NORWAY - Jordan Kraemer posted a double-double of 13 points points and 19 rebounds, but Norway was unable to close the gap late and fell to Ishpeming 45-33 in girls Mid-Peninsula Conference basketball Thursday.
"We hung in there, and I was pleased with the effort," Knights coach Carli Kelly said. "They played the way I've wanted them to play all year."
Ishpeming, now riding a four-game win streak, took command of the game in the third quarter, holding Norway to four points in that frame and 10 overall in the second half, opening up what was just a four-point game at halftime.
Ishpeming’s Jessica Spencer battles with Norway’s Jordan Kraemer for a rebound during the first half Thursday in Mid-Peninsula Conference play at Norway. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo by Ron Deuter)
The Knights, also getting 10 points from Ashley Zanon, cut Ishpeming's fourth quarter double-digit lead to seven and had a couple of chances of getting within five before fading late.
"We knew this game was going to be a dogfight," Ishpeming coach Tom Graves said. "That Norway team is young but vastly improved. They are really competing. They take on the personality of their coach. And I mean that in a good way. They are doing a heck of a job."
Jessica Spencer's 14 points led the Hematites. She took care of all four of her free throw attempts down the stretch to help Ishpeming maintain control. Tammy Simula scored 12 points, 11 of those before halftime, and Gabby Croley had nine of her 11 points in the second half.
Ishpeming 45, Norway 33
Ishpeming1710117 - 45
Norway131046 - 33
ISHPEMING - Skytta 2, Engler 4, Simula 12, Spencer 14, Croley 11, Thompson 2. FT: 13-22. F: 13.
NORWAY - Casanova 2, Caster 2, Bal 2, Kraemer 13, Conery 4, Zanon 10. FT: 7-11. F: 20. FO: Casanova.
FG shooting - ISH: Not available; NOR: 13-56. 3-pt FGs - ISH: None; NOR: None. Rebounding - ISH: Not available; NOR: 37 (Kraemer 19).
"We matched Norway's intensity and we handled it," Graves said. "It's been a rough week with three games in four nights and coming down here (Dickinson County) twice."
A tight first quarter swayed Ishpeming's way late with a 7-2 push. Norway trailed 23-14 in the second frame before climbing back to knot the score 23-23. Kraemer had five of the Knights' 10 points in the stanza, her work on the glass paying dividends.
But Ishpeming (10-4, 6-2 MPC) never fell behind, scoring the final few buckets of the half.
In the third, mistakes started adding up for the Knights, and Ishpeming's push-the-pace mentality led to several fast-break scores.
"We got in foul trouble, so I had to take some girls out," Kelly said. "We had five girls on the floor who were not used to playing together as a unit. We were just trying to take it easy on offense, work the clock, wait for good looks and try to get to the fourth quarter."
Kraemer was one of four Knights with at least four fouls in the game. Jacey Bal, another Knight with four fouls, hit a short jumper midway through the fourth that brought Norway within seven.
Ishpeming was whistled for a travel on the next trip down, giving Norway a chance to get to five. The Knights had three chances under the hoop on that next possession but couldn't convert.
"We held them to 10 points in the second half," Graves said. "We just need to make sure we block, are strong with the ball, and handle pressure. I thought we did a much better job in second half doing just that."
The Knights took the JV contest, 45-35 in overtime.