Girls basketball: Broncos bounce Jets, 52-49

North Central's Tayler Poupore (24) and teammate Jadie Linder, right, fight for a rebound with Bark River-Harris' Grace Peterson (31) during the second half of a Class D district final in Powers. (Avery Bundgaard/The Daily Press)

POWERS — Well, this looks familiar.

The Bark River-Harris girls’ basketball team will be moving on to regionals for the second straight year after knocking off rival North Central 46-34 Friday night for the Class D district championship.

It wasn’t quite the thrilling 52-49 victory the Broncos (17-5) picked up Wednesday against Carney-Nadeau, but they are still excited to be district champs.

“For me I’m just the coach, but it feels great for the girls,” said BR-H coach Josh Eagle. “I know they’re elated and we talk about being mentally and emotionally tough. We talk about playing as a team and don’t get down on each other and to keep playing to the final buzzer. This is one of those testimonies where you say ‘Hey if you can trust everybody, good things will happen’.”

It just wasn’t the Jets’ night as they just couldn’t seem to hit a shot as they went 12-52 (23 percent) from the field.

“We were pumped up, but Bark River’s a good team,” said North Central coach Lee Vincent. “We didn’t make the shots. They rattled in-and-out and you got to hit the baskets to win.”

The Broncos got off to a big start as they outscored the Jets 14-2 in the first quarter to set the tone.

“It was a little closer than I would have liked,” Eagle said. “I definitely wasn’t comfortable even with that quick start, but what we did on defense I think was phenomenal for us. We kept them to only a couple field goals in the first half. I think that’s because of our switching, our talking and our help.”

It was an offensive struggle in the second quarter as both teams couldn’t buy a shot. North Central (10-12) outscored BR-H 5-4 and trailed 18-7 at halftime. The Broncos shot 0-for-16 from the field and scored all four points from the free throw line.

The Broncos increased their lead early in the third quarter to 16 for their biggest advantage of the game. They would stay pretty even the rest of the quarter with the Broncos leading 36-22 after three.

The Jets didn’t give up in the final period as their intensity increased and got as close as 11 before time ran out on them.

“We didn’t give up and we only lost by twelve,” Vincent said. “I thought we played pretty good. We still had time with about five minutes left but I told them that we have to make the shots and we didn’t make them. The ten players I put in, they never gave up and I’m proud of them anyway.”

Megan Robinette led the Broncos with 12 points and Grace Peterson followed with nine.

Andie Arsenault was the high scorer for the Jets with 12 while Natalie Dombrowski added 10.

The Broncos will face Forest Park Tuesday at Kingsford for their opening round regional game.

“We’ve seen Forest Park twice and they split with us during the season,” Eagle said. “They’re a tough basketball team but no-matter what, we’re going to be ready.”

Bark River-Harris 14-4 18 10 — 46

North Central 2 5 15 12 — 34

BARK RIVER-HARRIS (46): J. Lockwood 2, Debelak 5, Demers 4, LaFave 8, Bloniarz 6, Robinette 12, Peterson 9. FT: 16-33. F: 15. 3PT: LaFave 2.

NORTH CENTRAL (34): Dombrowski 10, Smith 5, Pavlat 2, Linder 2, Wells 3, A. Arsenault 12. FT: 6-11. F: 18. 3PT: Dombrowski 2, A. Arsenault 2.