Balanced Calumet rolls Esky

By John Vrancic

Daily Press

ESCANABA – The third-ranked Calumet girls got plenty of production from all nine of their basketball players Thursday night as they handed the Escanaba Eskymos a 54-25 loss.

Everybody scored for the Copper Kings, who improved to 12-2 with the non-conference victory.

“That’s our game plan, to have everyone contribute,” said Calumet coach Don Hill. “We roll nine players in all the time. We want to make our opponents work for everything from start to finish and hope our depth is better than theirs.”

Calumet, employing a tight man-to-man defense, led 9-4 after the first quarter and 22-11 at halftime.

“The first quarter has been a rough one for us,” said Hill. “We need to start scoring earlier than we’ve been. Although, when you hold a Class B school to 25 points, that’s a pretty good effort. Our help and half-court defense is getting better.”

The Copper Kings began to gain some separation in the second stanza, taking a 19-7 advantage on a 20-foot jump shot by freshman Clara Loukus.

Sophomore Michelle LaFave then converted a putback and a pair of free throws, enabling the Eskymos (3-13) to trim their deficit to 19-11 late in the second frame.

Calumet, however, didn’t allow Esky to get any closer as it gained a 22-11 halftime advantage on a 22-foot jumper by sophomore Kaitlyn Djerf.

The Copper Kings continued to extend their advantage in the third stanza, outscoring Esky 16-5 in the period.

Senior Terra Erkkila got Calumet started in the third with a running jumper from the lane for a 24-11 advantage just 33 seconds into the period.

“They (Calumet) beat us in all phases of the game,” said Esky coach Kelly O’Connell. “They’re an up and coming team and they play nice defense. We had an opportunity to play against the third-ranked team in the Upper Peninsula and laid an egg. We just weren’t ready to play and came out like it was our first game of the year. When you don’t come ready to play, this is what happens.”

Calumet, comprised mainly of underclassmen, was led by sophomore Alexis Rowe with 11 points.

LaFave scored 12 points for Esky, which hit just 7-of-37 field goals and committed 22 turnovers. The Copper Kings were 23-of-57 from the floor and had 15 miscues.

Calumet, which also won the jayvee game (43-34), hosts second-ranked Houghton in a key West-Pac Conference match-up Monday.

Esky hosts Gladstone in a Great Northern Conference contest Tuesday.