Defense carries Wolves

RAPID RIVER – Carney-Nadeau focused on defense first and the offense picked up as a result, leading the Lady Wolves to a 56-17 CUP/Skyline Conference win over Rapid River on Saturday.

Carney led 7-2 after a quarter of play but used their press to create nine second quarter turnovers that helped extend their lead to 30-9 by half-time.

“Defensively we played really well,” said Carney head coach Duane Bingham. “We caused a lot of problems with our zone, we made them shoot the outside shot and I thought the press in the first half really gave them a lot of problems. I thought defensively we stepped it up tonight. I told the girls from the start lets play defense and our offense will get going and our offense did.”

After a slow first quarter, the Wolves’ offense surged in the second, scoring the first 11 points. Senior Morgan Eichhorn sunk two 3-pointers in that stretch as Carney built a 17-2 advantage.

“She’s one of those shooters, when you get her going if she hits the first one it seems like she is gold all night, she really gets in a rhythm,” Bingham said. “Tonight she got the rhythm going and she was feeling it from the outside so that was big for us.”

Carney had good balance on the offensive end with Janel Dani netting 18 points. Eichhorn added 16 and Morgan DuPont chipped in 14. Bingham said after his squad figured out Rapid River’s defense it was just a matter of finding the open shooter.

“They were in a 2-3 (zone) and then they were in a 1-3-1 and I was trying to figure out what they were doing and I just told the girls to keep working the ball, get the open shooters and we made shots tonight,” he said. “We shot 21-of-43 tonight. If you shoot that great every night you’re going to win some games and that’s what we were kind of doing, looking for the open girl and hoping she could make shots.”

While Carney’s offense picked up, the Rockets struggled against the zone, shooting 5-for-34 from inside the arc and 0-for-6 from distance.

“We’re not going to win games shooting like that so I just told the girls we’ve got to get in the gym more,” said Rapid River head coach Michelle Carne. “Any extra time they have, we just have to put more time in shooting. We’re getting good shots, we’re running our offense well but we’re missing easy lay-ups and the shots we should make and it just comes down to that. We have girls committed to our program. We’re just trying to take small steps and build from there.”

Freshman Maddy Moss paced the Rockets with seven points. With the loss Rapid River drops to 0-11 overall, 0-9 in the CUP and 0-6 in the Skyline. Carney improves to 3-8 overall, 3-5 in the CUP and 2-5 in the Skyline. Rapid River is back in action tonight as they travel to Big Bay de Noc. Carney-Nadeau is also on the road tonight as they travel to North Central.