Prep girls basketball: Tough Bulldogs too much for Bombers
Free throws and toughness led the Bulldogs by the Bombers, 71-64.
CARLTON — Growing up with three older brothers, Lizzie Hey has taken her share of knockdowns while playing basketball.
That’s why it wasn’t a surprise earlier this week when the Carlton junior got up and sank a pair of free throws after being sandwiched by a pair of Barnum defenders and slammed to the floor.
Free throws and toughness led the Bulldogs by the Bombers 71-64 in a physical Polar League bout Monday, Jan. 27, in Carlton, and it was Hey who led by example.
Standing just 5 feet, 4 inches, Hey doesn’t hesitate to attack the rim. She often drives to the basket and seeks to score among traffic. She finished Monday with 16 points in a variety of ways, including a perfect night at the free-throw line — knocked down or not.
“She’s a fearless player,” said Carlton coach Lucas Beireis. “Growing up the youngest, you’ve got to be tough. She’ll play through whatever she has to.”
Hey admitted her shooting elbow was a little sore, but nothing a little ice couldn’t mend. She said she wouldn’t leave Monday’s game, one in which Carlton led by as many as 16 points late in the second half, only to hang on down the stretch.
“I know what I need to do on this team, I know my role — I’m not going to sit out just because I hurt my elbow,” Hey said. “I’ve gotten used to the roughness.”
Playing backyard tackle football has helped Hey too, she said. It came in handy Monday in a game that included 32 fouls and 40 free throws. Carlton (11-6) was 25-for-29 at the charity line, while Barnum (8-12) was just 7-of-11.
The Bombers’ effort Monday was unmistakably admirable. A 21-8 run in the final several minutes fell just short, and this came without the likes of veterans Kendal Miletich and Olivia Bogenholm who are out with injuries and Allison Marine gone sick.
“Encouraging,” said Barnum coach A.J. Palmer of his team’s never-quitting efforts. “I hope the girls realize what (that run) meant. To come roaring back like that — it’s encouraging.”
Senior MaKenzee Schleret shot her way to 24 points and four of Barnum’s nine 3-pointers — many from NBA distance. Teammates Madison Warnygora and Anessa Davis added 12 and 10 points respectively, but the hill was too high for the Bombers.
“We built ourselves too big of a hole and just couldn’t finish,” Palmer said.
Meanwhile, Alaina Bennett finished with a game-high 29 points for the Bulldogs. The senior added to her career total which surpassed 1,000 in last week’s win over Nashwauk-Keewatin.
She was smiling following Monday’s victory over the rival Bombers, now Carlton’s fourth in a row.
“Tonight, was one of our better games,” said Beireis. “We have some of the best athletes in the section and they compete in everything they do.”
“It just takes teamwork from every end,” Bennett said. “This was awesome. We haven’t beaten (Barnum) in a long time. That felt good.”
Barnum — Kyra Heaton 2, MaKenzee Schleret 24, Rayna Klejeski 7, Gracie Nelson 5, Anessa Davis 10, Jacinda Wright 4, Madison Warnygora 12. Totals 24 7-11 64.
3-point goals — Schleret 4, Nelson, Warnygora 4.
Carlton — Kaylee Asleson 9, Brynne Mickle 2, Abby Mickle 4, Alaina Bennett 29, Bella Anderson 4, Lizzie Hey 16, Sam Matarelli 7. Totals 22 25-29 71.
3-point goals — Hey, Matarelli.