Jets fall to Blue Bolts for second time in a week

Paul Peterson/For the Gazette Dollar Bay's Brendan LeClaire drives around Brett Hill of Jeffers Thursday night The Blue Bolts stayed unbeaten with a 57-48 win over the Jets.

PAINESDALE — It may be one year later, but the Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Blue Bolts boys basketball team is exactly where they were last winter – unbeaten.

The Blue Bolts, now 3-0, notched a 57-48 win over the Jeffers Jets Thursday night.

Dollar Bay coach Jesse Kentala, who led his team to the state semifinals a year ago, said he has no qualms about this year’s squad.

“We’re a young team and we know we’re not going to blow many teams out this season,” Kentala said. “Jeffers did an excellent job of preparing for us, and we had to battle all the way to get a win tonight.”

The young Jets scrapped all the way, leading for much of the opening half.

The Range Crew took a 28-26 lead when Austin Kinnunen nailed a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

“I thought our intensity was real good most of the game,” said Jets’ skipper Trent Keteri. “And we did a much better on turnovers from last week.

“But we had some mistakes in the second half and it cost us.”

The Blue Bolts showed their poise and forged a 40-34 margin after the three quarters.

Davin Hill, a sophomore, and senior Brendan LeClaire keyed the surge with some fine defense.

It was the same duo who kept the Blue and White ahead in a frantic fourth quarter.

LeClaire nailed two baskets and added six free throws in the final frame, while Hill had a triple and two charity tosses.

But the Jets made it razor-thin when sophomore Christian Hocking put in two buckets for a 47-45 deficit with under two minutes left.

But a driving layup by LeClaire and two free tosses by Hill finally put it out reach at 53-46.

“I liked the way we played in the second half,” Kentala said. “The intensity wasn’t there in the first quarter, but we clawed …. and we dug … and had enough.”

Ashton Janke led the winners with 16 points – 13 coming in the first half. He also hit four treys on the night.

Hill was next with 15 markers and a good floor game, while LeClaire put in 14 points and grabbed a game-best 11 boards. Connor LeClaire netted nine more.

“Everyone knows that Brendan (LeClaire) is our leader,” Kentala said. “It’s nice to have a senior you know you can go to.”

Keteri, whose team, is 1-3 so far, liked his team’s defense.

“We’re a young team, but we play hard,” he said.

They had to step up tonight.”

Brett Hill led Jeffers with 15 points. Kinnunen nailed 15 more, hitting four from long range. Hocking wa good for 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Dollar Bay hosts Bessemer on Monday, the same evening the Jets entertain Wakefield.

Scoring

Dollar Bay 6 18 14 17 – 57

Jeffers 10 16 8 14 – 48

DOLLAR BAY: Janke 16, B. LeClaire 14, Schmitz 3, Hill 15, C. LeClaire 9. FT: 13-20; Rebounds: 32 (B. LeClaire 11); Fouls: 16; Fouled out: C. LeClaire; 3-point FG: Janke 4, Hill 3, Schmitz 1.

JEFFERS: Kinnunen 14, Hocking 11, Mattila 6, Hill 15, Wakeham 1, FT: 7-11; Fouls: 20; Fouled out: Hill. 3-point FG: Kinnunen 4, Hill 1.

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