FP’s Gussert hangs 44 points on E-TC in district semifinal

CRYSTAL FALLS – Forest Park whitewashed Ewen-Trout Creek 21-0 in the first quarter and rolled to a 67-30 victory in a Class D District 127 girls basketball semifinal Wednesday at Eddie Chambers Gymnasium.

Lexi Gussert powered the Trojans with 44 points (six triples), 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals.

“We challenged the girls to come out and play defense early,” Trojans coach Jeff Syrjanen said. “We knew we were going to score points.”

Sierra Robarge added 10 points and three assists for the Trojans (20-1), who held a 38-11 halftime lead.

Forest Park forced 17 turnovers, with four steals from Kelsi Hendrickson.

“Our defensive pressure took over the game,” Syrjanen said.

Casey Suomumaki’s 12 points paced the Porcupine Mountain Conference champion Panthers (13-8).

Forest Park and Watersmeet (9-13), a 36-30 winner over Bessemer in the other district semifinal Wednesday, will clash at 6 p.m. Friday for the title.

The Trojans defeated the Nimrods 59-34 in December at Crystal Falls. Although Watersmeet started last year’s district tournament by nearly upsetting Forest Park.

“Watersmeet pushed us to the end and we wanted to keep that memory (for this year),” Syrjanen said.

Ewen-TC 0 11 10 9 – 30

Forest Park 21 17 19 10 -67

Ewen-Trout Creek – Robl 4, Driesenga 4, T. Niemi 8, Suomumaki 12, M. Niemi 2. FG:?26-61; FT: 5-6. F: 13; Rebounds:?12; 3-point field goals:?T. Niemi 2, Suomumaki 1.

Forest Park – Stankewicz 4, Bawyn 3, Campbell 2. Gussert 44, Nylund 2, Isaacson 2, Robarge 10. FG:?11-39; FT: 7-12. F: 10; Rebounds:?33; 3-point field goals:?Gussert 6.