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Norway slips by Jets

Burklund delivers game-winning points in crunch time

(Todd Rose/Escanaba Daily Press photo) Norway’s Donna VanHolla (14) shoots over North Central’s Talia LaFave (11) Friday night in a Skyline Central Conference game in Powers.

POWERS — It was a 39-38 nail-biter that came down to the wire between the North Central Jets (2-6) and Norway Knights (6-4) in Powers Friday night. When the dust settled, the Knights were victorious.

“This is what you expect when you come up to North Central,” said Knights coach Joe Tinti. “I know their team is always hungry with the tradition up here … It was a grind, but in the end, we were able to hit a shot when we needed to — a defensive stop when we needed to and just squeak it out.”

With 1:48 left in the game, the Jets led 36-35. As the Jets faced pressure, Jets’ assistant coach T.J. Schlenvoght looked for a timeout, which was given to them despite head coach Pete Schlenvoght never making the call himself.

“I’ve never seen a situation where they grant an assistant coach a timeout,” said Pete Schlenvoght. “(T.J.) thought it was the right thing to do. I was thinking, ‘we have the ball, milk the clock some more because we have a one-point lead.’

“I understand what T.J. was thinking. It was a learning thing for me and a learning thing for him.”

After the timeout, Norway snagged the ball. Hannah Burklund then put up a two-point shot to put the Knights ahead 37-36.

With time running out, the Jets attempted to intentionally foul. However, despite several foul-worthy attempts, there was no whistle. As Pete Schlenvoght voiced his concern for the lack of calls, he was given a technical foul.

“When and where the whistle blew was kind of confusing,” he said. “At the end, I probably blew that one. I just thought in that situation the referee would know we were trying to foul, which we did. Why he waited seven seconds to blow the whistle is anyone’s guess.”

Burklund went to the line and nailed two free throws for the Knights to make it 39-36.

A shot from Sam Burton in the closing seconds put the Jets one point away, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Regardless of the outcome, Schlenvoght was happy with the performance of his team.

“Take away some turnovers, it was probably the best game we played all year. Defensively, far and away the best game we’ve played all year,” he said. “We’re finding our identity defensively and getting the kind of ball pressure we’ve been after all year, helping each other out and playing team defense.”

Andie Arsenault led the Jets in scoring with 21 points.

For Norway, Tinti was happy with how his team dealt with frustration and worked to get the win.

“We didn’t quit,” Tinti said. “There was a lot of frustration, and I think we worked through that … To be able to work through it and get it done was big for us.”

While happy with the win, Tinti thought the Knights’ shooting was a tad lackluster.

Burklund and Andi Carlson led the Knights in scoring at 11 points each.

The Knights are back in action in Felch against the North Dickinson Nordics Monday while the Jets host Rapid River Wednesday.

Norway 9 7 9 14 — 39

North Central 10 7 7 14 — 38

Norway — Carlson 11, Burklund 11, Clifford 9, VanHolla 4, Popp 2, Freudinger 2; F: 15; FT: 8-16; Fouled out: Popp; 3-point field goals: Clifford.

North Central — Arsenault 21, LaBonte 5, Burton 4, Kleikamp 4, LaCoursier 4; F: 17; FT: 7-12; Fouled out: LaBonte; 3-point field goals: Arsenault 4, LaBonte.

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