Loukus, Sebbas lead MMCC past Finlandia

Clara Loukus of Mid Michigan College drives around Julia Daavettila of Finlandia University in Friday night's game at Paavo Nurmi Gym. Loukus, the former Calumet High standout, scored 13 points in her team's 67-62 win. (Paul Peterson)

HANCOCK — With the help of a couple of former Copper Country standouts, Mid Michigan College scored a 67-62 exhibition victory over Finlandia University Friday night at Paavo Nurmi Gymnasium.

Ex-Calumet High star Clara Loukus netted a team-high 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Lakers. Former Hancock High product Maija Sebbas added 12 points on four 3s.

Despite trailing throughout, the Lions managed to close the margin in the fourth quarter.

“I was pleased with our hustle.” Lions coach John Motherwell said afterward. “We got off to a real slow start and never could recover. But the girls stayed after it.”

Down by as many as 21 points in the second half, the Blue and White rallied to make a game of it.

After slicing the lead to six points at 61-55, Finlandia missed a couple of 3-point tries that could have made it interesting.

In fact, it was ice-cold shooting from long distance all night that doomed the locals.

FU was able to convert just 2 of 26 from 3-point range in the contest.

“I didn’t realize we were that bad from outside,” Motherwell commented. “It’s something we have to improve on, no question.”

The downstate team grabbed a 13-2 lead in the opening minutes as Loukus scored five quick points.

With a 34-27 lead at the half, the Lakers went on a 12-0 run early in the third quarter.

But the inside play of Kelsie Richards (Houghton) and Julia Daavettila (Dollar Bay) keyed the second half comeback by FU.

Richards finished with a game-leading 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Daavettila contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Lela Horne had a good floor game for the Lions and notched 13 points and five steals. Haley Makela (Jeffers) chipped in six points and six rebounds off the bench.

Finlandia will open the season Nov. 15 at Lakeland College.

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MMC – Sebbas 12, Cross 4, Loukus 13, Meeks 11, Hudak 6, Heldt 7, Wiles 2, Hickey 4, Filipiak 4, Brock 2. FG: 26-61; FT 7-13; Rebounds: 45 (Heldt 10); Fouls: 19; Fouled out: None; 3-point: FG: Sebbas 4, Loukus 2, Cross 2.

FINLANDIA — Daavettila 14, Berg 7, Horne 13, Richards 16, Pertile 2, Nordstrom 4, Makela 6. FG: 25-75; FT: 10-16; Rebounds: 50; (Richards 14, Daavettila 14); Fouls: 19, Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Horne 1, Daavettila 1.

Halftime score: MMC 34, Finlandia 27.