No letdown for L’Anse girls

PAINESDALE – Any thoughts that the L’Anse High girls’ basketball team might have a letdown after a big win over Houghton on Tuesday were dismissed right away Friday night.

The unbeaten Purple Hornets scored the first 15 points of their game against Jeffers and breezed to a 66-34 victory.

LHS coach Scott Lloyd said he wanted his team to get off to a quick start last night.

“That’s the way we play. Start a game quickly and keep up the pressure on our opponent,” Lloyd noted. “We did that in this game.”

Jets coach Joe Romano said the Hornets impressed him.

“They (Hornets) run their offense very nicely, they’re well-coached and defensively, they’re very strong,” Romano said. “I think they go 10 or 12 people deep. They just wear you out.”

Sharp-shooting guard Kelsey Ross sparked a 27-7 margin in the opening quarter by sinking 10 points – nailing a pair of three-pointers.

“Kelsey (Ross) shot the ball real well tonight,” Lloyd said. “She’s capable of hitting that three-pointer.”

Holding a 41-11 bulge at halftime, Lloyd made sure that everyone on his roster got into the non-league contest.

“You always want to get everyone on your bench playing time … that can only benefit us down the road,” the L’Anse mentor said. “We’ll need that kind of depth as the season progresses and the Calumets, Hancocks, Ishpemings and Negaunees appear.”

Romano was not at all discouraged by the loss.

“We lost to a very good team. But I thought the girls scrapped hard the whole game,” he commented. “This is a step in the right direction … I think it’s going to come around.”

Ross paced the 3-0 Purple Gang with 15 points. Madi Swanson, who hit 30 markers against Houghton, chipped in 13 more.

Hard-working Valerie Rajala contributed 12 points and a team-leading 13 rebounds. Jackie Lister added seven points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Shelby Seppanen was tops for the 1-2 Jets with 11 points and four steals. Junior center Haley Makela had a nice game with 10 points and a game-high 17 boards. Alexa Clouthier tossed in 8 points and 11 rebounds.

L’Anse will host county rival Baraga a week from now.

Jeffers will go to Dollar Bay next Tuesday in a CCC matchup.