LL-H girls claim bragging rights

DOLLAR BAY – With little more at stake than neighborhood bragging rights, the Lake Linden-Hubbell and Dollar Bay girls’ basketball teams put on a lively game Thursday.

The Lakes came away with 59-44 victory and the Torch Lake Trophy for winning the second game of the season against their rivals.

But perhaps more importantly, the may have gained some needed momentum for the stretch run.

“The girls were inspired and fired up for this game,” LL-H coach Timm Gast said afterward. “But this also snaps a cold spell for us in the scoring column. We just hadn’t been converting our chances … today we did. It’s a lot easier game when you convert your opportunities.”

The outcome snapped a three-game losing streak for the Blue and Gold and ended a two-game win string by the Bays.

“We just put ourselves in too deep of a hole to begin the game,” Bays’ coach Steve Krahling lamented. “Going down 21-4 to begin a game makes it tough.”

Sophomore guard Sarah Audette and senior center Brittni Kisul were largely responsible for the early woes of the Bays.

Audette constantly swiped the ball in the opening half and finished with 19 points and 9 steals. Kisul dominated around the basket, totaling a team-best 20 points and 11 rebounds.

“I thought Sarah and Brittni were outstanding tonight,” Gast said. “But we also played pretty good defense as a team.”

Leading 13-4 after one period, the Lakes scored the first eight points of the second frame for the aforementioned 21-4 advantage.

Dollar Bay did go on a 7-0 run at that point to close the margin to 21-11, but LL-H answered back and took a 27-13 lead at the intermission.

Julia Daavettila tried in vain to get the Bays back into contention in the second half by tallying 17 of her game-leading 25 points. But the deficit was too much to make up.

“We kept battling and I liked that,” Krahling said. “But its tough to play catchup against a team as talented as they (Lakes) are.”

Gast feels the district tourney will be a toss-up.

“I really believe that any of the teams in it has a shot,” the LL-H mentor said. “We’re just trying to be at the peak of our game when we go into our districts.”

Now 7-9 on the year and 3-5 in the Copper Country Conference, the Lakes also received six points and four steals from Abby Sutherland.

Daavettila attached nine steals and eight rebounds to her totals, while Sam Ozanich and Meagan Kangas divided 14 points for the 5-12 Bays (2-7 in the league).

LL-H won the JV game.