Road trips weren’t what the doctor ordered for an ailing North Woods girls basketball team, as the Grizzlies were toppled 58-30 by Eveleth-Gilbert on Thursday, then steamrolled 59-25 by Mesabi …
Road trips weren’t what the doctor ordered for an ailing North Woods girls basketball team, as the Grizzlies were toppled 58-30 by Eveleth-Gilbert on Thursday, then steamrolled 59-25 by Mesabi East on Tuesday.
“I’m not one who likes to make excuses,” head coach Robbie Goggleye said, “but influenza has been running through the squad. They’re trying to play coming off their illness, and we’ve got girls hacking on the sidelines. We rotated players a lot.”
The Grizzlies kept it close early against Mesabi East, but by halftime the Giants led by 16, 31-15, as North Woods consistently misfired from short range.
“We handled their press and took them out of it for a while,” Goggleye said. “We actually played good, but all the easy shots just weren’t going in.”
Mesabi East’s standout senior guard Ava Hill solved the Grizzlies’ 2-3 zone in the second half, driving the Giants to an easy 34-point win.
“It was just one of those games,” Goggleye said. “We couldn’t do anything about it.”
Brynn Simpson led North Woods scorers with nine points.
Shaky ball-handling against the Eveleth-Gilbert zone press was a key factor in Thursday’s loss, Goggleye said.
“There were a lot of turnovers,” he said. “We were missing the reads where we needed to get the ball, just young mistakes.”
The Golden Bears had little trouble penetrating the Grizzlies’ man defense, leading 29-10 at the half.
“We played tough, but they killed us on backdoor cuts,” Goggleye said. “Everything they shot went up and in. When they’re banking three-pointers in you just have to ride the ship out.”
Hannah Kinsey scored nine to lead the Grizzlies.