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Girls Basketball: Gremlins’ rally falls short vs. Esky

Houghton's Stella Wickstrom (31 shoots over Escanaba's Nicole Kamin (4) on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — Take away a string of clutch plays by Escanaba’s Nicole Kamin Thursday night and the Houghton Gremlins would have scored a big win in girls basketball action.

But Kamin, a 5-foot-11 junior guard/forward, had all the answers in Esky’s eventual 70-65 win.

“(Kamin) is such an athletic player,” EHS coach Mike Beveridge said. “She seems to know what to do next on every occasion and she did again tonight.”

While she accounted for a game-leading 33 points, Kamin also helped to force a critical turnover with under a minute to play and HHS down by a point at 66-65.

The Eskymos (9-4) were able to control the situation after that — thanks to four free throws down the stretch by Kamin.

Houghton's Gwen Markham (35) grabs a rebound against Escanaba on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Houghton coach Julie Filpus said her young team played hard against the No. 4 Eskymos.

“We just played Westwood on Tuesday and we gave them a battle,” Filpus said. “Escanaba was also ranked and we play No. 1 Marquette after that. We’re learning the hard way, but we’re learning.”

The Gremlins (5-10) trailed most of the night.

But the Gremlins hung tough behind some fine outside shooting by freshman Annika Peterson and Josie Connors in trailing by just a 37-32 margin at the break.

“I told the kids to expect a tough ballgame,” Beveridge said. “Houghton is always well-coached under Julie (Filpus) and they’re going to play hard all the time.”

Houghton's Maryellen Trewhella (25) shoots over Escanaba defenders Taylor Ray (24) and Mari Blink (32) on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

The Gremlins grabbed a 56-55 lead on a basket by hard-working freshman center Stella Wickstrom early in the final stanza. And they led by as many as three points later in the frame.

The all-around work of Kamin and a key three-point hoop by Taylor Ray put the invaders up by the aforementioned 66-65 score.

Filpus said her team is right on target toward becoming a good team.

“We keep getting better and better each game. I’m not a big fan of moral victories,” Filpus said. “I like the girls to come out of the locker ticked off and mad about losing a game like that. There were some little things we could have done differently to win this game, but we’re learning.”

Peterson paced the Gremlins with 19 points, hitting four treys. Junior Maryellen Trewhella bagged 17 more, while Wickstrom netted 16 points and took down 14 rebounds. Connors tossed in 9 markers and a good floor game.

Escanaba's Nicole Kamin (4) blocks a shot by Houghton's Maryellen Trewhella (25) on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

“I liked the balance, we had three players in double figures and another with nine points,” she said. “That will win most games.”

The Eskymos also got 14 points from Ray to back up Kamin’s game, which also included eight boards, six steals and three blocks.

Houghton goes to Marquette next Monday. Esky is at Kingsford on Tuesday.

Escanaba 18 19 16 17 — 70

Houghton 9 23 18 15 — 65

Escanaba's Taylor Ray (24) shoots over Houghton defenders Gwen Markham (35) and Stella Wickstrom (31) on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

ESCANABA (70): Barron 3, Kamin 33, Smith 7, Lancour 6, Ray 14, Bink 6. FT: 8-10. Rebounds: 25 (Kamin 8). F: 12. Fouled out: None: 3-point FG: Ray 3, Barron 1, Smith 1, Kamin 1.

HOUGHTON (65): Peterson 19, Connors 9, Trewhella 17, Wickstrom 16, Markham 4. FT: 7-10. Rebounds: 27 (Wickstrom 14). F: 14. Fouled out: None. 3-point FG: Peterson 4, Connors 3, Trewella 1.

Escanaba's Nicole Kamin (4) puts up a shot over Houghton's Annika Peterson (11) on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Houghton, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

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