Nordics handle young Soaring Eagles

FELCH – North DIckinson jumped all over a very young Hannahville squad early and coasted to a 73-25 victory in a MHSAA Class D District 126 opener Monday evening.

The win gives the Nordics another home tournament game, as North Dickinson hosts Mid Peninsula in a semifinal Wednesday at 6 p.m. Mid Pen pulled a 38-37 upset over the Bark River-Harris Broncos in another district opener Monday.

“I thought we played well,” Nordics coach Mike Roell said. “Defensively we wanted to set the tone, and I thought we did that.”

Led by Chelsey Stroud and Elizabeth Charlevoix with 14 points each, the Nordics put three players in double figures. Miranda Jacobson posted a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.

While certainly not the toughest test of the season, the Nordics gave Hannahville little chance by sinking three triples in the first quarter on their way to a 13-point lead. The margin only grew from there.

Lexi Steele, who had nine points, hit two of those early bombs. Stroud added the other. North Dickinson shot better than 50 percent in the game, thanks in part to a number of fast-break layups.

“We shot the ball well tonight,” Roell said. “We got the ball out on the break, and the layups helped our shooting percentage. But we shot well early. It gave us a nice lead and then we could play our type of ball.”

In all, 11 Nordics scored points in the game. The ND defense totaled 17 steals, five of those coming from Gina Rotter. Rotter also had a team-high with six assists.

“We distributed the ball well,” Roell said. “It was a good team effort.”

Hannahville, playing in the MHSAA tournament for just the second time, was led by Mary Saldana’s 11 points. The Soaring Eagles featured six eighth graders on their roster.

“My girls are young,” Hannahville coach Josh Eagle said. “But I’m very proud, proud of my three seniors. We’ve been preaching to the younger ones about practice and working hard. North Dickinson is a good example of that. They show strong fundamentals.

“The younger girls you saw here tonight, there are only going to get better. You’re going to see significant improvement in Hannahville basketball in the future.”

North Dickinson (7-13) split with Mid Peninsula this season, falling 46-26 in early January before getting even with a 62-34 home win on Feb. 3.

“We’re playing better of late,” Roell said. “It’s going to take a big effort. We’re going to have be on the top of our game, no doubt about it.”