Girls Basketball Roundup...News about Esko, Cloquet and other area teamsEsko center Savanna Trapp counted a team-high 15 points, nine blocks and eight rebounds in elevating the third-ranked Eskomos past neighboring rival Cloquet 65-37 before a sizeable crowd Monday in Cloquet.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
CLOQUET – Second in state history with 639 blocked shots, Savanna Trapp perhaps could have swatted four more to tie the record in the final three minutes she sat out Monday night.
For the Esko senior, though, a win was all that counted.
Trapp counted a team-high 15 points, nine blocks and eight rebounds in elevating the third-ranked Eskomos past neighboring rival Cloquet 65-37 before a sizeable crowd Monday in Cloquet.
Trapp, a 6-foot-9 center, is now four blocks from equaling Lakeville North’s Cassie Rochel’s state best of 643. The UCLA-bound Trapp will likely surpass that mark tonight in McGregor.
“It’s something special that not everyone gets to do,” Trapp said of blocking shots. “It’s always been a big part of my game.”
A big part of Esko’s game, Trapp scored her team’s opening seven points Monday. Aiding a key 12-0 run midway through the first half, Trapp and the Eskomos erased several deficits to lead the Lumberjacks 31-22 at halftime, while she made a bucket in a 14-0 Esko spurt to begin the second and put the game away.
“That was big,” Trapp said of her team’s scoring streaks. “We haven’t had anything that close at halftime this year. [Cloquet] was physical and we usually start slower. Then, we came out of the locker room ready to go. We closed the gate.”
Closing out teams regularly this winter, senior-laden Esko (17-1) has won 17 straight games, sitting unbeaten in the Polar League once again. Second-rated Hopkins is their only defeat.
“We’re playing well,” Esko Coach Scott Antonutti said. “We’ve done a nice job taking care of the ball and have been patient on offense.”
Senior guards Claudia Turner and Marisa Shady added to the Esko offense Monday, scoring 15 and 11 points, respectively.
For Cloquet (8-10), 6-foot senior center Kenzie Rathe was relentless against the much-taller Trapp, scoring a game-best 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Jaiden Cofield chipped in 13 in the Lumberjacks’ loss, as they struggle with consistency.
“We feel if we play well, we can play with anybody,” said Cloquet Coach Jeff Ojanen, “but the key is to play that way the whole game. We haven’t put it together yet. We have a chance to be tough; we just have to prove that we’re tough for 36 minutes.”
Cloquet lost by 36 to Esko last year and hasn’t beaten their neighbors since 2007, but Rathe said Monday was a step better.
“We’ve come a long way,” Rathe said. “Esko is a very good team, but we were focused and played hard. For a lot of us, it’s our last year. We’re short on time and want to make it our best.”
As for Trapp, five more blocks, and she’ll be the state’s best.
“I know her better than most – she’s my best friend,” said teammate Marisa Shady. “Savanna sees the big picture. And with her, it’s not about all the records. She wants the team first.”
Barnum (8-12) broke back-to-back wins last week with a 72-61 defeat to visiting Duluth Denfeld last Saturday afternoon.
Carlton (7-8) couldn’t keep up with Polar League unbeaten McGregor in a 68-33 loss Monday night for the host Bulldogs.
Cromwell-Wright (9-8) was outdone last Thursday at Polar League rival Floodwood 62-45. Including losses to Barnum and South Shore, Wis., the Cardinals have dropped their last three.
Fond du Lac Ojibwe (2-6) ousted Learning for Leadership and Lac Courte Oreilles earlier this winter for their only wins. The Ogichidaa’s latest results were not available at press time.
Moose Lake-Willow River (13-6) ran into streaking host Hermantown and a 55-39 loss Tuesday. Snapping back-to-back wins, the defeat was just the Rebels’ third in the New Year.
South Ridge (4-10) remained on the losing end, falling 62-59 to host Eveleth-Gilbert Tuesday for their sixth straight defeat.
Wrenshall (1-14) was whacked by Polar League host Barnum 78-24 last Thursday for the Wrens’ 10th loss in a row.
FDLTCC (0-18) continues winless, falling 72-67 at Hibbing last week and Northland Saturday in their fifth forfeit this winter.