Allen scores 30, Danison adds 23 in Chassell’s 80-58 victory over Calumet

Chassell’s Milly Allen drives to the basket as Calumet’s Ava Anderson defends Monday in Chassell. (Bryce Derouin/Daily Mining Gazette)

CHASSELL — After cruising through its conference schedule, beating Copper Mountain Country teams by an average of 30 points in nine contests, Monday’s nonconference contest with the Calumet Copper Kings appeared to be one of the few major challenges remaining for the No. 2 Chassell Panthers this regular season. 

Well, so much for that. 

Chassell staked its claim as the best team on this side of the U.P. in a dominating 80-58 win over Calumet in Chassell. It’s Chassell’s first win over Calumet since 2011 when the Panthers were victorious 54-15 and 42-25. 

“I put a lot of pressure on them before this game started to really test them,” Chassell coach Brandi Hainault said. “They came out the way juniors and seniors are supposed to, so I’m proud of them for that.”

Senior Milly Allen led Chassell (11-1) with 30 points and senior Sydney Danison finished with 23 points. The duo put on an offensive clinic on how to dominate inside and outside. Allen converted 11 of 13 shots as she consistently attacked the basket and finished at the rim with either hand, while making 3 of 4 shots from 3. Danison made 10 of 17 shots and proved to be too much for Calumet on the block. 

“They’re both such good players on different levels, so it’s nice to see them both clicking on the same night,” Hainault said. “When they are clicking, they’re just controlling the entire offense and it really helps.”

While surrendering 58 points left something to be desired for on the defensive end for the defensive-minded Hainault, even she couldn’t help but smile after watching her team score a season-high 80 points. The Panthers converted 32 of 59 shots (54 percent) and were 6 of 11 from 3-point range (55 percent). 

“It just seemed like everything they threw up went in tonight,” Calumet coach Jeff Twardzik said. “They were hitting the lights-out. When it’s like that, it’s hard to keep up.” 

Never was this more evident than at the end of the third quarter when Chassell senior Jenna Pietila shot a running desperation 3 from the top of the key. The ball bounced off the backboard, rolled around the rim and fell through as the buzzer sounded for a 60-44 lead. 

Pietila’s 3 came while Calumet was on a 10-2 run and ended any momentum the Copper Kings still had. 

Allen’s third 3 midway through the fourth quarter capped a 17-4 run to put the Panthers ahead 74-48. 

The game had the helter-skelter pace of two teams who thrive on full-court pressing their opponents. And it was Chassell’s trapping defense that won out between two of the better pressing teams in the area. The Panthers forced Calumet into 17-first-half turnovers to take a 37-22 lead by halftime. Calumet finished with 21 turnovers overall. 

“Chassell is a good team and had good pressure, but we were not making the rotations that we needed to be making,” Twardzik said. “I don’t know why our girls were panicking the way that they were. It’s one of those things that are hard to explain sometimes … It wasn’t how we press break. It was like a totally different thing we tried to do. We’ll work on that and get better at it.”

Calumet (5-4) shot 21 of 50 overall (42 percent). Senior Brooke Kariniemi scored 16 points and had seven rebounds while senior Lea Bjorn had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Copper Kings.

Next, Chassell hosts Watersmeet on Thursday. Calumet heads to Marquette on Wednesday.

– – –

Calumet 12 10 22 14 — 58

Chassell 16 23 21 20 — 80

Calumet — Niina Anderson 13, Johnson 6, Bjorn 13, Ava Anderson 3, Kiilunen 2, Kariniemi 16, Rilei 5. F: 17; Fouled out: Bjorn; Free throws: 14-26; 3-point field goals: Niina Anderson, Bjorn.

Chassell — Pietila 11, Hokenson 4, Huhta 8, Allen 30, Danison 23, Markham 1, Rautiola 1, Goddard 2.   F: 19; Fouled out: None; Free throws: 10-15; 3-point field goals: Allen 3, Pietila 3. 

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