HOUGHTON - The Houghton Gremlins busted open their game against Escanaba in the fourth quarter, outscoring the visiting Eskymos 28-4 en route to a 76-51 home win.
Houghton coach Julie Filpus was not pleased with the defensive execution in the first three quarters, after which her team held a scant 48-47 lead, but the Gremlins locked it down in the fourth, earning their 11th straight win and a 13-1 overall record.
"Our kids played defense with a sense of urgency, they were able to get some deflections, they were able to get some steals, and those things turned into easy points on the other end and once that got going, it was able to snowball in our favor," Filpus said.
Elisa Jurmu rolled up 30 points on 12-of-16 from the field in her second-highest scoring game of the season.
"I think she was able to do some damage getting to the rim from the high post and with an extended reach, get some nice driving lay-ups, kind of around and over Escanaba," Filpus said.
It was a strong night offensively throughout the Houghton line-up. Kelsie Richards had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Ashlyn Kero had 17 points and eight assists.
Filpus also complimented freshman Tawna Ryynanen for six strategically placed points.
All-U.P. forward Michelle LaFave led the Eskymos with 19 points.
The Gremlins' next game is a big one: a make-up game at L'Anse Saturday afternoon in which they need a win to tie L'Anse in the WestPAC loss column.
Escanaba 12 16 19 4 -- 51
Houghton 19 15 14 28 -- 76
Escanaba Lynsey Collins 6, Ashley Cook 7, Sydney Gafner 8, Tara Strahl 2, Sam Connor 9, Michelle LaFave 19; FT: 10-14; Fouls: 15; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Gafner 1.
Houghton -- Noelle Polakowski 6, Ashlyn Kero 17, Sydney Dillinger 5, Kelsie Richards 12, Elisa Jurmu 30, Tawna Ryynanen 6; FT: 15-18; Fouls: 12; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Polakowski 1, Kero 2, Richards 1, Jurmu 1.
Lake Linden-Hubbell 53, Chassell 44
CHASSELL - A huge night from speedy sophomore Abby Sutherland pushed the Lakes over the top on the road in Copper Country Conference play Thursday.
Sutherland scored 21 points, the second-best total of her career, on 9-of-15 shooting.
The Lakes carried a 32-24 lead into halftime and basically matched the Panthers basket-for-basket from the mid-second quarter to the finish.
Alexa Destrampe tacked on 10 for the Lakes (5-7, 3-2 CCC) going into a make-up game tonight at Hancock.
Chassell got 18 points in a losing effort from Kirsten Daavettila, a season-high, and 12 from Madeline Huhta, a career high. The Panthers fall to 3-11 overall, 0-6 in the CCC. They play next Monday at Republic-Michigamme.
LL-Hubbell 15 17 10 11 -- 53
Chassell 10 14 11 9 -- 44
Lake Linden-Hubbell -- Kyleigh Audette 9, Erin Gast 6, Sarah Audette 7, Abby Sutherland 21, Alexa Destrampe 10; FT: 12-17; Fouls: 12; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: S. Audette 1.
Chassell -- Karli Michaels 8, Kirsten Daavettila 18, Sara Kilpela 3, Macy Holombo 1, Madeline Huhta 12, Julia Pietila 2; FT: 8-11; Fouls: 16; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Michaels 1, Daavettila 2, Kilpela 1.
Jeffers 43, Baraga 35
BARAGA - In a game Baraga coach Daryl Putala called eerily reminiscent of the teams' first meeting, Jeffers lost a big first-half lead but won the Copper Country Conference game Thursday.
"We started playing with some fire, some zip and a lot of heart in the second half. We need to do that from the beginning," Putala said.
When they met Jan. 17 in Painesdale, Baraga fell behind by 14 in the first half, tied it late, then watched Jeffers seal a 52-49 win with key free throws. Thursday, Jeffers led 29-14 at half, Baraga tied it in the fourth quarter, but the Jets finished at the free throw line again.
Shelby Seppanen led Jeffers with 20 points, while Haley Makela scored 10 and added a bunch of rebounds.
"The way she rebounds, she's tenacious on the boards, a real good rebounder," Putala said.
Tessa Gilbertson led the hosts with eight. Baraga (3-11, 2-5 CCC) faces the daunting task of Michigan and U.P. Class D No. 1 Forest Park on the road Monday.
Jeffers (6-8, 4-2 CCC) faces a daunting task of its own tonight, a home make-up game with Ontonagon that could determine its fate in the league race.
Jeffers 15 14 4 10 - 43
Baraga 5 9 10 11 - 35
Jeffers -- Shelby Seppanen 20, Haley Makela 10, Eden Klemett 7, Lindsey Johnson 4, Alexa Clouthier 2; FT: 14-18; Fouls: 15; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Seppanen 2, Klemett 1.
Baraga - Tessa Gilbertson 8, Taylor Swanson 6, Melissa Putala 6, Jenna Heikkinen 5, Gabby Mayo 4, Tori Rasanen 2, Shayla Mayo 2, Audrey Barrett 2; FT: 2-6; Fouls: 17; Fouled out: none; Technical foul: Heikkinen; 3-point field goals: Heikkinen 1, Gilbertson 2.
Dollar Bay 60,
Ewen-Trout Creek 31
DOLLAR BAY - The Bays booked their second four-game win streak of the season Thursday by putting away E-TC in non-league play.
Defense did the trick early, as DB (10-3) held E-TC to just nine first-half points to take a 27-9 lead into the locker room.
Julia Daavettila's 21 points led the way, while sister Carli added 15 and Jamie Sertich 10. The Bays got six three-pointers from four players.
E-TC, which falls to 2-10, got 16 from Molly Niemi.
Both teams are playing make-up games tonight: E-TC hosts Wakefield-Marenisco and Dollar Bay is at Watersmeet.
Ewen-TC 7 2 9 13 -- 31
Dollar Bay 10 17 17 16 -- 60
Ewen-Trout Creek -- Molly Niemi 16, Taylor Niemi 3, Becca Warnke 6, Emily Driesenga 6; FT: 8-10; Fouls: 15; Fouled out: Warnke; 3-point field goals: M. Niemi 1.
Dollar Bay -- Victoria Cichosz 2, Julia Daavettila 21, Carli Daavettila 15, Alyssa Hakala 3, Jamie Sertich 10, Meagan Kangas 9; FT: 14-25; Fouls: 12; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: J. Daavettila 2, C. Daavettila 1, Hakala 1, Sertich 2.
HANCOCK - Taylor Nettell's 13 points led Hancock in a lopsided home win over the rebuilding Hawks.
Hancock had this one clinched by the half, at which point the Bulldogs led 37-4.
Taylor Pertile scored 10 for Hancock (9-3), which hosts Lake Linden-Hubbell for a make-up game tonight.
Republic 0 4 0 0 -- 4
Hancock 24 13 17 6 -- 60
Republic-Michigamme -- Julianne Jarvi 2, Elizabeth Kangas 2; FT: 2-2; Fouls: 9; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: none.
Hancock -- Taylor Mattson 4, Molly Berg 3, Quincy Lorenzetti 9, Maija Sebbas 6, Taylor Pertile 10, Madisyn Wright 6, Carolyn Parker 2, Laura Berg 3, Mackenzie Brunet 4, Taylor Nettell 13; FT: 8-12; Fouls: 11; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: M. Berg 1, Lorenzetti 2, Pertile 2, L. Berg 1.