FIELD TWP- The North Woods girls basketball team knew things wouldn’t get any easier after a March 8 loss to Section 7A’s second-seeded Cherry. Next up to finish out the regular season …
FIELD TWP- The North Woods girls basketball team knew things wouldn’t get any easier after a March 8 loss to Section 7A’s second-seeded Cherry. Next up to finish out the regular season was third-seeded South Ridge.
The Panthers proved to be too much for the Grizzlies to handle, as host South Ridge got off to a fast start and led 44-19 at the half before coasting to a 75-34 win. Madison Spears was the only North Woods player to score in double-figures with 10.
“They came out hard right away and we were kind flat the whole game,” North Woods Head Coach Liz Cheney said. “South Ridge seemed to be getting multiple chances when they were on offense. When we were on offense, they kept us to one shot. Their defense was really good and tight.”
It was the fifth consecutive loss for the 5-10 Grizzlies, who had to take on the first, second, third, sixth and seventh seeds in the section in that stretch. North Woods is seeded 12th in the sectional tournament and was scheduled to play at fifth-seeded Chisholm on Wednesday. A 5-12 matchup is a popular and often successful pick for upsets in March Madness bracket contests, a fact not lost on Cheney.
“I’ve had that exact conversation with the girls,” Cheney said. “If you follow college basketball you know there are a lot of 5-12 upsets.”
North Woods was bumped out of last year’s tournament by Chisholm. The Grizzlies will have had a week to work on offensive and defensive adjustments, and Cheney was optimistic that “if we can just put all those pieces together” the Grizzlies could pull off the upset. If North Woods wins they would play again on Friday against the winner of the game between Cromwell-Wright and Nashwauk-Keewatin.
The Grizzlies weren't able to pull the upset on Wednesday, falling behind early and fading in the second half for a 71-31 loss to Chisholm, dropping North Woods out of the tournament.