Jeffers girls hustle to first victory of year

PAINESDALE – Playing their best basketball of the season, the Jeffers Jets shocked Lake Linden-Hubbell Monday night in Copper Country Conference girls’ basketball action.

The 57-44 JHS victory – the first for the Jets this winter – was accomplished with pure, all-out hustle, according to coach Kathleen Storm.

“We hustled right from the beginning,” Storm commented. “I told the girls if we did that … we could win this game. They played an awesome game tonight, and I’m really proud of them.”

The outcome was perhaps doubly surprising because the Lakes were coming off a game against CCC leader Ontonagon in which they led most of the way before falling.

LL-H coach Timm Gast said his team appeared to be feeling the after-effects of the Ontonagon game.

“I don’t know if that was the case or not,” Gast said. “But I think they (Jets) wanted this game more than we did. We weren’t playing our usual game and Jeffers came out and took it to us.”

Sophomore forward Haley Makela and junior guard Shelby Seppanen were thorns in the side of the Lakes all night.

Makela scored 15 points and took down a game-high 21 rebounds, while Seppanen also laced 15 points and handed out 11 assists.

“We played very well as a team, but Haley Makela and Shelby Seppanen were outstanding,” Storm said. “Each game this season we were learning and our goal was to constantly improve. Every quarter is a new quarter and every game is a new game.”

A 12-6 first quarter lead gave the Green and White an immediate lift and a 15-12 edge in the second quarter made for a 27-18 lead at intermission.

The speedy Seppanen collected seven points in the second frame and pestered the Lakes into several turnovers.

Makela, who grabbed 15 rebounds in the first half alone, added eight points in the third quarter as the winners used a 24-9 explosion to put the game away at 51-24 by quarter’s end.

“They (Jets) were getting to all the loose balls all night,” Gast said. “But they really took it to us in the (third) quarter.”

Freshman Abby Sutherland and Erin Gast tried to rally LL-H in the final period, but it was too little and too late.

In addition to the efforts of Makela and Seppanen, the 1-12 (1-5 in the league) Jets received 12 points and seven rebounds from Kelsey Heinonen. Abbie Rajala tossed in nine more points.

LL-Hubbell, which is 2-3 in the CCC and 4-6 overall, was paced by Sutherland’s 13 points and five steals. Brittni Kisul added 11 points and Erin Gast netted nine. Morgan Gast was the rebounding leader with 10.

The Jets will try to keep their momentum going when they host Calumet Thursday. The Lakes host Hancock the same evening.

LL-H won the JV game.