FIELD TWP- Scores on five consecutive trips down the floor shook the North Woods girls basketball team out of their early offensive doldrums and drove the Grizzlies to their largest offensive output …
FIELD TWP- Scores on five consecutive trips down the floor shook the North Woods girls basketball team out of their early offensive doldrums and drove the Grizzlies to their largest offensive output of the season on Tuesday as they crushed visiting Littlefork-Big Falls, 85-54.
The Grizzlies’ game plan of working the ball down low to capitalize on a height advantage was clicking from the outset, but the shots weren’t falling as they fell behind 20-17.
But in a four-minute reversal of fortunes, a 19-0 run put the Grizzlies up 36-20, and the rout was on.
Madison Spears got the Grizzlies’ streak going with three consecutive buckets and accounted for ten points in the run, with Talise Goodsky, Hannah Kinsey, Shyla Adams, Madi Dantes, and Brianna Whiteman also scoring points. The Grizzlies held a 14-point lead going into the half, 43-29.
North Woods kept the heat on in the second half, running when they had the chance and pushing the ball down low to their bigs to keep building on their lead.
“That was definitely part of the plan for tonight, to take advantage of those mismatches and work the posts and let them go to town,” Grizzlies Head Coach Liz Cheney said. “Madison had 16 points, Hannah had 14, and then Talise, who’s kind of a power forward, came in with 14, too, so those girls really came through with the scores tonight. We’re really fortunate in the fact that we have both an inside game and an outside game, and tonight clearly was a game for insiders.”
And while those were the only Grizzlies to score in double figures, all 11 North Woods players scored in the game.
The Grizzlies’ offensive onslaught overshadowed a stellar game by Vikings junior forward Destiny Piekarski, who scored a game-high 37 points. Last year the Grizzlies used a box-and-one defense to try to contain Piekarski, Cheney said, but this time they stayed with straight man-to-man and held the rest of the Vikings to only 17 points.
Cheney said that she was pleased to see many things they worked on in practice translate into game play this week, and said that she’s looking for the team to develop balance in upcoming games between playing fast and being more deliberate with shooting.
“We want to continue to build up their confidence in driving to the basket, their confidence in being able to read the defense,” Cheney said. “That’s a little bit of what we were seeing tonight.”
The Grizzlies evened their record at 4-4 and were scheduled to be on the road Thursday at Bigfork. North Woods will be on the road again on Tuesday for a rematch with Northeast Range, a team the Grizzlies beat 70-23 on Feb. 9.