Black Bears go on lock down mode

PERKINS – On a night which a pair of area girls’ basketball teams had difficulty putting the ball through the hole, Big Bay de Noc turned to its defense to earn a 31-26 triumph over Mid Peninsula.

“This was an excellent win for us,” said Big Bay coach Jacki Knoph. “The girls played great. Their defense was phenomenal. They needed this for themselves. This is a good confidence builder.”

Big Bay hit 12-of-37 field goals and 6-of-18 free throws in the Central U.P Conference match-up. Mid Pen was 10-of-47 from the field and 5-of-13 from the line.

“It was a sloppy game,” said Mid Pen coach Ryan Lyle. “Our passing was poor. And when kids have trouble shooting, it effects the rest of their game. We missed probably about 18 shots from five feet or less. It just wasn’t our night shooting.”

Samantha Sundling led Big Bay (4-13 overall, 3-10 league) with 11 points. Rachel Leckson collected 16 rebounds and 10 steals.

“Big Bay worked hard,” said Lyle. “They hustled. They did a nice job.”

Krysta VanDamme had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolverines (6-12 overall, 4-8 CUP), who committed 24 turnovers.

“We knew we had a big job ahead with VanDamme, (Hunter) Branstrom and (Kayla) Shope),” said Knoph. “Our big focus was trying to shut down VanDamme and Branstrom because they tore us up in the first game (in a 40-30 loss on Jan. 4). This was a great effort by every one of our players. Mid Pen is very well coached. They have a good team.”

Mid Pen, which won the jayvee contest 27-21, hosts Stephenson Monday. Big Bay visits Menominee tonight.