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Norway girls over Jets, 52-40

(Theresa Proudfit photo) Norway’s Mackenzie Clifford (24) drives against North Central’s Gracie Kleikamp.

NORWAY — The Norway girls reaped the benefits of a fourth-quarter surge here Friday night in a 52-40 basketball victory over the North Central Jets.

Norway led 35-33 following a seven-foot jump shot by sophomore Andi Carlson with 2.1 seconds left in the third quarter of this Skyline Central Conference contest.

The Knights (4-2 overall, 3-2 SCC) then scored the next seven points, gaining a 42-33 cushion on a putback by Carlson midway through the fourth.

“This is a very good bounce back for us after a disappointing loss last night.” said Norway coach Joe Tinti. “Andi put in some nice minutes and it was good having the sophomores tonight.”

Friday’s victory came 24 hours after a fourth-quarter comeback came up a little short for the Knights in a 39-33 loss to Iron Mountain.

After sophomore Ashtyn Smith hit a layup to bring North Central within 42-35 the Knights didn’t allow the Jets to get any closer.

“They had a size advantage at every position, but offensive rebounds and free throws were probably the difference,” said Jets’ coach Pete Schlenvogt. “We couldn’t get a travel call or get to the free throw line. I can’t fault the effort. The girls are doing what we ask of them.”

Senior Andie Arsenault scored 29 points for the Jets, who hit 4-of-10 free throws. Norway was 8-of-24 from the line.

“Andie is one of the best players in the area,” said Schlenvogt. “That’s where we need her to be. We’re trying to get other people to put the ball in the hole, and they shot better than we expected tonight.”

North Central (2-3 overall and league) led 33-31 after a lay-in by Arsenault with 1:35 left in the third stanza.

Norway, which already lost three starters to season-ending injuries, tied the score on a 10-foot set shot by junior Averie Popp at 1:03.

“We knew Andie was going to get her points,” said Tinti. “We built up the tempo in the fourth quarter. We were trying to wear her down, and I think we did that. We were able to keep the ball out of her hands. The girls did a nice job.”

A layup by sophomore Zoe LaBonte enabled the Jets to take a 25-23 lead into the halftime locker room.

Norway responded with a 6-0 run to start the third quarter, taking a 29-25 lead on a layup by senior Mackenzie Clifford midway through the period.

Arsenault then added a 3-point play and a jumper from top of they, giving the Jets a short-lived 33-31 lead at 2:29.

Clifford scored 21 points and Carlson finished with 10 for the Knights, who committed 12 turnovers. The Jets had 24 miscues.

North Central 11 14 10 5 — 40

Norway 10 13 10 19 — 52

North Central — Kleikamp 3, Arsenault 29, Smith 2, LaBonte 2, LaCoursier 4. FT: 4-10; F: 22; Fouled out: Smith; Technical foul: Bench; 3-point field goals; Arsenault 5, Kleikamp.

Norway — Popp 4, Lindsley 2, Chellew 5, Clifford 10, VanHolla 3, Burkland 7, Carlson 10. FT: 8-24; F: 14; Fouled out: Burklund; 3-point field goals: Chellew, VanHolla.

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