Bartle leads Negaunee girls past Gladstone

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone girls’ basketball team couldn’t quite get the job done Tuesday night against Negaunee despite a fourth-quarter surge by the Braves as the Miners hung on to win 61-45.

“We learned a lot,” said Gladstone coach Andy Cretens. “We would have liked to get the W, but I think other than that, I don’t think it could have gone any better. We did the things we needed to do and obviously we learned what we need to work on. The excitement in the locker room is that we’re moving forward here and we like what we see.”

The Braves showed fight but they couldn’t overcome the big night from Negaunee’s Natalie Bartle, who torched Gladstone for 30 points.

“She came out and shot an air ball and to follow that up with a few more air balls and then to score 30 points was good,” said Negaunee coach Brandon Sager. “She’s kind of new to our program so she’s getting into the flow. She created a lot of things herself off of her defense and we were able to run the floor and create opportunities for everybody.”

The Miners got off to a good start scoring the first six points and eventually going up 14-4 after the first quarter off of a half-court buzzer beater from Bartle.

Gladstone then settled down in the second quarter keeping in range while Negaunee took a 32-21 lead heading into halftime.

The third quarter is where the Miners really started to break open the game. They went on a 12-0 run to increase the lead to 22 and eventually gain a 52-33 lead entering the final quarter.

“I think we just started hitting shots in the third quarter,” said Sager. “Natalie got hot for a little bit and Clara (Johnson) was just controlling the floor out there. And our defense was what really sparked that third quarter because we were able to score off our defense.”

Gladstone made a push in the fourth quarter going on a 12-4 run and cutting the deficit to 11 led by Hunter who scored seven of her team high 16 points in the fourth quarter. But the Braves ran out of time as they had to start fouling and the Miners ran out the clock.

“When coach Sager called a timeout in the fourth quarter the first thing I said to the girls was ‘You showed me something right there. You showed me that you’re not going to give up and you got a lot of heart and that goes a long way’.”

Johnson added 12 points for Negaunee while Abby Nelson had 11.

Kaitlyn Hardwick was the second leading scorer for the Braves as she had 12 points.

Gladstone travels to Gwinn Friday for its next game.