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Giving notice

L’Anse starts season 2-0 after impressive wins over Chassell, LL-H

Bryce Derouin/Daily Mining Gazette L’Anse’s Bailey Froberg converts a fast-break layup during the first half Thursday in L’Anse against Lake Linden-Hubbell.

L’ANSE — Despite an active roster of just six players — including three freshmen — it may be time to consider the L’Anse Purple Hornets as legitimate threats in the West-PAC, as well as the Class C district tournament in March.

After a 48-43 victory against the Chassell Panthers — the defending Class D district champions — on Tuesday, L’Anse earned a dominating 56-32 nonconference win over the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes Thursday in L’Anse.

“It’ll be a while before they take us serious when you’re so young and so small. I think it’ll take until the middle of the season,” L’Anse head coach Scott Lloyd said. “This is all a big learning curve.”

Yes, it’s early, and Lloyd might be playing coy, but L’Anse’s quickness and athleticism are the facets of a team that can be a constant force throughout a season. The Purple Hornets (2-0) outrebounded LL-H 40-28, and managed to force the Lakes into 21 turnovers.

Add in a go-to scorer like senior Bailey Froberg, who led the way with 19 points after scoring 21 against Chassell, and the Purple Hornets begin taking the form of a complete team.

Against L’Anse’s man-to-man defense, LL-H hit its cutters down the lane and eventually earned a 12-8 lead after the first quarter. However, midway through the first, L’Anse assistant Chad Rice suggested a 3-2 zone to negate LL-H’s cutting action. The Lakes (1-1) struggled the rest of the way, scoring just 20 more points over the final three quarters and shot 8 of 32 during that span.

“They didn’t have anyone that was really looking to shoot from the perimeter,” Lloyd said. “(Rice) figured if we put them against a zone, it would discombobulate them, and maybe they’d get off stride. Then we started to get fast-break layups and steals.

“I like to have the three across the top, because that’s where most of your 3-point shooters are — above the top of the key as well as elbow extended to the wings. That’s why we protect those three spots.”

The 3-2 look is something LL-H hasn’t worked against this early in the season and immediately, it showed. The Lakes scored just two points in the second quarter and shot just 1 of 12; the only basket was a baseline jumper from junior Laura Lyons.

“The girls got tight and forced things,” LL-H head coach Maureen Schick said. “If I put a barn out there, I’m not sure they would have hit the broad side of it. It was that bad in the second quarter.”

On the opposite end of the offensive spectrum, L’Anse lit it up in the third quarter, starting the second half on a 15-3 run. Freshman Addison Mattson, junior Taylor Brown and Forberg each connected from beyond the arc during the Purple Hornets’ run, and L’Anse finished the third 10 of 17 from the field to take a commanding 46-21 lead.

“I see them shoot like that everyday, but now the girls are starting to have that confidence,” Lloyd said.

L’Anse shot 22 of 54 for the game and committed 17 turnovers — nine came in the first quarter as they struggled against LL-H’s 1-3-1 zone before settling in.

L’Anse junior Taylor Brown recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Mattson finished with 10 points. Senior Alexis Francois sat the majority of the first quarter after taking two fouls in the first minute, but still managed to score eight points and grab 10 rebounds.

“Taylor Brown played one of her best games that I have had after coaching her in the last two years,” Lloyd said. “Rebounded extremely well and played defense extremely well. She came to the forefront tonight.”

Senior Alexa Destrampe paced the Lakes with 13 points and seven rebounds. LL-H shot 13 of 48 for the game.

“I told the girls that fundamentally, I think we’re very weak,” Schick said. “I think there are a lot of things we don’t do well. (L’Anse) busted out and the girls were not even watching. They didn’t know how to stop the dribbler, were not paying attention and getting beat down the court.

“When you play an aggressive, solid, fundamental team, those weaknesses get magnified. We got a lot of work to do, but all these things are on my list — things I know we have to work on. We’ll start picking away at things, and hopefully at the end of the season, we’ll have it where I want it.”

Up next, L’Anse will have the opportunity to see how they match up with the top of the West-PAC when they host Houghton on Tuesday.

“Tuesday’s going to be a big test. I’m deathly afraid of them, to be honest,” Lloyd said.

LL-H heads to Watersmeet on Tuesday.

LL-H 12 2  7  11 — 32

L’Anse 8 15 23 10 — 56

LL-H — Seppala 5, Destrampe 13, Lyons 7, Kierstyn Codere 5, Kirsten Codere 2. F: 13; Fouled out: None; Free throws: 5-9; 3-point field goals: Seppala.

L’Anse — Mattson 10, Jorgenson 2, Voshkul 4, Froberg 19, Francois 8, Brown 13. F: 12; Fouled out: None; Free throws: 8-12; 3-point field goals: Froberg 2, Mattson, Brown.

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