Vikings take fight to Dawgs: Baraga defeats Hancock 43-32

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Baraga’s Martina Jahfetson (10) and Allison Durant along with Hancock’s Taylor Sebbas battle for rebound during a Division 4 District 98 semifinal game Wednesday at the Baraga Gym.

BARAGA — The better team won Wednesday night in Division 4 District 98 semifinal basketball action. That team was the Baraga Vikings as they defeated the visiting Hancock Bulldogs, 43-32, in the Baraga Gym.

“It was a great win for us,” said Vikings coach Tom Goodreau. “This was the first time we had played them, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but our girls played hard.”

Despite the loss, Hancock’s coach Dan Pertile gave credit to the play of Baraga.

“They have some very talented players who hustled the whole night,” he said. “We certainly had plenty of chances to catch up but this wasn’t our night.”

The game started slow as neither team got on the scoreboard until Rylie Koskinen hit the bottom of the net with a three-pointer at the 5:22 mark. The Bulldogs could not find the net despite numerous opportunities. They were only able to muster two points in the first period. After eight minutes, the Vikings led 9-2.

The Vikings picked up the pace a bit in the second period with their offensive drive with Jaylyne Lindeman taking it to the basket and drawing fouls. Martina Jahfetson hit a three and Reide Osterman poured in four points to close out the first half and boost their lead to 10 points with a 19-9 score. However, Goodreau told his girls that this game was far from over.

“I told them that Hancock was going to come out and step up their game and try to rattle us,” he said. “They are going to go for every loose ball and we have to step our game up as well.”

Both predictions came true as Hancock won the third period as they outscored the Vikings 12-11, but the Vikings did not let down their guard and kept pace.

“I was very pleased with our defense in the second half,” said Goodreau.

Koskinen and Osterman led the scoring for the Vikings with 10 points. Erin Kamarainen followed with nine.

“We don’t really have any stars on this team,” said Goodreau. “I believe basketball is truly a team sport, and that’s what I have emphasized all year. It is the girl pulling in the rebound or making a great pass or sinking a three that matters.”

In the fourth, the Bulldogs were able to pull within five points at the 3:20 mark and a score of 33-28. D’Andra Kero then sunk two free throws to put the Bulldogs within three of the Vikings but they could not pull even. A loose ball here and a foul there led to several more baskets and a change of momentum for the Vikings, who put the game out of reach.

With the win, the Vikings will go on to face the Chassell Panthers Friday at Chassell for the District 98 title.

“We’ve beat them twice, but those were close games,” said Goodreau. “We’ve got some work to do to get ready.”

Hancock 2 7 12 11 – 32

Baraga 9 10 11 12 – 42

HCH: Dennis 6, M. Kero 10, Sebbas 8, Dube 1, D. Kero 7; Fouls: 18; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Dennis 2, D. Kero 1

BHS: Jahfetson 6, Kamarainen 9, Koskinen 10, Osterman 10, Lindemann 5, Durant 2; Fouls: 17, Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Kamarainen 3, Jahfeston 1, Koskinen 1