Jets come up short to W-M

Pat Krause/Daily Globe (Ironwood) Jeffers' Leah Pennala comes down with a rebound Thursday night at Wakefield-Marenisco. Wakefield-Marenisco's Saundra Libertoski is at left.

WAKEFIELD She did it again.

With Wakefield-Marenisco down 42-40 in the fourth quarter, Darienne Korpi took over for the Cardinals. She scored seven points in the last 33.1 seconds as the Cardinals overcame a good Jeffers team 47-42 in Copper Mountain Conference action on Thursday night.

First, Korpi rebounded a shot and made a put-back to knot the game at 42-42. Jeffers gave up the ball and W-M coach Bruce Mahler called timeout to set up a shot that everyone in the Cardinal Gym knew was going to Korpi. With 14.2 seconds remaining, Korpi came off a screen on the right wing and splashed a deep 3 to put W-M up 45-42. Korpi put the icing on the cake by intercepting a cross-court pass and sinking a layup with 3.0 seconds left.

It was only 11 days ago that Korpi drained a last second 3-pointer in overtime to beat Bessemer.

“Darienne started slow tonight,” Mahler said. “She scored zero in the first (quarter), six in the second and zero in the third. At one point, she said, ‘I’m not hitting anything.’ I told her, ‘You’re a scorer, it’ll come.’ Darienne really stepped it up in the last two minutes. She made the big shot again. That’s Darienne.”

Korpi finished with 18 points, but she wasn’t the only one that made a big contribution to the win.

“Rachel Obradovich had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds and she got the player guarding her in foul trouble,” Mahler said. “She’s getting back to where she was before she went out. Saundra (Libertoski) ran the point guard position well. We only had eight turnovers.

“The girls also played good defense and our press worked and caused turnovers. We don’t always get back when they beat us on the press, but tonight the girls got back to help Obradovich and that was big.”

Meanwhile, Jeffers coach Joe Romano was dispirited and distressed about his team’s performance.

“I’m very disappointed in our squad,” Romano said. “We’ve got a 10-6 record now, but we’ve lost two or three in a row. We’ve lost the fire. This is one of the most talented teams we’ve had, but I’m not getting them to play. I’ve never been this frustrated. We’re going back to double practices tomorrow.

“Congrats to Wakefield-Marenisco. They played very good and that’s a well-coached team.”

Jeffers did not shoot well at all in the first half. Whether it was the Jets’ poor shooting or W-M’s tough defense with the press or a combination of both, the Jets managed to take a 8-7 first quarter lead, but the Cardinals went into halftime with a 21-17 advantage.

Almost single-handedly, Jeffer’s Alexa Clouthier managed to keep W-M within reach with her long-range shooting. She buried four triples in the first half or 12 of Jeffers first 17 points.

The Cardinals are at their best when they get out and run and that was where Libertoski, Obradovich and Korpi started picking up points in the first half.

Obradovich got W-M rolling in the second half with two straight baskets, including one where she was falling forward on the baseline but still sank the shot to go ahead 25-20 with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

But the game swung back and forth and the Jets out-scored W-M 11-0 the rest of the quarter and grabbed back the lead at 31-25.

The Cardinals cranked up the full-court press in the fourth quarter with Libertoski, Ebanie Delich, Alexa Jilek and Korpi applying most of the pressure and coming away with turnovers. It was also Korpi time as she scored 12 fourth quarter points, including the seven big ones at the end.

Clouthier led all scorers with 19 points and Julia Nordstrom followed with 13.

Korpi was W-M’s top gun with 18 points, while Rachel Obradovich played one of the “best games” and dropped in 14 points. Libertoski chipped in with eight points.

Jeffers won the junior varsity game 60-36. The Jets host Chassell on Monday.

The Cardinals (6-10, 6-6) host Ironwood in a non-conference rivalry game on Monday with a 6:30 tipoff.

Jeffers 8 9 14 11 — 42

W-M 7 14 4 22 — 47

Jeffers – Ivy Klemett 2, Alexa Clouthier 19, Julia Nordstrom 13, Dana Kinnunen 7, Cierra Stevens 1. FT’s: 2-8, Fouls: 12, Fouled out: none, 3-pointers: Clouthier 5, Nordstrom 1.

W-M – Ebanie Delich 2, Darienne Korpi 18, Saundra Libertoski 8, Alexa Jilek 3, Melissa Wanink 2, Rachel Obradovich 14. FT’s: 5-14, Fouls: 12, Fouled out: none, 3-pointers:Korpi 2.

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