Girls basketball: Jets eliminate Nordics, 62-51

POWERS — The North Central girls’ basketball team stayed focused Wednesday night to defeat visiting North Dickinson 62-51 in a Class D District 126 girls basketball semifinal.

The Jets took control with an impressive 13-4 advantage in the second quarter for a 28-17 halftime lead. North Dickinson, which swept the Jets in the regular season, could not make up the deficit in the second half.

“We hustled tonight,” Jets’ coach Lee Vincent said. “You could tell they wanted it. I used 10 players and we wore them down. To hold them to four points in the second quarter was a plus.”

The win advances North Central (10-11) to Friday’s district title game at home against Bark River-Harris. The teams split during the regular season.

“I told the girls we have the best opportunity to do it this year because we’re playing at home and the fans were great tonight,” Vincent said. “We can do it. They know we can do it. If we shoot well, we’ll be right there.”

North Central relied on a balanced attack, led by Natalie Dombrowski (11 points), Chloe Wells (11 points, 10 rebounds, three steals), Andie Arsenault (10 points) and Tayler Poupore (eight rebounds).

“Chloe Wells played a great game,” Vincent said. ” She came up big. She is our big girl. She wanted it tonight. I was proud of her play.”

North Central shot 34 percent from the field and had 15 turnovers.

North Dickinson was led by JuliAnn Wickman with 11 points, Briana Smith with 13, Hannah Clark with 11 and Toriana Christian with 10.

Vincent said the Jets did a good job defending the talented Wickman.

“We held Wickman down until the last quarter,” said Vincent, whose team won a Skyline Central Conference division title with an 8-3 record. “We didn’t leave her to get a three. Wherever she was we had somebody on her. We followed her like a blanket. We played good team defense.”

Nordics coach Kirk Mattson pointed to 23 turnovers and a 33 percent field goal mark.

“We had a rough night with self-inflicted turnovers and shooting (19-56),” Mattson said. “That second quarter with four points hurt.

“This game mirrored our season. We’ve had a a couple bad games and a couple good ones. It was like a roller-coaster and now we’re on the bottom.”

The Nordics (8-12) did double their wins from a season ago.

“We took a lot of good steps forward,” Mattson said. “We just have to keep building on that.”

North Dickinson 13 4 12 22 — 51

North Central 15 13 14 20 — 62

NORTH DICKINSON (51): Wickman 15, Smith 13, Clark 11, Ledzian 2, Christian 10. FT: 12-18; F: 20 (Ledzian fouled out) 3PT: Smith.

NORTH CENTRAL (62): Laurila 6, B. Arsenault 4, Dombrowski 11, Smith 7, Poupore 3, Pavlat 2, Linder 8, Wells 11, A. Arsenault 10. FT: 11-24; F: 19. 3PT: Dombrowski, Poupore, Linder, A. Arsenault 2.