DOLLAR BAY – A season-long problem continued for the Chassell High girls basketball team in its Copper Mountain Conference game against Dollar Bay Thursday night.
The problem? Inability to convert free throw chances.
The Blue Bolts took advantage of that in scoring a 36-35 win that wasn’t decided until the final 1.6 seconds.
That was when Hannah Tuomi of the Panthers missed two charity tosses after DB turned the ball over on an inbounds play.
Libbi Rogan of the Bolts had hit one of two free throws with 23 seconds left to provide the margin of victory.
For the game, the Bolts were good on 12 of 18 at the stripe. The Panthers went 9 of 20 there.
Chassell coach Brandi Hainault said she has no answers for the free throw dilemma.
“You can’t win close games if you don’t make free throws,” Hainault noted. “We missed them all night and it cost us a chance to win. But we’ll keep working at it, it’s close to the districts and we still can have a good run if we straighten out some things.”
For his part, Dollar Bay skipper Steve Krahling was just happy to get the win, his team’s ninth in 16 tries.
“We got hammered on the boards and we made some mistakes,” he said. “But I liked the way we hung in there tonight, that was one of our best cohesive efforts.”
Chassell got off to a 9-2 start four minutes into the game before the lid went on the basket for both teams.
The Blue Bolts managed a 15-13 halftime lead on three hoops by Cami Daavettila.
The ice-cold shooting improved only slightly in the third frame, but Chassell took a 24-22 advantage by the end of the quarter.
The Panthers appeared ready to grab momentum in the final quarter when they grabbed a 30-24 lead behind some good work underneath by sophomore center Sophia Huhta.
But senior Carli Daavettila, held in check in the first three quarters by CHS, tallied eight of her game-high 13 points to get the blue and white even.
After Huhta’s inside basket lifted Chassell into a 35-33 lead with just over a minute to play, Daavettila’s driving layup tied again.
That set the stage for the hectic final 30 seconds.
Krahling said that Carli Daavettila has struggled in recent games.
“We wanted to get Carli going tonight because she had been in a bit of a slump,” he said. “She had a good fourth quarter and we’re hoping that will help her out in the long run.”
Hainault said her team did some good things in the game.
“Bottom line is that there were a lot of great things we did tonight,” she commented. “But Dollar Bay is a good team and they made the plays when they had to.”
Victoria Cichosz backed up Daavettila with seven points and six rebounds.
Chassell, now 8-8, was led by Julia Pietila with 11 points, while Milly Hoskins netted 10 more. Huhta had a strong game with 9 points and a game-best 10 rebounds.
Dollar Bay will host Watersmeet Monday night, the same evening Chassell entertains Jeffers.