Prep girls basketball roundup: Finnila’s late free throws lift Negaunee over L’Anse 50-49
NEGAUNEE – A Houdini escape act is becoming the norm for the Negaunee girls basketball team.
Five days after Rosalie Anderson sank a pair of free throws with 5.7 seconds left to escape with a one-point victory against Gwinn, the Miners cut it even closer on Tuesday night.
This time, sophomore Courtney Finnila made a pair of freebies with 2.5 seconds to go to lift NHS to a 50-49 victory over L’Anse.
Negaunee improved to 6-3 while the Purple Hornets, ranked fourth in the Upper Peninsula girls Class ABC poll released Tuesday, lost for the first time and are 6-1.
“Every time we got a lead we couldn’t get comfortable,” NHS coach Brandon Sager said. “They’re always running.”
The Miners built a 16-9 lead after one quarter, protecting it for the next two quarters before L’Anse actually took a late lead.
With 8.8 seconds left, Hornets sophomore Abbey Hendrickson was fouled on a shot and made both free throws to give L’Anse a 49-48 lead. On the ensuing inbounds pass, LHS knocked the ball out, eliminating several precious seconds before Finnila broke free for a shot attempt and foul.
Anderson finished as the game’s high scorer with 16 points while pulling down eight rebounds. Teammate Ashley Tresedder had 14 points and fellow junior Courtney Clickner 12. Finnila scored just four points, but also had four steals and four rebounds.
For L’Anse, senior Madi Swanson scored 14 points, while senior Kelsey Ross had 13, 10 coming in the second half. Senior teammate Valerie Rajala finished with 10.
Negaunee also won the JV game, 57-41.
At Munising, the host Mustangs placed four players in double figures scoring-wise to knock off Manistique, 53-44, in a non-conference play.
Frankie Mattson led the way with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Marissa Immel added 13 points, Karlee Decet tossed in 11 and Bailey Downs contributed 10 for Munising (7-2).
“We haven’t had more than two players score in double figures in a game all season,” Mustangs head coach Matt Mattson said. “We had great ball movement and hit open shots. We had a lot of assists on those shots.”
Munising led 24-21 at the half, but put the game away with a 17-9 edge in the final stanza.
“We were consistent in each quarter,” coach Mattson said.
Breanna Bosanic paced Manistique (2-8) with 15 points.
Munising took the junior varsity contest, 42-31.
At Norway, the Modeltowners beat the host Knights, 51-44, in a Mid-Peninsula Conference contest.
Ellie Olsen popped in 14 points and collected nine assists for the Modeltowners. Teammate Jordyn Hutchens added 13 points and Bella Wedig hauled down 10 rebounds.
Gwinn (4-5, 2-1 M-PC) trailed Norway 8-2 in the first quarter, but outscored the Knights 18-7 in the second for a 20-15 halftime edge.
“We always have one (bad) quarter and tonight, it was the first,” Gwinn head coach Ben Olsen said. “Once we figured some things out and settled down, we strung together three good quarters.”
Rachel Conery netted 17 points for Norway (2-7, 1-4). The Knights won the jayvee game, 32-23.