Experienced Panthers defeat young Blue Bolts squad

Jamie Glenn/Daily Mining Gazette Chassell’s Carly Goddard looks for an open teammate to move the ball to during a Division 4 District 98 Tournament semifinal game against Dollar Bay-Tamarack City in the Ed Helakoski Memorial Gym in Chassell.

CHASSELL — Sometimes with age comes experience. The Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Blue Bolts girls basketball team, who are composed of seven freshman or younger players, found it difficult to meet the challenge of a stronger, faster, and quite frankly, older Chassell Panthers team.

The Panthers ran up the floor and worked inside throughout the night for a 65-19 win at home in the Ed Helakoski Memorial Gym.

Chassell coach Bill Sleeman was happy to see a diverse team effort throughout the depth of his roster.

“Overall, I felt like we played pretty good,” said Sleeman. “We got out to a good start and were able to get everybody involved. It’s always nice to see. I think we had nine girls score tonight. It was great to see everybody get involved.”

The Panthers jumped ahead early by working inside the paint with 10 layups coming from seniors Jenna Pietila, who ended the night with 14 points, and Marli Hietala, who put up 12.

“It was great to see Marli Hietala had a great game there,” Sleeman said. “I think she ended up with about nine rebounds to go with her 12 points (and) Shannon Rantamaki had 10 rebounds to go with her nine points that she had.

“It was great to see everybody involved tonight.”

Dollar Bay eighth grader Ashlea Datto and senior Arizona Gilles locked in two three-point shots for the Blue Bolts on the night, one in the second quarter and one in the third.

Blue Bolts coach Seve Krahling says his team is still growing.

“I think the game was fine,” he said. “We’re young and it’s what we expected to keep trying. When your 0-18 going in against a team that’s got the size and speed they have, what do you do? You play the game. I thought my girls played. They did make mistakes, but that’s their youth, and it can only get better.”

Krahling highlighted the play of freshman Kendra Kangas who locked in one bucket at the free throw line in the third quarter.

“Some things were really good,” Krahling said. “I was really happy with Kendra Kangas and her hussle. She worked really hard.

My lone senior (Gilles), she wanted to play the whole game (so) hats off to her for her wanting to do that.”

Krahling wanted to make sure everyone got playing time to help them gain more experience.

“We (wanted to) play everybody (to) get the experience level up,” he said. “At this point we were going to play everybody today, no matter who it was so they can feel what it’s like to play at that type of a game.”

Dollar Bay will be graduating one senior in Gilles, who closed out her career with five points.

“This is the end of our varsity season,” said Krahling. “I’m hoping that the girls will get into the weight room and get into the gym and do some shooting. That’s where you get better at shooting by working in the summer.”

Chassell (15-6 overall) will advance to host Baraga (18-3 overall)  on Friday. Sleeman and his team have some things they would like to sharpen up before the matchup.

“We will meet Baraga on Friday night at Chassell for our district championship.Hopefully, we can work on a few things tomorrow and show up ready to play on Friday.

“Baraga is a tough team. Hopefully we can play a tough game and compete with them.”

“Our ball movement, our spacing, our rebounding would be another aspect (of what needs work),” said Sleeman. “We just want to try to clean up a few things before we get to that game on Friday.”

Dollar Bay 4 7 6 2 – 19

Chassell 25 14  14 12 – 65

CTS: Pietila 14, Warren 5, Rautiola 8, Sleeman 7, Goddard 6, J. Huhta 2,  M. Huhta 12, K. Huhta, 2, Rantamaki 9; Fouls: 4; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Warren 1, Sleeman 1

DBTC: Kangas 1, B. Datto 2, Myllyoja 2, Gilles 5, A. Datto 5, Cavis 2, Luoma 2; Fouls: 5; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Gilles 1, A. Datto 1