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Girls basketball: Lumberjacks roll through Wood City Classic

Cloquet's Allie Wojtysiak scores in front of Minneapolis Edison's Avery Page during the Wood City Classic game Friday, Dec. 28. Dave Harwig / Pine Journal1 / 3
Cloquet's Kendra Kelley passes the defense of Minneapolis Edison's Avery Page during the Wood City Classic game Friday, Dec. 28. Kelley scored 25 in the game, and also 18 in the first game Thursday, Dec. 27, with St. Croix Prep. Dave Harwig / Pine Journal2 / 3
Cloquet's Grace Dushkin shoots a jumper over Minneapolis Edison's Kataja Young during the Wood City Classic game Friday, Dec. 28. Dave Harwig / Pine Journal3 / 3

Cloquet senior Kendra Kelley began to find her range from long distance during the Lumberjacks' blowout victories in the Wood City Classic on Dec. 27-28 in Cloquet.

Kelley went 5-for-11 from 3-point range over the team's two games. She scored 18 points in a 70-25 win over St. Croix Prep on Dec. 27 and 25 points in a 62-18 win over Minneapolis Edison on Friday, Dec. 28, with Kelley scoring 19 of the Lumberjacks' first 20 points.

Both Cloquet opponents in the Wood City Classic had trouble dealing with the Lumberjacks' size on the inside. Cloquet picked up 28 offensive rebounds against St. Croix Prep — more than the Lions' total rebounds — and 17 against the Tommies.

Senior Allie Wotysiak recorded double digit offensive rebounds against St. Croix Prep and a large share of her game-high 20 points came on put backs.

Cloquet coach Heather Young acknowledged the Lions and Tommies were young teams with new coaches, but was happy with her team's defense and focus in the games, especially after two hard fought, comeback wins over Superior and Hermantown and a tough loss to Princeton before the holiday break.

"We definitely capitalized on the fact that they're young programs," Young said. "We're not. We have seven seniors ... We maybe had some things in the back pocket that a veteran team should have and a young team wouldn't, so that helped us on the defensive end."

Cloquet is heading into the toughest stretch of its 2018 schedule with games coming up against Proctor, Hermantown and one-loss Mountain Iron-Buhl over the next two week. Young was glad to have a couple of games where the team could work the kinks out on a few plays that could come in handy at playoff time.

"I always feel like as a coach I can learn more and maybe experiment some here and there," Young said. "Then come playoff time we have a couple things in our back pocket that we can pull out on teams that aren't expecting us to do certain things."

Cloquet (7-3) is scheduled to play Proctor on Thursday, Jan. 3, in Cloquet.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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