Girls Basketball: Flivvers start slow, finish strong

ISHPEMING — Kingsford High School senior Olivia Allen and junior Brooke Kriegl combined for 32 points while a cold-shooting and foul-laded second quarter for the Ishpeming High School varsity girls basketball team propelled the Flivvers passed the Hematites 56-45 in a season-opening non-conference tilt at the IHS gym on Monday night.

Kingsford is now 1-0 on the season while Ishpeming drops to 0-1.

Kingsford head coach Lisa Harry said a slow start turned into a strong finish.

“It took us a little bit to settle down but once we did, we were off and running,” she said. “We got things going in the second quarter. They were in foul trouble, we were getting to the free throw line and we were able to take advantage of that somewhat.

“I think the nerves were high in the first quarter, and we started to settle down in the second quarter which was nice.”

Harry also credited Allen and Kriegl for their performances as well as production off the bench.

“Brooke definitely hit some big shots and made some great passes when we needed them,” she said. “Olivia ran the court really well and made some good decisions. The girls coming in off of the bench did a nice job filling in and knocking down some shots as well.

“Overall for the first game, I was happy with some of the things we did out there.”

Ishpeming head coach Ryan Reichel said a 3-point second quarter was the downfall for the Hematites, but he was proud of his team’s effort after Kingsford pulled away.

“We got bit with the foul bug early on and that took the wind out of our sails,” he said. “Our girls had to be a little more tentative on the offensive end. Once the second half started, they had fouls to play with and we were able to get a little more aggressive. I think that really benefited us. I was really proud of the way the girls responded and never gave up being down 24.”

Reichel added he’s confident his team will improve as the young season grows.

“You continue to get better and I think we have stuff to build off of,” he said. “We have stuff we can work on, but I really liked the way they never gave up. Hopefully that’s our motto for the whole year is to never give up and keep competing to the very end.

“If you play with everything you’ve got, at the end of the night you can sleep pretty well. I think (tonight), every girl played and left it all on the court.”

It was a back and forth first quarter with each side hitting shots on their end of the floor. The largest lead of the first was three, and the Flivvers held a 15-13 lead after a layup from Allen beat the buzzer on a pass from Kriegl.

The Hematites went cold after that, being outscored 19-3 in the frame, with Allen and Kriegl combining for 11 of those. Ishpeming had just one shot fall in the second from sophomore forward Rebekah Loman, which came with roughly three minutes to play before halftime. The third Hematites point came on a free throw from sophomore guard Jocelynn Nyman.

The big second quarter for Kingsford put the Flivvers up 34-16 at halftime.

Ishpeming came out of the locker room with a layup from senior guard Madison Pruett to get the first points of the third, but Kingsford responded with a 3-pointer from Kriegl, a layup from Allen and another 3-pointer from senior Tori Kowalkowski to put the Flivvers up 42-18, a 24-point deficit for Ishpeming and the largest lead of the night.

The Hematites cut the lead to 11 at the end of the third with a score of 48-37. They cut it down another point to 10 in the fourth, but that’s as close as they came to a comeback as the Flivvers continued to hit shots down the stretch.

Pruett led the Hematites with 14 points while junior guard Emma Poirier added 12.

Ishpeming was 8 of 12 from the free throw line while Kingsford was 7 of 15. The Hematites picked up 33 rebounds with Nyman getting 11 while Kingsford had 30 rebounds with Allen getting 6.

Kingsford hosts Forest Park on Friday while Ishpeming visits Westwood on Monday.

Kingsford also won the junior varsity game 41-24.

Summary (field goals, free throws, total points)

KINGSFORD: Olkkonen 2-0-5, Kriegl 2-0-13, Cook 1-2-3, Doolittle 2-0-4, Kowalkowski 1-0-3, Allen 7-5-19, Strehlow 2-0-4, Strutz 2-1-5. Totals 19-7-56.

ISHPEMING: Poirier 5-0-12, Mead 2-2-6, Nyman 2-1-6, Pruett 4-3-14, Hooper 1-2-5. Totals. 14-8-45.

Score by quarters:

Kingsford 15 19 14 8 – 56

Ishpeming 13 3 21 8 – 45

FG shooting: Kingsford 0 of 0 (00.0 percent); Ishpeming 0 of 0 (00.0 percent); FT shooting: Kingsford 7 of 15 (46.6 percent); Ishpeming 8 of 12 (66.6 percent); Rebounding, Kingsford 30 (Olivia Allen 6); Ishpeming 33 (Jocelyn Nyman 11).