ESCANABA - Sometimes, one bad quarter can decide an entire game.
That was the case for the Escanaba Eskymos (2-3) Thursday, as they fell 49-38 to the Ishpeming Hematites (3-2).
The Hematites wasted no time as Gabby Croley put in the first bucket of the game, then Jordann Grigg stole the ball and brought it in for a layup. A 4-0 deficit was amplified by a deep 3-pointer from Alesha O'Brien, and before they knew what happened, the Eskymos were in a 7-0 hole.
However, Escanaba's Michelle LaFave was undaunted by the Ishpeming run. The Eskymos began to move the ball around well, and found LaFave on the wing, and she answered O'Brien's three. On the very next possession, she knocked down another triple from the same spot, and the Eskymos were right back in it.
Escanaba and Ishpeming exchanged baskets, and then O'Brien knocked down another long 3-pointer.
The Hematites headed into the second quarter grasping to just a 14-12 lead. But a lack of offensive flow by the Eskymos would give Ishpeming a bit more padding at the half.
Ishpeming 49, Escanaba 38
Kingsford 56, Westwood 42
Marquette 59, Negaunee 43
Norway 57, North Dickinson 48
Houghton 47, Hancock 44
Jeffers 43, Chassell 39
Ontonagon 50, Dollar Bay 26
Bessemer 55, Ironwood 51
Wakefield-Marenisco 73, Hurley (Wis.) 61
Mid Peninsula 60, Republic-Michigamme 41
Carney-Nadeau 59, North Central 53
Forest Park 53, Rapid River 40
Big Bay de Noc 48, Bark River-Harris 43
Cedarville 58, DeTour 41
Pickford 66, Engadine 57
Ishpeming outscored the Eskymos 11-5 in the second, but the score was only 25-17 at the half. Both teams seemed a little impatient on the offensive side of the ball, and it was still anyone's game heading into the second half.
Neither team shot exceptionally well in the third, but second chance attempts by Ishpeming that came from offensive rebounding and Escanaba turnovers allowed them to top the Eskymos 13-8 to head into the fourth with a 13 point advantage.
LaFave entered the fourth quarter with 15 points, but she would add to that quickly. She began the quarter with a quick layup, and then nailed another triple on the next play. The Eskymos were now only down by eight points. However, Ishpeming played as though they were aware of the situation, and managed the clock well, chewing up enough time to force Escanaba into fouling.
The Hematites made it to the free throw line enough to ensure the 49-38 victory.
"It was a game of spurts," said Ishpeming coach Mark Dellangelo. "We did some good things for a few minutes, and then we had some lulls there. But give Escanaba credit. They knocked down some shots that we didn't defend really well, and they've got some good players on that team."
Dellangelo said he felt his team gave a good overall effort, and although they are just 3-2, he likes the direction they are heading.
"We're still early in the season," he said. "There's some growing pains that we have to go through, but I thought my team played rather well. The motto of our team all year has been that if they just work hard, good things will happen."
Escanaba resumes Tuesday at Houghton, while Ishpeming is off until Jan. 2, when they head to Gwinn.