Girls Basketball Roundup...News about Carlton, Cromwell and other area teamsAs a track star, soccer standout and kid growing up on a 40-acre homestead in Blackhoof Township, Tori Zime enhanced her endurance by running around her family’s favorite field. So it was only fitting the Carlton senior helped run the Bulldogs by neighboring Cromwell-Wright 59-53 in a Polar League girls basketball game Monday evening in Carlton.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
As a track star, soccer standout and kid growing up on a 40-acre homestead in Blackhoof Township, Tori Zime enhanced her endurance by running around her family’s favorite field.
So it was only fitting the Carlton senior helped run the Bulldogs by neighboring Cromwell-Wright 59-53 in a Polar League girls basketball game Monday evening in Carlton.
Zime, a speedy 5-foot-7 guard in her fourth season of varsity, scored 13 points Monday. More importantly, she helped Carlton’s defense create 19 first-half Cardinals turnovers and avenge an earlier season loss to their rivals from Cromwell.
Praising her veteran guard’s leadership, fourth-year Bulldogs Coach Lisa Johnson said Zime’s stamina is remarkable.
“She’s like the Energizer bunny — she just goes, and goes, and goes,” she said. “Tori is one who needs to be on the floor. She’s a good leader, a hard worker and the kids react to her.”
“I don’t think she ever gets tired,” added freshman teammate Hannah Benson. “She’s probably the most in-shape person we have. She’s fast and never afraid. I’ve learned a lot from her.”
Admittedly winded after basketball, Zime said she learned how to run around on her family’s field in Blackhoof, 25 minutes from Carlton. There, Zime noted, she grew up playing non-stop.
“We’d go four-wheeling, dirt-biking, play softball, even run around our big field,” said Zime. “I played basketball as [young] as you can: second, third grade. I’ve always been pretty active.”
Carlton (8-11) got off to a fast start Monday, jumping to a 34-20 advantage by halftime, which helped hold off a late Cromwell-Wright run. With the win, the Bulldogs snapped a previous five-game losing stretch, plus it was their first victory over the Cardinals in six meetings since 2009.
“There are some nights where we don’t click, but [Monday] everyone played super-well together,” said Zime, who was aided by teammates Taylor Klassen and Clarissa Nelson’s 15 and 14 points apiece. “This win turned us around. It pumped us up.”
The Cardinals (12-9) were led by Christina Stenson’s game-high 18 points. Kayle Johnson also chipped in 13 for a team that shot 20-percent in the first half, ending a three-game run of league wins over Wrenshall, Floodwood and Two Harbors.
“We had a lot of turnovers and none of our shots were going in” said Stenson. “If we had a couple more minutes, we could have scored some more points. We just weren’t ourselves.”
“We can’t play as poorly as we did early on, especially on the road, against a decent team like Carlton and expect to win the game,” added first-year Cromwell-Wright Coach Jeff Gronner. “We dug ourselves a big hole. We played much better in the second half, but we just had too big of a hole to climb out of.”
With her stamina, Zime surely created some of that struggle.
Barnum (9-14) was blitzed by Polar League foe McGregor 65-44 last Thursday at home, for consecutive Bombers losses.
Cloquet (12-11) crept past visiting Hibbing 72-63 Saturday evening in Cloquet. The Lumberjacks, now with back-to-back victories, avenged an earlier season loss to the Bluejackets.
Esko (19-2) eased past Polar League rival Moose Lake-Willow River 60-35 last Thursday in Esko. The Eskomos, ranked third in Class AA, remain unbeaten in the conference.
Fond du Lac Ojibwe (5-8) owns five victories, including the Ogichidaa’s latest forfeit win over Nah Ah Shing last week.
Moose Lake-Willow River (16-7) ripped by Wrenshall 95-18 Tuesday evening in a Polar League lashing in Willow River.
South Ridge (5-14) reads just one win since Christmas. Recently, Ely eased past the Panthers 39-35 Saturday up in Ely.
Wrenshall (1-18) was whacked Tuesday by Polar League host Moose Lake-Willow River 95-18 in their 14th straight loss.
FDLTCC (0-18) canceled the rest of their collegiate women’s basketball season. Struggling with injuries, illness and depth, the Thunder lost all 18 games, including six forfeitures.