Jets earn first win on new season against Panthers

Jeffers’ Ralyn Mattila heads in for a layup on during a game against Chassell Tuesday at the Ed Helakoski Gym in Chassell. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

CHASSELL — The Jeffers Jets girls basketball team avenged an opening-game loss on Monday to Westwood with a 45-32 victory over the Chassell Panthers on Tuesday.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but we need to take our wins where we can,” said Jets coach Chad Larson, who is in his second year at the helm.

On paper, both teams appeared to be very evenly matched with just two or three seniors, and a lot of underclassmen leading the way and getting playing time. On the court, the two teams started out evenly matched as they traded hoops to open the game. They tied at six at the 2:30 mark in the first. The Jets then pulled into a 9-8 lead after the first eight minutes.

However, the second quarter belonged to the Panthers as they took the lead at 21-18 with less than two minutes to go before the halftime.

“That was definitely our best quarter,” said first-year Chassell coach Jill Tervo. “We were able to take advantage of some of their turnovers and convert those into buckets.”

The Panthers outscored the Jets 15-11 and pulled into the half with a 23-20 lead.

“At half, I told the girls to settle down and get back into rhythm,” said Larson. “I could tell they were going too fast mentally, and their feet weren’t following. I also said that we needed to play some stronger defense.”

The Jets warmed up to those words from their coach in the third and took them to heart in the fourth. The Jets just scored five points in the third and the Panthers sunk only three but were able to keep a slim 26-25 lead with one quarter to go.

If the second quarter belonged to the Panthers, the fourth was owned by the Jets. Senior Raena Kangas opened the final period with a three pointer and the girls from Jeffers never looked back.

Kangas led the scoring for the Jets with 16 points which included two triples. Mia Nordstrom followed her with 12 points and three triples.

The Jets outscored the Panthers 20-6 in the final eight minutes and earned their first victory of the season.

“We were finally able to find our rhythm there at the end,” Larson said. “We got some inside shots and outside looks, and our motion offense was much better, and that made the difference.”

For the Panthers, Trisha Pietila led the scoring with 12.

“It was a good start,” said Tervo, when asked about the opener. “We need to work on offense and not chase the ball so much.”

Up next

The Jets will travel to Hancock to take on the Bulldogs on Friday, Dec. 2. The Panthers will stay at home and welcome Watersmeet on Friday as well.


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