Pine City 85, Hinckley-Finlayson 21
Pine City girls basketball had a good start to the week with a conference win over a scrappy Hinckley-Finlayson squad. The Dragons’ defense got off to a great start by causing turnover after turnover and set the tone for the game, once again. The Dragons scored 49 points off turnovers in the game.
It was 52-13 at the half as the Dragons cruised to victory in the second half. Ellie Hasz scored 19 points and grabbed four total rebounds. Alaina Stele had 15 points, three assists and five steals. Sophie
Lahti had 13 points, eight total rebounds and three assists. Ashley Faur ended the night scoring in double figures with 11 points and added four steals. Lily Wilson had nine points, six assists and five steals. Kloey Lind had nine points and nine total rebounds. Maddie Berglund came off the bench for the Dragons and added five points. Meredith Kolling had two points and four rebounds. Carissa Nascene had two points and Makenna Nelson had two assists and one steal.
“It was a nice way to start the week. We had some really good play off the bench, with Kloey almost getting a double double,” saif coach Ted Hasz.
Pine City 74, Mora 32
Pine City continued to play well and came up with a big section win over the rival Mora Mustangs. The Dragons again had a big first half by outscoring Mora 52-19.
“We have done a nice job this year of being ready to play,” said coach Hasz. “We have had the lead in all of our games at the half.”
Sophie Lahti, Lily Wilson and Ellie Hasz all scored in double figures in the first half with a combined 43 points. (Hasz 21, Wilson 12, Lahti 10). In the second half Pine City slowed the game down a bit; however, still outscored Mora 22-13.
Eighth grader Karly Jusczak made the best of her varsity playing time by scoring her first varsity bucket. Ellie Hasz finished the night with 23 points and five total rebounds. Lily Wilson had 17 points, seven assists and seven steals. Sophie Lahti had 13 points and five total rebounds. Meredith Kolling had nine points and three total rebounds. Ashley Faur had six points and four assists. Alaina Steele had two points, five assists and five total rebounds. Kloey Lind had two points and four total rebounds. Makenna Nelson had three total rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Pine City 66, Mountain Iron- Buhl 54
This event was called the Lake Superior Classic and was held at Duluth East and was put on by Breakdown Sports USA. They put on events that showcase Minnesota’s top teams. Mountain Iron-Buhl (MIB) has been in the class A state tournament the last nine years and are currently ranked third in class A.
“We have been looking forward to this match up. It is always fun to see how you stack up against the best programs in the state,” said coach Hasz. “We have a lot of respect for what MIB has been able to accomplish over the last decade.”
It was a battle from the tip off as MIB jumped out to a 10-4 lead before Pine City went on a 6-0 run to take the lead 12-10. MIB came back and went ahead 20-16; however, once again Pine City took charge and headed into the locker room, at half time, with a score of Pine City 34 – MIB 29.
Pine City continued to lead the whole second half. The Dragon ball handlers (Lily Wilson, Alaina Steele, Makenna Nelson, Sophie Lahti and Ellie Hasz) handled the pressure from the MIB defense with a lot of composure.
“Every time MIB started to make a run we had kids step up and make big plays,” said coach Hasz.
Ashley Faur had four big three-pointers and Meredith Kolling had two three-pointers when Pine City needed them.
“Meredith had one of the best games of her career as she owned the boards in the second half and played with a lot of poise,” said coach Hasz.
Sophie Lahti had some big hoops under the basket and led the Dragons with 15 points. Ashley Faur finished with 14 points and four steals. Meredith Kolling had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Lily Wilson had 12 points and eight assists. Ellie Hasz had 11 points and seven total rebounds. Alaina Steele had six total rebounds and three assists.
“We are maturing as a team. This group has played in a number of big games the last couple of seasons and are performing better and better with each opportunity, said coach Hasz. “The win is a nice confidence boost and will hopefully give us a lot of momentum as we head into the second half of the season.”