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GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Ogichidaa excelling in more ways than one

CLOQUET--Jasmin Budreau said she's interested in going into law enforcement when she gets older, but for now, the Cloquet sophomore will simply keep enforcing the paint as a forward on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe girls basketball team.

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Freshman Winter Mayorga gains control of the ball in Monday’s game against the Cass Lake-Bena Panthers. Mayorga attends Cloquet High School but plays for the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Ogichidaa. Jamie Lund/news@pinejournal.com

CLOQUET-Jasmin Budreau said she’s interested in going into law enforcement when she gets older, but for now, the Cloquet sophomore will simply keep enforcing the paint as a forward on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe girls basketball team.

Budreau and her Ogichidaa teammates have been taking it to their opponents on the court recently, but couldn’t keep up with Cass Lake-Bena in a 69-41 loss in Cloquet Monday, followed by a 63-35 defeat to Lakeview Christian Academy Tuesday.

Still, that hasn’t halted the efforts of the small tribal school, coached by Kami Diver in her first season. Monday before playing the Panthers, Diver was positive when talking about her Ogichidaa (8-8), saying they have come a long ways both on the court for skills and off the court in the classroom.

“School - that’s our main focus,” said Diver, who has taken time before practice to allow her older girls to help her younger ones with any problems, questions or homework they may have to do. “They are disciplined. They come in and know what to do. And if they don’t, there are consequences.”

Diver said that would be running sprints as a team, which hasn’t had to happen too often. Rather than getting in trouble or being ineligible, Diver has committed players willing to aid.

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Budreau is usually the first to the call for homework help. The bright, yet quiet, teenager acts almost like a student-teacher. She said her favorite subjects are English and history when, of course, the 5-foot-9 defense-first post-player isn’t pounding the glass or working for position in the lane.

Budreau, who scored four points on Monday, said sticking together as a team is key, all while playing their hardest.

“Coach Kami always says ‘We’re not done until there’s zeroes on the board,’” Budreau said. “As long as we give our effort and don’t give up on each other, that’s all we can ask.”

The Ogichidaa, led by senior Dez LaPointe’s 32 points per game, as well as junior Faryn Dupuis’ 15, has lost three straight. Tuesday’s was on Diver’s 25th birthday, but she’s still upbeat.

“Teams think they can come in here and blow us out by 70 or 80, but they don’t know us this year,” Diver said. “We have girls who are stepping up. A couple still hide, but we’ve improved a lot. It’s nice to finally see them all grow together.”

In more ways than one, that is. Cloquet freshman Winter Mayorga is - like Budreau - a modest scorer but major contributor. She rides with Budreau and others to the school each day to play, but is quick to get help on her work, as well.

“It’s definitely something I love, having this team,” Mayorga said outside the gym. “It’s just my second year ever playing basketball. I wish I would have started this earlier.”

AREA ROUNDUP:

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Barnum (12-8) barreled by host North Woods 70-31 Tuesday in Cook, the Bombers’ third consecutive victory.

Carlton (2-16) couldn’t keep up with fast-paced Red Lake, as the host Bulldogs were beaten 84-27 last Saturday.

Cloquet (9-10) creamed host Duluth Marshall 72-41 last Thursday in the Lumberjacks’ Lake Superior Conference win.

Cromwell-Wright (12-2) whacked host Duluth Marshall 75-17 Tuesday, as the Cardinals haven’t lost in three weeks.

Esko (17-3) was edged by Superior 55-53 on the road Monday, snapping the Eskomos’ prior 15-game win streak.

Moose Lake-Willow River (12-5) romped by Spectrum-PACT 46-29 Monday in Elk River, as the Rebels remain hot.

South Ridge (13-5) won yet another contest when they defeated Nashwauk-Keewatin 77-51 Monday in Culver.

Wrenshall (2-14) were clipped by Chisholm 60-55 on the road last Friday, marking the Wrens’ eighth straight setback.

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FDLTCC (3-16) lost at host Hibbing 57-46 Saturday. Thunder guard Jaiden Cofield, named Player of the Week for Jan. 12-18, scored 37 points in last Wednesday’s 79-74 loss to Itasca Community College.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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