Panthers fall to Vikings, 35-24
CHASSELL — It was a slow first half for the Chassell Panthers and the visiting Baraga Vikings. The Vikings could not build a substantial lead until late in the third quarter of the contest Tuesday to earn the win, 35-24. Vikings coach Tom Goodreau saw more aggressive gameplay as what carried his team to the win, 35-24, on the road.
“I thought we came out, we played extremely aggressive and that helped us in the end,” said Goodreau. “We had a lot of good opportunities for good shots and we just couldn’t hit them. This is a tough gym to play in and they were playing some decent defense on us. In the end, I think our hussle is what won us out.”
“The whole game plan was to try and get a lead on them,” said Goodreau. “Then, once we got the lead, work our offense because different offensive plays that we have (allow us to) play slow tempo and work it really well and take some time off the clock, forcing the other team to have to foul us and that’s the way it ended up going for us.”
The Vikings came in with a game plan and found success in the second half with key baskets from Rylie Koskinen, who had five points, along with senior Martina Jahfetson, who lead the charge with eight points and an ability to move the ball down the floor in the third.
Goodreau was happy to see her taking on a leadership role as much of the underclassman continue to grow as players.
“(She led) all night long,” said Goodreau of Jahfetson. “She’s a senior. She is hussle from the word go. She’s playing really well this year because we have some underclassman that are (deciding) who’s going to pick up (what) role. She can play a lot of spots for us. Erin Kamarainen is doing really well for us also. Our young players are hitting the shots and making the right moves (and) getting those hussle rebounds.
” I think we’re doing alright right now… They want to come out on the court and earn everybody’s respect. The only way to do it is with the hussle that they’ve been showing.”
With a new coach comes new expectations and new systems to learn. The Panthers had strong moments, but still show signs of a growing team that is still moving forward one game at a time. Coach Bill Sleemen liked seeing his team fight to stay close in the first half, but the Vikings experience slowly started to take its toll on the hosts.
“(In the) first half, I felt like we played as good as we’re going to play defensively,” he said. “The second half, our help side wasn’t there very much. They got a bunch of easy buckets and I guess that was really the biggest difference.”
“Offensively we’re still learning,” said Sleemen. “New coach, new girls, (and) we’re still just trying to learn the system that we’re going to be running, so it’s going to take time for everything to gel.”
“We have stretches where I liked what I saw and other stretches where you could tell we’re still just trying to learn,” he said. “It’s a definite work in progress. Once everything starts to click these girls are going to be very good at that point.”
The Panthers played a strong defensive game but struggled to move the scoreboard.
“Defense is one of those things that we want to try to pride ourselves on,” Sleemen said. “The fluidity of our offense is definitely something that we need to work on. No matter how good of defense you play, if you can’t score, you aren’t going to win many games. I think if we can clean that up we’ll be in good shape.”
Baraga 5 7 12 11 – 35
Chassell 6 2 9 7 – 24
BAS: Jahfetson 8, Kamarainen 6, Koskinen 5, Lindeman 6, Durant 3, Osterman 7; Fouls: 11; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Jahfetson 1, Osterman 1
CTS: Pietila 8, Hietala 3, Sleeman 4, Rautiola 3, Warren 6; Fouls: 10; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Sleeman 1, Rautiola 1