Lakes even record with fourth-quarter surge

LAKE LINDEN – Jeffers and Lake Linden-Hubbell were dead-even for nearly three quarters Monday night in girls’ basketball action.

But the Lakes blew the game wide open in the final quarter to notch a 53-38 victory in Copper Country Conference play.

“I liked the way we closed out this game,” Lakes coach Timm Gast stated. “It’s something we’ve struggled with most of the season. But we played with a lot of energy and were running the court well in the last quarter.”

JHS coach Kathleen Storm was disappointed with her team’s play down the stretch.

“We stopped defending the path to the basket,” Storm said. “They (Lakes) were hitting their shots … and attacking the basket. I think we were a little off our game tonight and they played well.”

With the game deadlocked at 33-all with just over a minute left in the third stanza, LL-H took off.

A basket by Sarah Audette – the game’s top scorer with 19 points – staked the Blue and Gold to a 37-35 margin at quarter’s end.

Audette sank a basket and two free throws to begin the fourth quarter, and Brooke Corrigan and Brittni Kisul added hoops not long afterward to make for a 45-35 bulge for the winners.

Only a last-second three-pointer by Kelsey Heinonen of the Jets interrupted what would be a 16-0 run.

“I thought Sarah Audette really stepped up again for us,” Gast said. “She’s been playing extremely well for the last three games … and we’ve won them all.”

In addition to her 19 points, Audette also had a handful of steals as well as four assists.

The two teams traded the lead like a hot potato in the first three quarters. After LL-H grabbed an 18-14 lead in a fast-paced opening period, the Jets found the range.

Triples in the second quarter by Stephanie Fraki, Abbie Rajala and Heinonen lifted the Green and White into a 28-26 halftime lead. Heinonen’s trey came at the halftime buzzer.

Erin Gast and Kisul, who was good for 10 points and 10 rebounds, combined with Audette to key the final blitz.

“We didn’t do much to slow them down,” Storm said. “It’s something we have to work on before the districts.”

The Jets, who close the regular season with a 3-17 mark (2-8 in the CCC) were led by Heinonen’s 11 points. Shelby Seppanen had 10 more. Haley Makela grabbed a game-best 12 rebounds.

Corrigan backed up Audette and Kisul with nine points for the Lakes, who are now 9-9 overall and 5-5 in the CCC.

LL-H is scheduled to travel to L’Anse tonight for a makeup game and then host Calumet Thursday.

“Those are two tough games, but they’re the kind we need to play at this time of the season,” Gast said.