Chassell continues to roll, tops Baraga 50-25

Chassell center Sydney Danison works between Baraga's Rylie Koskinen and Alex Jahfetson in Monday night's game in Chassell. Danison's 19 points and 12 rebounds paced her team to a 50-25 win. (Paul Peterson photo)

CHASSELL — Sometimes an unexpected early defeat can benefit an athletic team.

Chassell coach Brandi Hainault believes that was the case for her team this season when they were upset by L’Anse in the season opener.

“Yes, I definitely think that loss to L’Anse has helped us,” Hainault said after a 50-25 win over Baraga Monday night. “It humbled us. It showed that we have to prove every game that we’re the team we want to be every single time.

“You’re going to have poor shooting games or when the other team comes out and defends against you because you’re the favorite and they want to knock you down. I think the girls learned the lesson and have followed up a bad first half with a good second half all season.”

Last night’s romp over Baraga boosted the No. 2-ranked Panthers record to 13-1 on the season. It also kept them unbeaten in the Copper Mountain Conference this winter.

Despite the easy victory, Hainault was not entirely happy with her team’s performance against the rapidly improving Vikings, who had won seven games in a row before losing to L’Anse last week.

“My biggest complaint was that we didn’t play our style of basketball,” she said. “We made some mistakes getting the ball inside, and we can’t let that happen. Credit to Baraga, they did a phenomenal job on defense. We have to be able to adjust on the fly.”

Chassell grabbed a 15-6 lead after one quarter and added that to 25-9 at the half. Sydney Danison totaled 14 points in the first two quarters for the Blue and Gold.

Baraga skipper Tom Goodreau said that his undersized team, which features no player over 5-foot-6, battled hard.

“Chassell is a tough team to play against because of that size,” he said. “They have a very good inside-out game and their guards do a good job of getting the ball inside. We did what we could, but when the other team’s tallest player is 6-2 and yours is 5-6, you’re in for a hard night.”

Chassell’s 6-2 senior center Danison dominated inside with game-high totals of 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Goodreau said his team’s strategy on Danison was to keep a player alongside her and then drop a guard down for a double team.

“She (Danison) is really good because she kicks the ball outside,” he said. “They did that repeatedly tonight until they got a good look.”

Jenna Pietila and guard Milly Allen were the recipients of the inside-outside game of the Panthers.

Pietila, who was cited by her coach for “some amazing defense,” notched 12 points.

Allen was her usual steady self with 11 points, and six assists. Sophia Huhta grabbed nine rebounds.

Rylie Koskinen was tops for the 7-6 Vikings with 10 points, four steals and three assists.

Chassell will host Lake Linden-Hubbell on Thursday.

Baraga hosts Jeffers on the same day.

– – –

Baraga 6 3 6 9 — 25

Chassell 15 10 12 13 — 50

BARAGA — H. Jahfetson 2, Koskinen 10, A. Jahfetson 6, Kamarainen 1, Lindeman 6. FT: 5-6; Rebounds: 23 (A. Jahfetson 7); Fouls: 14; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: None.

CHASSELL — Allen 11, Pietila 12, Hokenson 4, Danison 19, Huhta 4. FT: 12-13; Rebounds: 34 (Danison 12); Fouls: 12; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Allen 1, Pietila 1.