Prep girls basketball: Gwinn’s Talsma proves too much for Iron Mountain to handle
GWINN – Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky for Shelby Talsma and her Gwinn High School basketball teammates.
Talsma scored a game – and career – high 17 points and the Modeltowners outscored visiting Iron Mountain 18-6 in the opening quarter en route to a 50-33 Mid-Peninsula Conference victory.
Mackenzie Hollands added 14 points and Ellie Olsen chipped in 11 as the Modeltowners improved to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in league play.
“It was a total team performance,” GHS head coach Ben Olsen said. “We got contributions from everyone … and there are signs of improvement.”
Talsma notched 10 of her points in the first quarter, using her 6-foot-3 height to great advantage underneath. Her teammates found her in the paint all night long with passes.
“We’ve been stressing (getting the ball inside) in practice and (our) first look is to me,” said Talsma, who also led the winners with nine rebounds.
IM coach Ginger Moore said Talsma “had a huge affect in our game.”
“We weren’t moving as well as we could have and (Talsma) had a huge impact,” she said.
IM used a 2-1-2 zone on defense, but it didn’t keep Talsma from controlling the inside as the Mountaineers’ tallest player – Marti Pirkola – is 5-10.
“Shelby used her size well tonight,” coach Olsen said.
Elli McCole tallied all six of her team’s points in the first quarter and added six more in the second before finishing with 15 on the night.
But IM (1-3, 0-1) trailed 28-10 at the half after Gwinn’s Hollands sank a pair of 3-point shots in the final two minutes of the second quarter .
“Finding the basket was an issue for us tonight,” Moore said of her team’s 13 of 50 shooting for a paltry 26 percent. “We’ve been struggling with that all season.
“We’re a very young team with limited experience. We really lack fundamentals, which we’re working on. We learned a lot tonight.”
Hollands and Hutchens nailed 3-point buckets in the third quarter to help give Gwinn a 39-18 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Modeltowners held a 50-21 advantage with 2:39 left after Hollands (5) and Hutchens (3) had combined for eight points.
A 2-3 matchup zone defense employed by the Modeltowners caused IM to take some low percentage shots.
“Communication (on defense) is a key and everyone was talking tonight,” Talsma said.
Olsen emptied his bench and the Mountaineers scored the last 12 points of the game, six by McCole and four by Alena Herman. The latter led IM on the boards with seven.
IM won the junior varsity game, 48-24.