CHASSELL - L'Anse junior guard Madi Swanson proved to be too much of a presence for the Chassell Panthers Tuesday night in a season-opening girls' basketball game at Ed Helakoski Memorial Gym.
Swanson poured in a game-best 20 points, made seven steals and handed out five assists to pace a 49-30 LHS win.
"She (Swanson) was all over the place," Hornets skipper Scott Lloyd said. "In addition to her scoring, she also did a good job on defense and directing our offense."
Kayla LaBerge of L'Anse drives past Chassell defenders Karli Michaels, left, and Tawna Ryynanen Tuesday night. The Purple Hornets took a 49-30 win in the season-opening game. (Paul Peterson photo)
The unrelenting full-court pressure of the Purple Gang also got to the young Panthers in the form of 29 turnovers.
"I thought we came out pretty strong," noted first-year Chassell coach Brandi Hainault. "The girls did what I asked, but I think they got tired and probably a little frustrated with the pressure. But those are things we can take back and work at."
The Blue and Gold were right in contention until the final 40 seconds of the first half when L'Anse went on a quick 6-0 run to take a 26-18 advantage into the locker room.
L'Anse 11 15 5 18 - 49
Chassell 11 7 3 9 - 30
L'ANSE - Kelly Larson 2, Madi Swanson 20, Valerie Rajala 14, Kelsey Ross 7, Kayla LaBerge 2, Jackie Lister 2. FG: 19-45; FT: 6-11; Rebounds: 36 (Rajala 11); Fouls: 12; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Ross 1.
CHASSELL - Sara Kilpela 7, Jamie Dompier 14, Karli Michaels 4, Kirsten Daavettila 3, Tawna Ryynanen 2. FG: 12-39; FT: 2-10; Rebounds: 26 (Kilpela 6); Fouls: 14; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Daavettilla 1.
"That little run right near the end of the half was big," Lloyd commented. "It gave us a little bit of an edge and kind of set the defensive tone in the second half."
Jamie Dompier, the senior backcourt ace for the Panthers, kept her team close by scoring 10 points in the opening half.
There was a third-quarter point drought for both teams, LHS managing just a 5-3 margin.
Chassell didn't score until there were eight seconds left in the stanza, Kirsten Daavettila finally sinking a triple.
But the winners removed any doubts about the outcome by outscoring their hosts by an 18-9 margin in the fourth quarter.
While Swanson filled the stats box, junior center Valerie Rajala had a solid game with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
"Those two played well, but I thought Allison Koskinen did a nice defensive job on Dompier, who is their go-to player," Lloyd said. "Kelsey Ross also did a good job on offense."
Hainault wasn't at all discouraged with her team's performance.
"It was a season opener and you have to expect to be a little rusty," she said. "I think we're going to be alright."
Dompier paced the Panthers with 14 points and made eight steals. Sara Kilpela notched seven points and six rebounds.