Bessemer rallies past LL-H in 4th quarter
BESSEMER — Maybe playing at home is just what the Bessemer Speedgirls needed.
After playing seven straight road games and losing the last five of them, Bessemer came back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Lake Linden-Hubbell 41-37 Tuesday night at the House of Noise.
“I almost didn’t recognize the girls because we were wearing white tonight,” Bessemer coach Gerry Pelissero said. Their last home game was a Dec. 2 loss to Wakefield-Marenisco.
Both teams were shorthanded with Bessemer missing leading scorer Rachel Emery (illness) and point guard Allyson Metas (ankle) and Lake Linden-Hubbell was without post presence Alexa Destrampe (injured).
Junior Megan Peterson stepped up and scored 17 points to lead Bessemer, which played nothing but juniors Tuesday night.
“I told the girls in the locker room, ‘That win was for the two seniors who weren’t playing,'” Pelissero said. “The juniors played hard. With our two injuries, they stepped it up very nicely. We got minutes from everybody.”
It looked like the Lakes would come out with a win after making the tough drive through the snowstorm. They led 34-26 after three quarters, but Bessemer outscored Lake Linden 15-3 in the fourth quarter.
Emily Matonich made a long 2 to give Bessemer a 36-35 lead with 3:30 to go in the game. Peterson made two free throws with 2:40 left to make it 38-35. Her 3 with 1:45 to go was the dagger.
“When Megan hit that one and it rolled around the rim to give us a 41-35 lead, that was a big shot,” Pelissero said. “We made some big shots. We got good production from everybody. Very pleased.”
Pelissero said Taylor Manchester and Caitlin Lynch both rebounded well.
“Kelsey Kitto and Megan Peterson stepped up and played well,” Pelissero said. “There’s not a kid who didn’t do something good tonight.”
Erin Seppala led Lake Linden with 11 points and Laura Lyons scored 10.
The Lakes only hit one basket in the fourth quarter and they finished just 5 of 16 at the free throw line in the game.
“We stopped making baskets,” Lake Linden coach Maureen Schick said. “We just panicked and started throwing up bad shots, we were making poor passes, poor decisions. And they played aggressively and they hit some shots they hadn’t been necessarily hitting, they had a couple good shots at the end.”
The Lakes (2-7, 2-5) missed Destrampe.
“There was, I don’t want to say a general lack of leadership, but with Alexa out tonight, that go-to person wasn’t there, someone that we can count on with any kind of consistency,” Schick said.
Bessemer (2-8, 2-5) hosts Baraga, the top-ranked Class D team in the Upper Peninsula, Friday night.
LL-H 11 13 10 3 — 37
Bessemer 7 9 10 15 — 41
Lake Linden-Hubbell – Erin Seppala 11, Natalie Lepisto 2, Laura Lyons 10, Kierstyn Codere 3, Kirsten Codere 9. FTs: 5-16. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Lyons. 3-pointers: None.
Bessemer – Megan Peterson 17, Kelsey Kitto 7, Emily Matonich 4, Caitlin Lynch 4, Maddie Jacobson 4, Karli Trcka 2, Taylor Manchester 3. FTs: 6-13. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Peterson 2, Kitto 1.