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Calumet girls top Miners for district title

CALUMET — Showing the composure of a veteran squad, the Calumet High girls basketball team captured a MHSAA Division 3 District 65 championship Friday night.

Standout senior guard Elli Djerf said her team gathered itself after getting a big scare from L’Anse two nights earlier.

“Yeah, the L’Anse game was kind of a wakeup call for us,” said Djerf, who collected 14 points, five steals and four assists Friday. “We played a lot better basketball tonight.”

Calumet plays Menominee in a Region 17 semifinal at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday at West Iron County High School in Iron River.

Negaunee coach Mike O’Donnell offered no excuses after the 51-36 loss.

“We looked tired tonight and didn’t have the jump in our step,” he said. “But Calumet has a real good team and they just outplayed us.”

CHS coach Dan Laho said his team refocused after its opening game.

“As a team, we knew we had to play better defense against Negaunee,” Laho said. “The girls refocused and came out strong.”

With the Miners watching Djerf closely, the locals found other scoring sources.

Junior guard Jana Loukus hit several big shots and wound up with 19 markers.

Laho said Loukus has the ability to score.

“(Loukus) can do that on any given night,” Laho said. “She provides us a nice option.”

Calumet grabbed leads of 11-4 and 23-14 after the first two quarters, using its full-court pressure to rattle the Marquette County team.

“Calumet used its quicknes and forced us out of our offense,” O’Donnell said.” Credit to them.”

With Loukus knocking down a pair of triples, CHS continued to move away in the second half.’

One came at the end of the third quarter sndf pumped the lead to 38-23.

The big win was the 18th in a row for the northend team and gives them a chance to host an opening round regional game next week.

Negaunee, closing at 12-3, was led by center Alyysa Hill with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

NHS 4 12 9 13 — 36

CHS 11 15 12 13 — 51

NEGAUNEE (36): Hill 18, Palomaki 6, Skewis 4,  Morgan 5, FT: 3-6. Rebounds: 26 (Hill 12). 3-point FG: Skewis 1.

CALUMET (51): Djerf 14, Loukus 19, Torola 7, Strom 3, Kariniemi 3, Halonen 7. FT: 9-13: Rebounds: 33 (Halonen 10). 3-point FG: Loukus 3, Djerf 1, Halonen 1. Kariniemi 1.

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