olson ignited a monster 20-2 Grizzlies run over the next seven minutes, powered by eight points each from Brynn Simpson and Hannah Kinsey. The Grizzlies led 25-20 at the half.
Two quick buckets by senior forward Sasha Strong to open the second half extended the Grizzlies’ lead to 29-20. With Simpson hitting 15 of her game-high 25 points after the break, North Woods maintained its lead well into the half, but the Bulldogs refused to buckle.
Carlton reclaimed the lead, 48-45, on a pair of free throws by Maddie Asleson and a driving basket by Alaina Bennett with just over five minutes remaining.
“They had some nice shooters,” Goggleye said. “We were trying to take their speed away, take their drive away.”
Strong went to work again, first connecting inside and following up with a deep three-pointer to put North Woods back on top 50-48. The Grizzlies stretched the lead to as much as eight before settling for the 66-61 win.
Goggleye praised Simpson’s contributions.
“Brynn had a monster game and really dominated on the inside,” he said. “She’s really tough. She’s physical, she’s not scared, she doesn’t back down.”
Other double-digit scorers for the Grizzlers were Strong, with 18, and Kinsey, with 14.
Monday’s win helped to erase the sting of a tough 66-57 loss Thursday at Deer River. The Grizzlies were in the game at the half, 24-22, but faded down the stretch as Deer River capitalized on its height advantage inside.
“They beat us on the boards,” Goggleye said. “We didn’t box out and we gave them too many second chance points.”
Simpson led the Grizzlies with 16, followed by Strong with 15 and Kennedy Wardas with 14.
Back-to-back games weren’t what the doctor ordered for an ailing Grizzlies team that exhausted itself against Carlton and had to play host to Greenway on Tuesday. Simpson, with 12 points, was the only North Woods player who cracked double digits. Greenway took control of the game early and never let up on the pressure, leading 29-16 at the half and coasting to a 63-39 win.