Wolves take Nordics
Carney-Nadeau’s Wagner scores 26
FELCH TOWNSHIP — Carney-Nadeau junior Tessa Wagner is a presence on both ends of the floor in most games and Friday night was no exception. The 6-foot 3-inch All-U.P. center scored 26 points as the Wolves defeated North Dickinson 49-36 to claim the MHSAA Division 4 District 99 championship at the Carl F. Lemin Jr. Gymnasium in Felch.
The game was the third meeting between the teams this season, as they’re both Skyline Central Conference members. C-N won both regular season matchups, on Feb. 25 and March 1.
The Wolves finished the regular season as the No. 1-ranked team in Division 4 in the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters U.P. basketball poll. Carney also garnered a No. 2-ranking in the Michigan Associated Press Division 4 state basketball poll.
The Nordics came out of the starting gates full speed, jumping out to a 5-0 lead at the 4:57 mark of the first quarter.
Their 3-2 zone defense gave the visitors from Menominee County trouble at first, as ND was swarming Wagner with two to three defenders.
“I told the girls before the game, we’re going to get punched in the mouth right from the start,” said Carney head coach Ken Linder. “North Dickinson comes out fast and strong, and (Ashton) Hord is so quick. I wasn’t surprised at all by the way they started.”
The Wolves, however, held steady to their methodical game plan.
“We couldn’t get into a back and forth game of both of us pushing the tempo, against them,” Linder added. “We had to stay steady and play our game the way we did.”
In doing so, Carney took the lead at 11-10 with 1:38 remaining in the quarter. The Nordics did regain a slim lead at the end of the quarter, but the Wolves soon took control.
The first 4 minutes of the second, C-N went on a 7-0 scoring run. They ended up outscoring the Nordics 14-6 in the stanza to have a seven point halftime lead — a lead they didn’t relinquish.
“The girls worked the ball around well tonight, and were getting and taking good shots,” Linder added.
The Nordics were able to run their own offense fairly effectively at times. But the Wolves’ man-to-man defense forced most of ND’s shooting inside, where Wagner was able to either force extra passes or block shots.
Hord led the Nordics with 19 points.
“Our focus tonight was to come out strong, don’t turn the ball over and take good shots,” said North Dickinson head coach Kirk Mattson. “As the game wore on, we got tired, but I give a ton of credit to Carney, they play very, very good defense. We got wore down, but I am happy with how hard our girls worked tonight.”
“Wagner is a smart player on both ends of the floor. Plus, they have some good guards as well,” Mattson added.
The Nordics, who finish their season at 10-6 will have their entire roster returning next season. “With no seniors on our roster, I feel we’ll be in good shape next year, as I expect the girls will work hard in the off season,” Mattson said. “Also, I wish Carney the best with the rest of their tournament.”
With the win, Carney-Nadeau (19-0) will travel to Westwood High School in West Ishpeming on Monday night to take on Munising in an MHSAA Division 4 regional semifinal. The winner will advance to the regional championship game Wednesday night at Gladstone High School.
Carney Nadeau 11 14 18 6 — 49
North Dickinson 12 6 10 8 — 36
C-N: Ernest 10, Grand 2, T. Kedsch 9, Linder 2, Wagner 26; FT: 2-5; F: 7; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: T. Kedsch 3.
ND: V. Lindholm 6, Cary 4, M. Lindholm 7, Hord 19; FT: 1-5; F: 10; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: M. Lindholm, Hord 2.