Broncos hang on, fend off fiesty Wolves

HARRIS – It may not have gone as smoothly as the Bark River-Harris girls would have liked, but a win is a win.

The Carney-Nadeau Wolves hung around throughout most of the Class D district opener Monday, due in large part to their defense forcing Broncos’ turnovers. But BR-H was able to maintain their advantage and walk away with a 50-40 triumph.

“It certainly wasn’t our best effort,” said Broncos coach Joel Schultz. “Give Carney credit for some good defense, but we had some opportunities to bury that team and we didn’t.

“We’re just at the point of the season where you try to lick your wounds and get ready for the next game.”

The Wolves never held a lead throughout the contest, but they put together a few runs and kept the Broncos on their heels.

In the closing minutes, Morgan Eichhorn knocked down a pair of free throws to bring Carney within six, but they were forced to foul at that point. Kylie VanBrocklin and Hannah Starnes knocked down their attempts and helped the Broncos to advance.

“We’re playing hard, and I’m really happy with this team,” Schultz said. “The day that we’re done, we will have played just like we just did, and we will have just made one too many mistakes.”

He added that he doesn’t want to take anything away From Carney, because they played well and they gave it everything they had.

“I think they are a little bit tougher matchup for us because they have four or five quick kids,” he said.

Every time that the Wolves made a run and began to get some momentum going, the Broncos found a way to build the lead back up. Carney fought an uphill battle the entire night.

The Broncos (17-4) led 17-10 early in the second quarter, but Carney (10-11) fought their way to within three. After a time out, BR-H pushed the lead back up, and went into the half with a 28-17 advantage.

“We probably played the best game we have in two weeks, and we made them earn their shots,” said Wolves coach Duane Bingham. “We had a few breakdowns here and there, but I thought we made shots when we needed to, and Morgan had a heck of a game.”

It was a bit of a sloppy contest, as BR-H had 34 turnovers to Carney’s 32. But the Broncos maintained their composure and made sure the game never slipped out of their control.

Eichhorn led Carney with 15 points, and connected on three triples. VanBrocklin paced the Broncos with 10 points and four assists, while Sarah Madalinski had nine points and 13 rebounds, just missing a double-double.

“I thought the girls played really hard tonight, and I wish Bark River the best of luck,” Bingham added.

Mid Peninsula will host the Broncos Wednesday at 7 p.m.