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Cloquet girls basketball opens with loss to Northwestern

Cloquet opened their girls basketball season at home Tuesday night with a 54-49 loss to the Northwestern Tigers. Anna Morgan led the Tigers to the win with a game-high 26 points.

Cloquet opened their girls basketball season at home Tuesday night with a 54-49 loss to the Northwestern Tigers. Anna Morgan led the Tigers to the win with a game-high 26 points.

"The game started out sloppy for both teams," said Cloquet coach Jeff Ojanen. "I think it took us about two minutes before we got our first points, but once we got into the flow and we settled down, we were right in the game [in the] first half."

At the half, Northwestern led 28-27.

"Taylor Sautbine had a great first half for us," mentioned Ojanen. "Morgan had a great game for them. We tried playing in front of her and getting help from the back side and playing behind her, but she always found ways to score."

The game was slow in tempo and very physical on both ends of the floor and at times both teams showed flashes of strong as well as sloppy play.

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"You could tell both teams were trying to get used to their teammates and shake off some of the rust from the off season," explained Ojanen. "The whole game was a battle and the biggest lead was five points by Northwestern, [while] we led by three or four at times during the game."

Annabel Morrisroe led the Jacks with 17 points and was strong underneath.

"Annabel had a great game for us," commented Ojanen. "She works [really] hard inside and does everything we ask of her. She led us in points and she had 14 of those in the second half. She did a great job on both ends of the floor and we were able to get the ball inside to her and she could score at will."

Unfortunately for the Jacks, they had problems at times getting the ball inside which made for difficulty scoring.

"We'll continue to work on getting the ball inside," commented Ojanen. "Overall, I was pretty happy with the game and I really like how our top seven played, they all had great effort."

Hannah Roy ran the offense from the point guard position and finished with two points, Sautbine and Kialee Kutter both had nine points, Katie Pappas finished with four points and Brianna Henagin scored eight.

"The girls have been working very hard and you could see they were disappointed with the loss," mentioned Ojanen. "I told them not to let the loss overshadow the many great things we did on both offense and defense. We are asking our seniors to play a lot of minutes for us and they will need to continue to do this for us to have a successful season."

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