FIELD TWP- It was a mixed bag for the North Woods girls hoops team that ended on a positive note as they rebounded from a 58-35 loss to Deer River on Thursday to grab their first road win, 53-33. …
FIELD TWP- It was a mixed bag for the North Woods girls hoops team that ended on a positive note as they rebounded from a 58-35 loss to Deer River on Thursday to grab their first road win, 53-33. against Carlton.
The trip to Deer River was a trip into the unexpected, according to Grizzlies Head Coach Liz Cheney.
“I felt like we were prepared for Deer River and it was not what I expected it to be,” Cheney said. “They have a pretty versatile team. Their post is a great athlete who plays inside and outside. And they were a really aggressive, tough defensive team.”
The Grizzlies had trouble operating against Deer River’s pressure defense, although Hannah Kinsey found her own solution inside by hitting on mid-range jumpers and put-backs on offensive rebounds to score a season-high 20 points.
“After playing Deer River it became really clear we needed more focus and work on getting our offense set up,” Cheney said. “You can’t set up an offense when you’re at the half court line. Our defense is really coming around and our offense was struggling.”
Carlton was 3-1 entering Monday’s contest with a 38-point win over Silver Bay to their credit. North Woods kept the Bulldogs 22 points under their season scoring average in the Grizzlies 20-point win. The Grizzlies played tight man-to-man coverage that they extended full court for portions of the game.
“We never underestimate Carlton, but I was really proud of the girls,” Cheney said. “Defensively the girls played a phenomenal game which gave them opportunities to have the ball more than they have in the last three games.”
The Grizzlies cashed in those opportunities for 55 points, with Madi Dantes and Talise Goodsky sharing scoring honors with 14 each. Both players were part of Cheney’s adjustments after the Deer River game, with Goodsky getting a starting nod and Dantes taking on primary responsibility at point guard.
“Madi’s an aggressive offensive player, which puts her in that great position to be the offensive leader,” Cheney said. “We came out strong right off the bat and had a 7-0 lead right away.”
When Carlton got close, Cheney called a time out to make some adjustments and the team responded by going up 24-17 at the half. A halftime chat, intended to prevent another second-half lapse that the young Grizzlies have been prone to, worked to perfection.
“Seeing how we came together and played last night, I’m really anxious to see if the fruit of our practice continues,” she said.
North Woods will hit the hardwood again on Tuesday, Feb. 9 when they host Northeast Range.