Hematites clamp down late in conference victory at Norway

NORWAY – Scoring struggles down the stretch cost Norway a Mid-Peninsula Conference girls basketball victory against Ishpeming on Thursday night.

The Hematites, taking their first lead of the second half with under four minutes to play, held the Knights to three points in the fourth quarter and won 42-36 to improve to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the Mid-Peninsula Conference.

Jessica Spencer led Ishpeming with 15 points, scoring the final five for the Hematites after Jordann Grigg nailed a triple to put Ishpeming ahead 37-36 with about 3:30 left.

“In the fourth we made some adjustments,” Hematites coach Mark Dellangelo said. “They got some shots but they were not going in, and fortunately for us we were able to get the rebounds and convert on our end.

“Spencer had a big game for us both offensively and defensively, I thought.”

Heather Evosevich’s 13 points led the Knights (4-3, 2-2). She was 6 of 6 from the floor, but the rest of the team shot 20 percent. Shelby Mantonich added 12 points. But Norway was just 3 of 8 at the line while Ishpeming cashed in for 17 of 32 at the stripe.

Ishpeming, with Spencer getting off to a quick start, opened a 6-2 lead to start the game, but the Knights closed the gap and the game remained back-and-forth, within a basket, the entire first half.

Norway’s best run came in the third quarter when Grayvold sunk a jumper to ignite a 7-0 run. Mantonich followed with a 3-ball and a short jumper to put Norway out front 31-24.

A putback at the third quarter buzzer by Grigg made it 33-29, and the Hematites followed with five of the game’s next six points to make it 34-34.