KINGSFORD—The 2019-20 UPSSA U.P. Miss Basketball recipient Emma Anderson led all scorers with 27 points, as Menominee cruised past Great Northern Conference foe Kingsford 61-44 Monday night in the Kingsford Middle School gym.
The Maroons, who were 20-0 in the regular season last year, jumped out to a double-digit lead after one-quarter. They return their entire starting five and three players deep into their bench from last season.
Their cohesiveness and depth shows on both ends of the floor, and did so throughout the game.
“It can be said that seniors are the lifeblood of your program,” said Menominee head coach Lucas Chouinard, who picked up his 100th win as the head coach of the Maroons. “We’re blessed to have the five seniors we have, that have so much experience. Basketball is a game that they love, and it shows out on the court.”
Senior point guard Erin Barrette added 10 points for Menominee. Her fellow seniors that Chouinard eluded to are Anderson, Josie Hofer, Mackenzie Wellner and Jenna Nolde. Wellner sprained her ankle in the first quarter, and didn’t return to the game.
The Flivvers Christy Glodowski netted a team-high 18 points in the contest, while center Jenna Olkkonen chipped in 12 points for Kingsford, who slips to 0-2 (0-2 GNC) with the loss.
Both teams came out in a man-to-man defense, with Menominee jumping out to a very fast 9-2 lead, less than two minutes into the contest, with Anderson netting seven of those points. The Flivvers were overwhelmed and outmanned right from the get-go, and lost point guard Talia Wallis very early in the game to an ankle injury.
The Maroons began pushing the tempo a bit on offense in the latter part of the first period, as well as having their guards put 3/4 court pressure on the ball, as the Flivvers inbounded the basketball and brought it up the floor.
Menominee’s team all have very quick feet and endurance. “All of our starting five play tennis in the fall and they gain quickness playing that sport,” Chouinard added.
At two different points in the first half, first-year Kingsford head coach Jon Lorenzoni called timeout to try to break the momentum the visiting team had throughout the first half. The Maroons led by 20 points at halftime, with Anderson netting 18 in the half.
“That’s a good team we played tonight, and we knew that they were that good,” Lorenzoni stated. “I thought they played like a well-oiled machine and were ready to play tonight, we were neither. But playing a team like this is a learning experience.”
Despite it not being evident on the scoreboard, the Flivvers came out of the locker room after halftime, like a ball of fire, with an 8-0 scoring run in the first 4:30 of the third quarter. However, the Maroons balanced offense and fluid ball movement got the best of Kingsford, as the Maroons extended their lead to 23 points at the end of the third.
“These last two games, we didn’t come out for the second half with enough fire. I hope tonight was a lesson learned, so it doesn’t happen again,” Chouinard exclaimed.
“The way we came out of halftime, says a lot to me, about our younger players, but our seniors as well,” Lorenzoni added. “We switched to a zone defense and were more aggressive in the second half, especially on defense.”
The Flivvers did outscore Menominee in the final quarter, but it was to no avail. The Maroons, now 2-0 (2-0 GNC) picked up the double-digit win, which was the 100th varsity win in the coaching career of Chouinard.
The freshmen duo of Anna Axtell and Hanna Drifka combined for 29 points, with Drifka netting a game-high 17, as the Maroons JV defeated Kingsford 43-22.
Menominee 22 15 16 8—61
Kingsford 10 7 13 14—44
MENOMINEE (61)—Doyle 2, Barrette 10, Nerat 9, Nolde 7, Anderson 27, Sinks 3, Olson 3; FT: 10-19.
KINGSFORD (44)—Olkkonen 12, Bracket 1, LaVarnway 4, Geronimi 1, Malone 3, Cross 1, Penegor 2, Mitchell 2, Gladowski 18; FT: 11-27.