Carlton drubs WrenshallCarried by their full-court pressure early on and their scoring ability, the Carlton Bulldogs smacked the visiting Wrenshall Wrens 70-29 in a Polar League rout Tuesday night at Carlton High School.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Carried by their full-court pressure early on and their scoring ability, the Carlton Bulldogs smacked the visiting Wrenshall Wrens 70-29 in a Polar League rout Tuesday night at Carlton High School.
Wins this winter have been few and far between for the Bulldogs but, over the last week, Carlton has won two of its past three games. According to coach Lisa Johnson, the team is starting to turn the corner.
“Things are starting to come around,” said Johnson. “Tonight, we came out and pressured them. We got on the fast break and made our shots. We played well.”
Carlton (3-8) suffocated the winless Wrens from the opening tip. Full-court pressure led to a number of uncontested baskets for the girls in blue, and by halftime, the ’Dogs were up 44-13.
Following recess, the rivalry affair was never in question.
Although Johnson’s crew has only beaten a trio of struggling programs (Duluth Marshall, Silver Bay and now Wrenshall), they’ve been competitive against the stronger opponents. Battling tough teams like Chisholm, International Falls and even talented Cook County at times have been stepping stones for the Bulldogs’ late success. Johnson knows games like that are bringing her team up the ranks.
After all, the girls haven’t been playing varsity together for very long.
“I’m very pleased with things,” said Johnson of her bunch. “We’ve gotten some games under our belts now and they are just going out and playing. At first, there were some nerves about it being varsity. But they’re not worrying anymore. Good things can happen.”
Carlton brought back a pair of experienced players in senior Savannah Schramm and junior Lindsey Dahl-Holm this winter, but the rise of sophomore forward Clarissa Nelson has been the Bulldogs’ key.
“She’s one of our top scorers,” said Johnson of her inside threat in the paint and tallest player (Nelson is 5-foot-9). “She looks to score and get to the free-throw line. She’s a solid all-around player.”
The Bulldogs also get solid guard play from sophomore Brooke Camps. Junior Alanna Groth and sophomore Cedar Savage have also provided productive output at the forward position, too.
Johnson says her girls are beginning to look like a team.
“We started a little slow,” she said of their early seven-game losing streak. “But the girls are getting used to playing with each other. We’re getting better.”
Nelson had 21 points for Carlton in Tuesday’s whipping, while Dahl-Holm added 17 and Schramm collected eight.
The Bulldogs will next host Moose Lake-Willow River Thursday and Cook Tuesday on their home floor.
Meanwhile, Wrenshall (0-8) lost their 43rd straight contest. Junior Maria Burcar had 21 of the team’s 29 points. Also adding points for the Wrens were senior Christina Laveau, juniors Natalie Peaney and Samantha Oland and sophomore Taylor Dagger.
The Wrens will host Cromwell-Wright Thursday and bus to Cherry Tuesday.