Finlandia women roll to home victory

HANCOCK – On a team that leads all Division III women’s basketball teams in three-point shooting, senior Hailey Gervais is the one player the Finlandia Lions look to the most.

“Hailey (Gervais) is such a good shot, we give her the green light from out there,” FU coach Terry Klemett said after his team’s 94-47 throttling of Maranatha Baptist Bible College Friday night at Paavo Nurmi Gym. “And she works so hard defensively. As a senior, she sets a good example.”

The former Hancock High standout coverted 8-of-15 shots from beyond the arc on the way to a game-high 30 points as Finlandia won its fourth straight game.

For her part, Gervais said firing up three-point shots is a neccessity for the now 8-10 Lions.

“We have some good shooters … we have to shoot from out there because we’re so small,” she commented. “Our big girl is Marissa (Burke) and she’s only 5-foot-9. But she’s very athletic.”

The visiting Crusaders fall behind from the opening tip as Gervais canned three treys in an opening 18-6 start.

A pressing Finlandia defense also played a role in the quick start.

Burke, who ranks nationally in double-doubles, began to take over in the paint later in the half on as FU rolled to a 58-26 margin by intermission.

Burke, the ex-Watersmeet High ace, tallied 21 points and grabbed a team-leading 14 rebounds.

Klemett was happy with his team’s balance.

“We put five players in double figures and that kind of effort will win you a lot of games,” he said. “I’m really proud of the way this group of girls has responded after a rough start this season.”

Reserve center Adrianna Osuna also drew Klemett’s praise after scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 boards.

“She (Osuna) came in there and gave us some good minutes,” he noted. “Her focus has been very good.”

Brierra Ruska and Paige Yoho also joined the double figure column for the Blue and White with 17 and 14 points respectively.

Gervais said her team is looking forward to playing in GSAC Conference Tournament in Washington, D.C. at the end of next month.

“We’ve got a good group of players,” she said. “I think we can do well out there if we can continue to play like this.”

Maranatha Baptist, which fell to 5-11 on the season, was led by Courtney Dunn with 14 points. Aliison Schultz added 13 for the Wisconsin squad.

The Lions travel to Northland International next Friday night.