Wells sisters work it for win
POWERS – The Inside-outside combination of sisters Baylee and Morgan Wells was too much for Carney-Nadeau to overcome as the Jets rolled to a 44-35 dual-conference victory over the Lady Wolves, Monday.
Baylee Wells got the Jets off and running as she sunk a 3-pointer on the first play of the game. Morgan scored less than a minute later to put North Central ahead 5-0.
The Jets continued to add to their lead as they held the Wolves scoreless until the final 15 seconds of the first quarter.
“It was one of those slow starts again, we seem to have a tendency to do that,” said Carney head coach Duane Bingham. “We got down nine in the first quarter and we lost by nine so I guess we played with them pretty well in the second, third and fourth quarter, it’s just when we got down we couldn’t make up that deficit.”
The Jets added to their lead to begin the second as Morgan snagged an offensive rebound and scored on the put-back. Senior Kelsey LaBonte followed by making consecutive trips to the free throw line after gaining good position on the Wolves’ interior.
“Kelsey does a really nice job for us, she doesn’t put up the box score numbers so much but she’s a really solid role player for us, she’s a leader for us and that’s really nice to see out of a senior,” said Jets head coach Tyler Swanson. “I can count on Kelsey so it’s one of those things where it makes my job a lot easier when she’s in the game.”
Swanson said his team was looking to control the pace of the game after suffering a 67-15 loss to Bark River-Harris on Saturday.
“We kind of needed it after Bark River,” Swanson said. “They really took it to us, controlled the tempo on Saturday, so that was our game plan, we wanted to do the same thing to Carney tonight and we were a lot more successful.”
North Central was able to control the tempo by controlling the battle of the boards. The Jets racked up second and third chances on the glass as Morgan Wells snagged seven offensive boards and 17 total rebounds. She also netted 13 points and four steals, doing most of her damage around the rim.
“Morgan carries us, she’s our senior leader,” Swanson said. “We kind of have to rely on her offensively a lot, just based on how our team is made up right now but she handles it well and it’s nice to see her have a good game. I’m proud of what she’s done so far this season.”
While Morgan was making the difference in the paint, Baylee was taking advantage of openings in Carney’s 2-3 zone. The junior knocked down four 3-pointers and poured in a game high 17 points.
“Any time you can hit shots, if they’re going to zone us, that’s how you make them get out of a zone and we did a good job early in the game,” Swanson said. “Baylee hit a couple for us, Kennedy Faccio hit a big one too, so it’s nice to see. Any time we shoot well we seem to play a better all-around game.”
The Wolves cut the deficit to 11 points early in the third quarter but Baylee responded with eight straight points to give the Jets a 34-17 lead. Bingham said his team played zone to try to contain North Central’s size but it didn’t slow their perimeter shooting.
“She killed us from the outside again just like she did up at our place so i guess we’ve got to figure out how to guard her better and hopefully keep her off the 3-point line,” he said. “We’ve been trying to play a little more zone and pack it in but when they make 3-pointers on you it is what it is, you can only guard them out so far and they were making good shots.”
North Central improves to 6-9 overall, 6-5 in the CUP and 4-4 in the Skyline. Carney-Nadeau drops to 3-9 overall, 3-9 in the CUP and 2-6 in the Skyline.
Carney is back in action tomorrow as it hosts Rapid River. North Central travels to Stephenson on Thursday.