Girls basketball roundup: Mainville makes Barnum goBarnum's Daron Mainville leads Barnum (7-11) in scoring and rebounding. We catch up with area girls basketball teams.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
As the sure post player she is, Daron Mainville has a fine right-handed shot, while she sports a soft touch around the basket.
But even the Barnum junior admitted she’s better going left.
Mainville has left little to question about her ability on the basketball court. A 6-foot-2 center, Mainville is one of the sturdiest around, while her nimbleness near the hoop makes her difficult to defend. In her fourth season of varsity, Mainville leads Barnum (7-11) in scoring and rebounding. First-year Coach Katie Moench said her linchpin has valuable experience.
“She’s been on the varsity longer than anyone,” said Moench. “I believe we need to get the ball inside to her first – she’s a high-percentage shot. When she’s not on the floor, our offense struggles and our team misses her.”
Mainville missed a majority of the first half at Cromwell-Wright Monday evening, plagued with early foul trouble, Moench said. Returning in the second, Mainville scored most of her 10 points inside the usual paint, bringing the Bombers back past the Cardinals 58-55 in a game they trailed by six at halftime.
“We emphasized getting the ball to Daron in the second half – and every time we got the ball inside, we scored,” said Moench, noting Mainville fouled out with roughly three minutes left to play. “She was frustrated when she had to come out of the game, but she was the loudest one there on the bench.”
“She didn’t play a lot in the first half, but once she came back in the second, she was unstoppable,” said Cromwell-Wright junior guard Allie Cahoon. “We just couldn’t keep up the pace.”
Cahoon paced the Cardinals (9-7) with 17 points in Monday’s defeat, while teammate Brittany Johnson chipped in 16 points in the Polar League school’s second straight loss. Snapping a three-game losing spurt, the Bombers were paced by Cheyanne Johnson’s game-best 20 points, followed by Megan Nelson’s 18, as the duo never missed any of their 15 free throws.
Meanwhile, Mainville enjoyed being the tallest in the gym.
“I’ve always been the tall one,” said Mainville, who learned how to play basketball from her older brothers growing up in Moose Lake and later moving to Barnum in sixth grade. “Basketball is what I’ve grown up with all my life. I definitely love the game.”
“In tight situations we want the ball in her hands,” added Barnum junior teammate Lauren Hultgren. “She can do just about anything with the ball and is a good leader on the court.”
Absent from the court for roughly six weeks last season due to ineligibility, Mainville is now a more appreciative player.
“Being out for so long last year and now being back to play – it’s something I’m really thankful for,” Mainville said. “I have put a lot of time and work into basketball. I’m right-handed, but I’m even better at going to the basket with my left.”
Carlton (7-6) cradled back-to-back road victories at South Ridge and Silver Bay last Thursday and Friday, as the Bulldogs climbed over the .500 mark for the first time since November.
Cloquet (8-7) cruised past visiting Duluth Denfeld 66-55 last Thursday in a Lake Superior Conference clash in Cloquet. The up-and-down Lumberjacks have now won four of their last six.
Esko (15-1) erased visiting Hermantown 58-25 Monday night, as the third-ranked Eskomos won their 15th straight game. Esko’s lone loss remains to No. 2 Hopkins in their season opener.
Fond du Lac Ojibwe (2-6) obliterated Learning for Leadership and Lac Courte Oreilles in the team’s only two wins this winter. The Ogichidaa’s latest results were not available at press time.
Moose Lake-Willow River (11-4) rolled past Cook County 59-42 in a Polar League meeting last Friday in Grand Marais. The Rebels now have seven victories in their last nine affairs.
South Ridge (4-9) stayed on the short end, losing their fifth straight game in a 60-51 defeat to Carlton last week in Culver.
Wrenshall (1-13) was whacked by Esko 85-15 last Thursday in a Polar League lashing. The Wrens have now lost nine in row.