EagleHerald Sports Writer
MENOMINEE—The Menominee girls basketball team got the opportunity to host the MHSAA Division 3 District 66 championship game on Friday night as West Iron County came back to town to try and avenge an early season loss.
After more of a slow start than usual that saw Menominee leading just 3-2 after over two minutes of play, the Maroons got into their rhythm and the defense came to play as the Maroons were victorious 57-23 led by Emma Anderson’s 18 points and 11 rebounds to lock up a district title after suffering a gut-wrenching loss in the first round of playoffs a season ago on the same court they just won the district title on.
“It feels great to get the win at home in our last game ever on our home court,” Anderson said. “It was a great team win and we’re just excited to be moving on.”
“It’s a great feeling, especially for our seniors to get one more game on their home floor especially with how last season ended leaving a bad taste in our mouths. We were all very driven to not let that happen again, that propelled us to a hot start this year and its a great way to end the districts here with a win on our home floor,” Menominee coach Lucas Chouinard.
Anderson scored eight of the teams 15 points in the first quarter to jump out to a 15-2 lead, and by the time the halftime buzzer sounded Menominee led 34-13 after WIC’s Livea Mazurek made a wild 3-pointer just before the buzzer, but the game was not as close as the score indicated as Menominee was dominating on both ends.
WIC scored the first basket of the second quarter before Menominee went on a 13-2 run to lead 28-4 before a triple and three-point play from Danica Shamion ended the run.
“I thought we did a great job in our half court defense. Not only do we put extreme pressure on the ball, but we have girls that know where to be in the right spot in case someone does get beat so we’re very dangerous defensively,” Chouinard said. “At any point in time any girl on the floor is capable of scoring so we just take the opportunities presented to us whether in be in transition or in the half court.”
After halftime, Menominee kept piling it on as the Maroons scored the first 16 points as Jenna Nolde cashed a 3-pointer before WIC finally got on the board with 3:40 left in the quarter on a basket from Jordan Shamion.
Menominee ended the quarter on a small 4-2 run to outscore the Wykons 20-4 in the third.
With the game already well in hand, WIC outscored Menominee 6-3 in the fourth as Menominee got its lead up to 40 points at one point for a running clock.
Erin Barrette scored 12 points to back up Anderson’s double-double and Anna Nerat added 10.
The Maroons (13-0) will now advance to the regional semifinals against Calumet (17-0) at West Iron County’s gym tonight at 6 p.m. in a battle of the undefeated teams.
“I feel good going into the game. I know if our team plays together and we play like we are capable to play, we will be just fine,” Anderson said. “(Calumet) is scrappy and work hard so we will just have to work harder. We have been focused and having some pretty good practices lately, and I think we are focused, ready to go and very excited for the game.”