Cloquet upsets Esko
Playing on a stormy night in Esko, the Cloquet Lumberjack girls basketball team used a strong second half to beat the Eskomos 56-47 on Tuesday. The game was played after nearly a half foot of snow fell in the Carlton County area and things starte...
Playing on a stormy night in Esko, the Cloquet Lumberjack girls basketball team used a strong second half to beat the Eskomos 56-47 on Tuesday.
The game was played after nearly a half foot of snow fell in the Carlton County area and things started out nearly as fast as the snow was falling outside with both teams scoring 30 points in the first half and the game deadlocked at halftime.
"The first half was mostly both teams trying to figure each other out," said Cloquet coach Brad Vieths. "This early in the season there really isn't a scouting report for either team. With Esko and Cloquet pushing the ball, the first half was really a matter of mistakes. We would pull ahead and then they would make a run and that happened a couple of times."
The second half saw the Jacks slowly pull away to the win as Jes Vork nailed five three-pointers and scored 28 points on the night in leading her team to the victory.
"Jessica Vork, need I say more!" exclaimed Esko coach Sue Northey. "On the other hand, we shot a dismal 28 percent against Cloquet's 2-3 zone. Cloquet did a great job, taking away our ability to run the floor."
Cloquet also got nine points from Hannah Roy, eight points from Brianna Henagin, Kialee Kutter had five points and it was three points each for Kami Diver and Tiffany LaCroix.
"Jes was in one of those zones you hear about, but the key to our offense was our team passing," mentioned Vieths. "Everybody moved the ball around and each player recognized that Vork had the hot hand and did their best to get her some touches. Players like Kami Diver and Hannah Roy did a great job of making the defense pick them out and then kicking the ball out to Jes for the shot."
Esko had a balanced attack with Roz Chromy and Jamie Rust both hitting for 11 points, Farrah Wirtz recorded eight points, Sarah Krocka and Amanda Bergstedt each finished with six points, Amber Jubie added four points and Kelsey Saralampi had a point.
Another key to the win for Cloquet was their ability to pull down rebounds in the second half where they notched 24 of them.
"We will need to improve as a team, playing in a half court game and attacking a zone in practice," explained Northey. "Cloquet also did a nice job of eliminating our second chances and reducing our touches on the inside game."
Toward the end of the game, the Jacks pulled the ball back a bit and waited for a good shot against Esko's always tough defense.
"When we got ahead by double digits, we went to our five-out-100-percent-shot mode," suggested Vieths. "We weren't stalling, but we also were not going to take a shot that wasn't good for the team."
- A sluggish beginning to last Thursday's game against Duluth East cost the Cloquet girls basketball team a chance to upset the Greyhounds as the Jacks fell 56-37.
"We got off to our usual slow start and dug a hole early," mentioned Vieths. "Then we started to get our legs going and for the first time in my tenure we had a Cloquet team come to play against East."
The Jacks fell behind 14-1 and then fell behind by as many as 20 points before they made some defensive adjustments that allowed them to inch their way back into the game. Cloquet trailed 29-13 at halftime.
"We didn't do anything fancy, just straight man-to-man and fundamental offense," explained Vieths. "The second half was ours. We cut the lead down to nine early, then let it get back to 20 and then cut it to seven points."
The seesaw game then saw the Greyhounds push the lead back to 15 points, but the Jacks made another strong run that cut the lead down to nine with four minutes remaining.
"We had to lay it out and go for it, so we started pressing the defense and rushing the offense," stated Vieth. "But it was a great showing for our young team. Our sophomores really stepped up and played some key roles."
Roy led the Jacks with 14 points, Vork finished with seven, Henagin finished with five, Tiffany LeCroix and Jill Rosenthal each added four and Katie Pappas scored two points.
"Defensively Rosenthal, Becca Rowenhorst and Vork played key roles in stopping the high-powered East offense," recalled Vieths. "I thought this was the first time we let the cat out of the bag that we can play this game. The girls played smart, they played together and they played hard, and I really look forward to seeing East later in the season."
Jackie Reinemann led East with 12 points, while Allie Kneeland, Brianna Larson and Marisa Yernatich added 10 points.