Girls basketball: 'Jacks top Barnum for first win

The Lumberjacks pressed the Bombers to force more than 20 turnovers in the first half.

Cloquet's Justice Paro shoots over Barnum's Rayna Klejeski during the the Lumberjacks' home win Monday, Jan. 6. Dave Harwig/Pine Journal

Cloquet junior Cristina Genita scored 16 points, leading the Lumberjacks to their first win of the season — a 76-34 home win over Barnum Monday, Jan. 6.

Genita scored 11 first half points to lift Cloquet to a 40-15 halftime lead, with the Lumberjacks using a full court press to harass Bomber ball handlers and force more than 20 first-half turnovers.

Cloquet's Cristina Genita scores in front of Barnum's Kyra Heaton during the Lumberjacks' 76-34 home win Monday, Jan. 6. Genita had a game-high 16 points. Dave Harwig/Pine Journal

In the early moments of the second half, Barnum turned the tables on Cloquet and used its own press to force the Lumberjacks to turn the ball over. The Bombers put together a 14-4 run and cut the lead to 50-31 with about 12 minutes to play. Barnum senior MaKenzee Schleret scored eight of her team-leading 10 points during the run.


Cloquet eventually started finding ways to break the Bomber press, creating opportunities for easy buckets — something that has been a strength for the team all season, said coach Heather Young.

“We’ve really worked a lot on our press break, which shows,” Young said. “We can go up against real strong teams and seem to do really well with it — like we can get a layup off of it, which is ideal … The nice thing is that the girls have bought into that, and they run it really well.”

Young was still concerned about the Lumberjacks’ shooting percentage, which was just under 40% for the game.

In addition to Genita, senior Kate Owens and freshman Alexa Snesrud each scored 12 points for the Lumberjacks.

Barnum struggled even more from the field, shooting just over 21% for the game.

The Bombers were short-handed, with senior Kendal Miletich sitting out with a leg injury and junior Olivia Bogenholm leaving the game in the second half with an injury.

Barnum had won its previous two games over North Woods and Two Harbors, but couldn’t keep up with Cloquet.

Bomber coach A.J. Palmer was disappointed with the loss, but said he is still happy with the improvement the team has shown since losing five of its first six games.


“We’ve just got to keep working hard and keep improving every single day,” Palmer said. “This team, from seeing them in the beginning of the year, we’ve made big strides. It’s fun to see, but it’s a work in progress and hopefully we’ll get better as the season moves along.”

Cloquet (1-10) is scheduled to play at Hermantown at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9.

Barnum (5-8) is scheduled to host McGregor at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9.

Barnum 15-19—34

Cloquet 40-36—76

Barnum — MaKenzee Schleret 10, Rayna Klejeski 4, Olivia Bogenholm 2, Gracie Nelson 1, Anessa Davis 7, Madison Warnygora 4, Allison Marine 6. Totals 14 5-13 34.

3-point goals — Davis.


Cloquet — Gracie Meagher 6, Cristina Genita 16, Bethani Haus 2, Kate Owens 12, Alexa Snesrud 12, Katie Turner 4, Maddie Young 10, Justice Paro 9, Caley Kruse 5. Totals 28 18-29 76.

3-point goals — Genita, Paro.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
What To Read Next
Get Local