Loukus leads Calumet barrage

PAINESDALE – On a night when her team wasn’t firing on all cylinders, Calumet High sophomore guard Clara Loukus had no trouble finding the bullseye.

The 5-foot-1 Loukus gunned in a game-high 25 points and tied a school record with seven three-point baskets as the unbeaten Copper Kings scored a 60-29 win over the Jeffers Jets.

“She (Loukus) is a gamer, she gets after it all the time,” CHS coach Don Hill said afterward. “She has that ability to get hot … and against a zone we have to have someone who can knock down some shots.”

Hill was not pleased that the smaller Jets held their own on the boards, however.

“I’m not real happy that we gave up so many offensive rebounds,” the Calumet coach said. “I’m not happy with it and they’re not happy with it. It’s something we have to address and address soon.”

The win lifted the Kings to 5-0 on the season, while the Jets fell to 1-4.

JHS assistant coach Miranda Aho, who was filling in for the hospitalized Joe Romano, felt her team battled hard.

“We played hard, we just missed too many close-in shots,” Aho said. “Of course, Calumet’s size probably had a lot to do with that.”

The eventual winners grabbed a 12-3 lead in a rather slow first quarter.

But Loukus nailed a three-pointer and added four free throws in the second quarter to lead her team to a 28-14 halftime lead.

Alexa Clouthier kept the scrappy Jets within hailing distance by sinking three triples in the first two quarters.

Calumet moved to a 44-20 margin after three stanzas as Loukus started to warm up. After hitting two treys in the third quarter, she banged in three triples in a row in the final frame.

Aho said the Jets, who are off until a Jan. 8 meeting with Houghton, have to keep working.

“The schedule isn’t getting easier, but we’ll keep after it,” she said. “I thought we got tired tonight and we have to work on that.”

In addition to the big game by Loukus, the Kings received 11 points and 10 boards from hard-working Ellen Twardzik.

Lexie Rowe added nine points and Terilynne Budreau also grabbed 10 rebounds for the winners.

Clouthier fired in 12 points for the Green and White, while Lindsey Johnson totaled seven points and a team-best 10 rebounds. Haley Makela grabbed nine rebounds.

Calumet will host Ontonagon on Jan. 7 in its next action.