Big 3rd quarter leads Ishpeming Hematites girls basketball team to victory at Kingsford

Ishpeming’s Madigan Johns puts up a shot against Kingsford on Monday at Kingsford High School. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo by Adam Niemi)

KINGSFORD — Mariah Austin scored 22 points to lead Ishpeming to a 57-52 win over Kingsford on Monday.

The Hematites came out of halftime and erased a one-point deficit to lead by as much as 11 points.

The Flivvers’ shooting went cold in the second half and couldn’t find a way to make Ishpeming miss.

“The story of the night is they hit outside shots and they did a nice job of finding each other and kicking to wide-open people,” Kingsford head coach Mike Cross said. “If you can make those shots, it’s going to be a tough game. We didn’t shoot particularly well and then we missed layups. We’ve got to do a better job of making that stuff.”

Kingsford (2-1) finished 22 of 68 shooting overall.

The Kriegl sisters — Jordyn and Brooke — combined for 14 points in the first half.

“We knew this was going to be a test because that’s one of the best backcourts you’re going to see in the U.P.,” Ishpeming coach Ryan Reichel said. “We got to see the Kriegl girls play on Friday night. I admire the way those girls play basketball. They’re extremely gritty, extremely tough.

“It was a big test for our back court and we’re fortunate to come out with a win.”

Brooke finished with 16 points while Jordyn finished with 13. Jordyn tied with Tori Kowalkowski for a team-high 10 rebounds apiece out of 29 total.

Olivia Allen led the Flivvers with 17 points.

“Olivia Allen did a nice job in that first half,” Cross said. “Jordyn was really kind of dominant in that first half also. The two of them carried us.”

Chloe Sjoholm and Madigan Johns had 12 points apiece for Ishpeming.

The Flivvers held a 25-24 lead at the break. The Hematites hit 1 of 2 free throws before Jordyn brought the ball the length of the court, hop-stepped between two defenders and knocked down a layup.

But Ishpeming came out and went on an 8-2 run to force a Kingsford timeout. The Hematites kept hitting shots as the Flivvers missed layups and outside shots.

“We took control of it and you saw us go to the rim a little bit more,” Reichel said. “Good things started to happen and we were fortunate enough to put the ball in the basket and make a nice little run.”

The Ishpeming defense focused on establishing a presence in the paint.

“We try to get the girls to the paint because we are a little taller and contest the shots for the Kriegl girls because they’re not as tall as our girls,” Reichel said. “They still made some tough shots and they didn’t give up till the very end.”

Ishpeming plays at Gladstone on Thursday.