Maino leads Ishpeming girls to win over Escanaba

Marissa Maino, left, of Ishpeming deflects a pass intended for Escanaba center Jen Brandt in the fourth quarter on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at Escanaba. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Dennis Grall)

ESCANABA — It seemed as though Marissa Maino couldn’t miss for most of Thursday night.

The senior forward sank six 3-point shots and finished with 26 points, leading the Ishpeming girls past Escanaba 60-48 in a non-conference basketball game.

Maino drained four trifectas in the second quarter against Esky’s zone defense, helping the Hematites overcome a 22-13 deficit.

“The girls practice that a lot,” said Ishpeming coach Ryan Reichel. “We encourage people to shoot when they’re open and the girls pick their spots well. Marissa likes this gym. She and Mariah Austin had good games here last year.”

Maino sank all eight of her free throws and grabbed eight rebounds. Austin scored 13 points.

“They can shoot the ball,” said Esky coach Mike Beveridge. “They have some good outside shooters.”

The Eskymos gained their nine-point advantage on an eight-foot jump shot by senior forward Maddy Willis with four minutes, 50 seconds left in the second stanza.

Ishpeming finished that quarter with 20-2 run, gaining a 33-24 advantage on Maino’s buzzer-beating 20-foot set shot.

“We were getting some of the same shots in the first quarter,” said Reichel. “They just weren’t going in. Once our shooting picked up, we were able to put more pressure on the ball. Our girls never give up. They know they have an opportunity to win as long as they don’t give up.”

Ishpeming (14-3) led by as much as 38-26 early in the third frame before the Eskymos (9-10) began a run of their own.

Willis started a 10-1 run with a 15-foot jumper from the baseline and senior guard Maddy Theut concluded that run with a running jumper from the lane, trimming Esky’s deficit to 39-36 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the third.

The Eskymos, however, were unable to get any closer.

“We had a little bit of a lull in the second quarter and they got hot,” said Beveridge. “We changed up our defense at halftime and shut down their two leading scorers for a little while. In the fourth quarter, we had to start taking chances on defense and got out of position. We did what we had to do, only we didn’t have the balanced scoring we had in the last game (in Monday’s 51-44 victory over Gladstone). The effort was there. The girls have been playing hard in most games.”

Senior center Jen Brandt scored 17 points and sophomore guard Lexi Chaillier hit 10 for the Eskymos, who committed 24 turnovers. Ishpeming had 10 miscues.

Esky, which won the jayvee game 45-35, closes its regular season at Menominee Tuesday. Ishpeming visits Gladstone Monday.