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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Grizzlies rally over Greenway


COLERAINE- The North Woods girls basketball team picked up a thrilling come-from-behind 63-60 road win over Greenway on Tuesday with some last minute heroics from senior Helen Koch and sophomore Brynn Chosa to seal the victory.
Trailing by as many as nine points in the second half, Koch hit a trey to get the Grizzlies started on the road back, and after another Koch triple pulled North Woods to within one, sophomore guard Tatum Barto hit two clutch free throws to give the Grizzlies a 55-54 lead with 2:06 remaining.
With under a minute remaining the Grizzlies found themselves down a point, but a rebound and kick-out pass to Koch set the senior up for the triple that gave North Woods a 60-58 lead with 30 seconds left. The Raiders pushed the ball downcourt to senior Hannah Fawcett, who scored and was fouled with 16 seconds on the clock. With the score tied at 60-60, Fawcett missed the free throw, with Grizzlies senior River Cheney grabbing the rebound.
The ball went to Chosa in the front court, and an errant pass sent Cheney scrambling to the corner to recover it. With time running down she got the ball back to Chosa, who immediately hoisted up a three that hit nothing but net with 1.4 seconds to go for the 63-60 lead. Greenway was unable to get off a shot after inbounding the ball, giving the Grizzlies the win.
North Woods has made a habit of winning close games this season. In games decided by three points or less, the Grizzlies have won five of six.
Cheney’s ten first-half points kept the Grizzlies within range at the break, and she hit for 12 more in the second stanza to lead the team with 22 points. Koch found the long-range shots in the second half that were elusive in the first, nailing four three-balls to go with four two-pointers for 20 points. Chosa dropped in 12 points including the big game winning triple.
Mesabi East
Riding high on a five-game win streak, the Grizzlies abruptly plummeted back to earth on Monday with a 75-47 road loss in Aurora to Class AA Mesabi East. The Giants had a size advantage that they put to good use early, attacking the basket down low while making it hard for the Grizzlies to get off a good shot. Mesabi East was up 10-0 when Talise Goodsky notched the Grizzlies’ first basket of the night at the 13:22 mark. It would be another three-and-a-half minutes before Chosa scored the next North Woods bucket to make the score 20-4. The Grizzlies managed to get off the skids toward the end of the half, but went into the break trailing 43-17. The second half was more evenly matched with both benches seeing plenty of action, but the Grizzlies couldn’t make any headway and fell 75-47.
Chosa was the only Grizzlies’ player to score in double figures at 10, as North Woods shot only 27 percent from the field and 43 percent from the free throw line. Mesabi East hit 48 percent from the field, scoring 56 of their points inside the paint.
Fond du Lac
It was almost the exact opposite when North Woods hosted a young, undersized Fond du Lac squad last Thursday. North Woods did to the Ojibwe what the Giants did to the Grizzlies – ran away with the game in the first half. Winless Fond du Lac was hapless against the superior Grizzlies, turning the ball over 31 times and shooting only 16 percent. The Grizzlies led 45-7 at the half, and North Woods Head Coach Liz Cheney got to test out numerous lineup configurations in the second half as even with a running clock in the second half the Grizzlies scored a 52-point 73-21 victory.
Cheney led North Woods in scoring with 24, Koch had 15, and Goodsky scored 12.
The Grizzlies were set to travel to Ely on Thursday to try to avenge an early season loss to the Wolves. The two teams have nearly identical per game scoring averages, Ely with 64.3 and North Woods at 63.4. The Wolves, however, have been playing better defense, holding opponents to 43.4 points per game while the Grizzlies have allowed an average of 55.9 points per game. North Woods will close out the regular season next Tuesday on the road at Littlfork-Big Falls.