By RON DEUTER
NORWAY - Scoring struggles down the stretch cost Norway a Mid-Peninsula Conference girls basketball victory against Ishpeming here Thursday night.
Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo
Norway’s Heather Evosevich (14) pulls down a rebound in front of Ishpeming’s Kaylie Engler (30) during Thursday evening’s Mid-Peninsula Conference girls basketball game.
The Hematites, taking their first lead of the second half with under four minutes to play, held the Knights to three points in the fourth quarter and won 42-36.
"We'll take the conference win," Hematites coach Mark Dellangelo said. "It's always tough to come down to Norway and get a win. Carli Kelly's teams are always aggressive, strong and physical. Fortunately we were able to battle through that a bit."
Jessica Spencer led Ishpeming with 15 points, scoring the final five for the Hematites after Jordann Grigg nailed a triple to put Ishpeming ahead 37-36 with about 3:30 left to play.
"In the fourth we made some adjustments," Dellangelo said. "They got some shots but they were not going in, and fortunately for us we were able to get the rebounds and convert on our end.
"Spencer had a big game for us both offensively and defensively, I thought."
Heather Evosevich's 13 points led the Knights. She was 6-of-6 from the floor, but the rest of the team shot 20 percent. Shelby Mantonich added 12 points. But Norway was just 3-of-8 at the line while Ishpeming cashed in for 17-of-32 at the stripe.
"We haven't had a game in three weeks," Kelly noted. "That's not an excuse but they didn't look mentally prepared, not ready to play."
Ishpeming, with Spencer getting off to a quick start, opened a 6-2 lead to start the game, but the Knights closed the gap and the game remained back-and-forth, within a basket, the entire first half.
Norway's best run of the game came in the third quarter when Grayvold sunk a jumper to ignite a 7-0 run. Matonich followed with a three ball and a short jumper to put Norway out front 31-24.
A putback at the third quarter buzzer by Grigg made it 33-29, and the Hematites followed with five of the game's next six points to make it 34-34.
Evosevich hit down low to give the Knights their final bucket, that coming with 3:45 to play.
Ishpeming improved to 4-3 (3-1 MPC).
"It was a good team effort," Dellangelo said. "We're shorthanded right now but the girls came through and got a nice win for us."
Norway slipped to 4-3 (2-2).
"We've got stuff to work on," Kelly said. "Talking, communication, defense, shooting. We'll be working on everything."
Ishpeming13 7 9 13 - 42
Norway10 12 11 3 - 36
ISHPEMING: Spencer 15, Grigg 7, G. Croley 7, Engler 6, T. Croley 5, Simula 2. FT: 17-32. F: 9.
NORWAY: Evosevich 13, Matonich 12, Grayvold 7, Casanova 2, Debernardi 2. FT: 3-8. F: 20. FO: Grayvold.
FG shooting - I: 12-31 (3-pt: 1-6); N: 15-50 (3-pt: 3-19). 3-pt FGs - I: Grigg; N: Matonich (2), Grayvold. Rebounding - I: 36 (Grigg 7, Engler 7); N: 27 (Grayvold 8).