News about Barnum and Carlton girls basketball and other area teams
BARNUM -- While most teenagers spend their summer soaking up the sun, Daron Mainville was practically up with the sun, practicing her basketball moves in the Barnum gymnasium.
"Monday through Friday and every other weekend," said the 6-foot-2 senior center who scored a game-leading 19 points to pace the Bombers past Polar League visitor Carlton 66-24 Monday. "We all want it. That's made us work hard."
Barnum had no problem working past the neighboring Bulldogs. Returning all five starters, the Bombers bolted off the game's first 12 points, led by 25 at halftime and scored nine straight after the break, leaving no doubts about the game's outcome.
Back in the Barnum gym at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning -- because the evening's boys game had been moved ahead -- Barnum practiced proficiently, much like they did during breakfast in the summer and even two-a-days in November.
"We were in there a lot," said junior guard Cheyanne Johnson, a varsity member since eighth grade like her teammate, Mainville. "We have put in so much time."
A right-handed shooter, Johnson scored 13 points Monday, while savvy eighth-grader Emily Miletich added 15 points -- including the game's first four -- off the bench.
Like Mainville and Johnson, returning starters Lissa Warpula, Megan Nelson and Lauren Hultgren all scored, and freshman guard Jaelyn Bushey logged major minutes.
"We have seven players that can all bring something to the court," said Mainville. "Even the younger girls push us."
Due to section realignment, the Bombers (2-0) were pushed up from Section 7A to 7AA this winter. On Monday, Barnum Athletic Director Dave Duesler said their 196-student enrollment is the smallest statewide in Class AA.
Second-year Coach Katie Moench said she doesn't mind the higher class level, knowing her group -- also beat Sauk Rapids-Rice by a huge margin (63-26) -- is up for the challenge.
"They're all aware of how successful this season could be -- but it's not going to be an easy road," she said. "We have a shot to go far, but also know we still have a long ways to go."
As does Carlton (0-2), which was led by left-handed Myranda Papesh's 9 points Monday. The Bulldogs return only Taylor Klassen and Ashley Anderson to a cautious ball club.
"We have to look to score -- don't shy away," said sixth-year Coach Lisa Johnson. "The girls like to shoot in practice, but in games they get nervous. They have to be confident."
"We just have to kick it in gear," added Papesh.
Much like Bombers already have, beginning last summer.
Cloquet (1-1) couldn't pull off the road upset, falling at Grand Rapids 63-58 Tuesday. Jaiden Cofield led the Lumberjacks with 27 points, despite suffering a game-departing bloody lip in the first half.
Cromwell-Wright (1-1) won its first game Monday, topping visiting East Central 57-54 in a contest the Cardinals held onto late.
Esko (0-1) endured a 59-42 loss at Class A's second-ranked Mountain Iron-Buhl Tuesday, as Bailey Mudek, Judy Wagemaker and Ava Gonsorowski's eight points each piloted the Eskomos, who have only played one game so far.
Fond du Lac Ojibwe (3-0) overwhelmed Minnesota Transitions School 69-30 Saturday in Cloquet, as Amber Fox's 27 points -- including seven 3-point baskets -- led all players for the unbeaten Ogichidaa.
Moose Lake-Willow River (3-0) ran to its third win in as many games this winter. The Rebels ripped through visiting Mora 49-36 Tuesday. Left-handed Adri Jusczak guided all scorers with 14 points.
South Ridge (3-1) rolled by visiting Cook County 60-17 Tuesday, as Mikayla Olesiak's 16 points paced the Panthers' proficient attack.
Wrenshall (0-3) was clipped by host Chisholm 48-31 Tuesday. Delaney Kittel's dozen points was a team-best for the winless Wrens.
FDLTCC (2-6) fell 81-29 to Western Wisconsin Tech in La Crosse, Wis., Saturday. Claudia Turner of Esko topped all scorers with 16 points. The two-win Thunder next host Fergus Falls on Friday.