EagleHerald Sports Editor
MENOMINEE—The Menominee girls basketball team played great defense nearly all night in Tuesday’s non-conference matchup against West Iron County allowing the Maroons to pick up their sixth-straight win to start the season.
Menominee scored the first nine points of the game—with six coming from Emma Anderson on post touches—before WIC got on the board, and aside from an 8-2 Wykons’ run to end the second quarter, the Maroons were in control all night as they came away with a 63-37 drubbing of WIC.
“We’ve been coming out of the gates very good defensively, and our defense really fuels our offense. We create a lot of chaos on the defensive end, and then we were able to get Emma some easy baskets early on that sort of tightened (WIC) up and made it easier for everybody else to score,” Menominee coach Lucas Chouinard said.
Anderson scored eight points in the first quarter and Erin Barrette and Jenna Nolde dropped in 3-pointers as the Maroons took a 14-4 lead after the first. Menominee started the second quarter on a 13-3 run to hold a 27-7 advantage with 3:29 left until halftime, but WIC didn’t go away as Tori Bociek knocked down a triple and Danica Shamion hit a pull-up jumper from the elbow and a trey from the wing on back-to-back possessions to end the half to cut Menominee’s lead to 29-17.
“We just have to focus a little more on finding shooters when team’s go on runs and that’s something we did not do a good job of,” Chouinard said.
In the third, Menominee opened the game up by holding WIC to just six points while pouring in 22 to hold a 51-23 lead.
Anderson and Nolde traded baskets to open the quarter, and after four points from WIC’s Livea Mazurek, Anderson split a pair of free throws and Nolde made a layup in transition off an assist from Barrette to grab a 38-21 lead.
With 3:25 remaining, Shamion scored the Wykons’ last points of the third on two free throws as Rylee Doyle made her first basket of the night for Menominee on a 3-pointer to kickstart a 13-0 run to end the quarter.
“We challenged the girls a little bit at halftime to start locking up (WIC’s) individual players and I thought they did a good job of that in the third quarter,” Chouinard said. “We went into a zone after we got in to some foul trouble and it felt like that really energized our girls and they did a very good job of forcing outside shots and converting on the offensive end.”
Now leading 51-23, Anderson began the fourth with a triple and a basket inside, and after a timeout from WIC with 6:14 left Josie Hofer and Rylee Wickstrom got in on the scoring with a three-point play and two free throws.
WIC closed the gap the remaining 5:33, holding Menominee to just one basket while scoring 12 as Danica Shamion and Jordan Shamion scored six points each.
Anderson was a force in the post for the Maroons as she scored a majority of her game-high 22 points inside the paint. She also pulled down nine rebounds.
“We have to be able to continue to get Emma the ball where she wants it,” Chouinard said. “She’s deadly from so many areas on the court, and if teams want to double her in the post she’s such a good passer from the post that she will find the open player.”
Nolde added 11 points behind Anderson’s big game and Barrette added nine points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists. Danica Shamion led WIC with 15 and Jordan Shamion added 13 and nine rebounds.
On Wednesday, the Maroons traveled to Westwood for a game against the Patriots, and after falling behind early Menominee was able to tie the game at 14 after the first quarter thanks to a 6-0 run over the final three minutes.
The Maroons were able to extend their lead to 35-22 at halftime, but Westwood closed the gap to 48-39 to start the fourth.
Westwood hung around for a bit of the final frame, but an Anderson 3-pointer with 3:11 left in the game to give Menominee a 62-47 lead was the dagger as the Maroons escaped with a 64-49 victory to improve to 8-0 on the season.
Anderson again led Menominee with 20 points while Nolde and Kennedy Olson added 12 each.
WIC (37)—D. Shamion 15, J. Shamion 13, Mazurek 4, Bociek 3, Harty 2. FTs: 5-8.
MENOMINEE (63)—Anderson 22, Nolde 11, Barrette 9, Nerat 8, Hofer 3, Doyle 3, Wickstrom 2. FTs: 9-14.