Girls basketball: Jets run past FP; Niagara remains unbeaten at 3-0

POWERS — North Central overcame a slow start here Tuesday night in a season-opening 53-30 girls’ basketball triumph over the Forest Park Trojans.

The Jets led 6-5 after the first quarter, then rolled to a 32-12 halftime advantage in this Skyline Central Conference match-up.

North Central’s full-court pressure defense began to take its toll in the second quarter as it forced eight turnovers. The Trojans committed 13 in the first half and the Jets had five.

“Our goal is to pressure teams into making mistakes,” said Jets’ coach Lee Vincent. “When we play a solid team, we have to get to them before they set up.”

Forest Park, with just seven players on its roster, pulled within a point on a jump shot from the top of the key by junior guard Lea LaChapelle with 30 seconds left in the opening frame.

The Jets found their shooting touch in the second stanza, rolling to a 28-8 advantage on a 3-point play (eight-foot jumper and free throw) by junior Jaiden Fleetwood at 2:34.

North Central’s lead then reached 44-14 midway through the third on a layup by junior guard Andie Arsenault.

“We played pretty good defense and handled their press well in the first quarter,” Forest Park’s Kim Bjork said after her varsity coaching debut. “We didn’t run our press break in the second quarter and their press really bothered us. We knew they had lot of good shooters and they hit some big 3s. We did a pretty good job with our press when we were able to run it (in the second half). We just don’t have enough depth to press all night.”

Senior guard Bree Arsenault drained five 3-point shots and led the Jets with 21 points. Andie Arsenault added 16.

Mercedes Simmons, a 6-foot-2 senior center, paced the Trojans with 15 points despite being double and triple-teamed down low most of the way.

“She’s good,” said Vincent. “We have to double and triple-team her because we don’t have anyone tall enough to go one-on-one with her. Bree did a heck of a job tonight and everyone on our bench played tonight. Everybody is pretty even in our conference. We have to stay healthy.”

The Jets finished with 17 turnovers and the Trojans had 24.

“They did a great job taking Mercedes out of her game,” said Bjork. “Right now I’m not concerned. We’re just going to learn from this. We can take away many positives from tonight and there’s a lot of things we can work on. As long as we can keep it together, we can build from this.”

North Central, which also won the jayvee game 37-18, resumes Thursday at Rapid River. Forest Park visits Bark River-Harris Friday.

FP 5 7 9 9 — 30

NC 6 26 12 9 — 53

Forest Park — LaChapelle 3, Simmons 15, Honkala 1, Peterson 6, Bloomburg 5. FT: 4-8; F: 15; Fouled out LaChapelle.

North Central — Neville 4, Fleetwood 5, Hundsrucker 3, B. Arsenault 21, A. Arsenault 12, Pavlat 4. FT: 7-8; F: 16; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: B. Arsenault 5, A. Arsenault 2, Hundsrucker.


COLEMAN, Wis. — Unbeaten Niagara opened M&O Conference play with a 64-38 win over Coleman Tuesday evening.

Head coach Karl Lamoreaux’s Badgers led 34-18 at the half, also out-rebounded the Cougars 45-29 on the evening. Seniors Jessica Oratch and Jasmine Racine led the way with 16 points each, with Jaida Maki and Alyssa Cretton adding 11 points a piece.

“I was very pleased with our performance against Coleman. We played well both on offense and defense throughout the game. I am excited for the rest of the season.” said Lamoreaux.

The Badgers return home Friday night to welcome conference foe Crivitz.

NIAGARA – 34 30 — 64

COLEMAN – 18 20 — 38

NIAGARA: Bourassa 1, Champange 2, Cretton 11, Gill 7, Maki 11, Oratch 16, Racine 16. FT: 16-29. F: 17. 3-point FG: Racine, Cretton, Maki (2). FG shooting: 22-47. Rebounds: 45 (Oratch 12, Gill 11). Fouled Out: Gill.

COLEMAN: Hoida 3, Johnson 6, C. Zeimer 1, Bintz 11, Champange 5, List 6, M. Zeimer 3, Compe 3. FT: 8-17. F: 23. 3-point FG: Hoida, Johnson (2), List (2), Zeimer . FG shooting: 12-51. Rebounds: 29. Fouled Out: M. Zeimer.