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North Dickinson defense holds off Mid Peninsula

(Rand Hruska photo) North Dickinson junior Kassandra Cary shoots near the basket in the fourth quarter Wednesday night versus Mid Peninsula in a Skyline Central Conference game at the Carl F. Lemin Jr. Gymnasium in Felch.

FELCH TOWNSHIP — An early fourth quarter scoring burst and energetic defense from the home team helped North Dickinson slip past Skyline Central Conference foe Mid Peninsula 44-40 Wednesday night at the Carl F. Lemin Jr. Gymnasium in Felch.

Ashton Hord led all scorers with 22 points for the Nordics, while Shaelyn Lampinen led the Wolverines with 13 points, draining four treys.

After a slow start from Mid Pen offensively, the Nordics led after one quarter of play. Once the second quarter got going, so did the Lady Wolverines on the offensive end of the court.

Their shot selection was better as was their ball movement in half-court sets in comparison to their opponents on the night. The score was tied 21-21 at the intermission.

“We were not mentally ready to play tonight, our first half performance showed it,” said Nordics head coach Kirk Mattson. “Ashton (Hord) played a great game, her energy was high again tonight and she distributed the ball well.”

“Ashton took and made some shots that seemed undefendable,” said Mid Pen head coach Phil Croasdell.

The third period was a game of scoring runs. The visiting team went on a 6-2 run in the first 2:58 of the third stanza. After a Nordics timeout, ND came out and went on a 7-4 scoring run, to end the quarter. However, Mid Pen held a one-point lead going into the final quarter.

“In the second half, when we switched out of our zone defense, and went to man to man, it woke us up. I think it forced the girls to play more aggressively, which helped,” Mattson said.

“When they went to a zone defense, we got some open shots, but not enough of them were falling,” Croasdell stated. “We’ve been more cold than hot with our shooting this year.”

Mid Pen was sluggish offensively in the first 3:45 of the fourth quarter, while the Nordics slight scoring burst of two baskets — four points — ended up being the difference.

The last four minutes of the game, seemed like a game of “hot potato,” with both teams turning the ball over, while trading baskets and free throws off of one another’s turnovers.

“I thought the girls talked well on defense tonight, it was a tough game,” Croasdell added.

In the waning moments of the game, with ND leading 43-40, the Wolverines came down and attempted a 3-pointer, but the Nordics’ Chrislyn Inglese came flying in and blocked the game-tying shot attempt out of bounds with 7.2 seconds remaining.

The Wolverines’ attempt on the ensuing possession was off the mark. As Micah Lindholm pulled down the rebound, she advanced the ball to teammate Kassandra Cary who was fouled.

Cary sank the second of two free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining to seal the game.

We only shot 29% tonight,” Mattson said. “We missed way too many bunnies and other easy shots. We’ll be working on shooting in practice on Friday, that’s for sure.”

The Nordics improved to 4-5 (4-5 SCC) on the season and travel to Kingsford tonight for a 5:15 p.m. tip off in a non-conference game.

Mid Peninsula fell to 5-5 on the season, as they also return to action tonight, traveling to Republic-Michigamme.

Mid Pen won the JV contest 52-21.

Mid Pen 5 16 10 9 — 40

N. Dickinson 10 11 9 14 — 44

MID PENINSULA: Johnson 3, Englund 9, Koski 11, Lampinen 13, Lancour 2, McNally 2; FT: 10-14; F: 13; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: Lampinen 4.

NORTH DICKINSON: V. Lindholm 7, Cary 1, Inglese 5, A. Hord 22, M. Lindholm 9; FT: 7-12; F: 14; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: V. Lindholm, Hord, Inglese.

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