Munising girls roll past Superior Central

Superior Central's Sophia Maki tries to drive around Munising's Daryn Johnson during the third quarter Wednesday, December 5 at Superior Central. (Journal photo by Ryan Stieg)

EBEN — Any time a program loses a lot of talented seniors to graduation, it can be tough to overcome that.

However, in the case of the Munising girls basketball team, it seems to be doing just fine right now.

The Mustangs outscored Superior Central 22-5 in the second quarter Wednesday night and rolled to a 66-23 victory. Michaela Werner led Munising with 15 points, while Daryn Johnson had 12 and Taylor Downs had 11. Jada Johnson led the Cougars with nine points.

The game started off as a tight affair. Munising (2-0) held a 13-6 lead after a putback from Werner, but the Cougars got a late layup and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Willow Pasanen to cut the Mustangs’ lead to two points at 13-11 heading into the second quarter.

“In the first quarter, coach (Bobbi) Ayotte had her team ready to go and we didn’t make many shots,” Munising head coach Matt Mattson said. “I give them credit for hitting a triple at the buzzer to cut it to two and I think that might’ve woke us up a bit. In the second quarter and third quarter, we played really good basketball.”

Munising's Jenna Matson guards Superior Central's Charlotte Charlebois during the third quarter Wednesday, December 5 at Superior Central. (Journal photo by Ryan Stieg)

After the first quarter, it was all Mustangs. Munising opened up the second on a 10-0 run that included a trey from Johnson and a 3-point play from Jenna Matson. Another triple from Johnson put the Mustangs up 30-14 and a Werner putback gave Munising a 35-16 lead at the half.

When asked about her team’s performance, Ayotte was pleased with the first quarter, but said in the second, the Cougars lost whatever momentum they were building. However, she also said that it’s a learning process and that her team will get where she wants them to be.

“The first quarter we came out hot,” Ayotte said. “We were hustling back and we were playing defense. Riley (Johnson) took a couple of charges in there and we were running and gunning with them. In the second quarter, we came in and we were just flat. We weren’t playing defense and we were getting out-hustled. We just couldn’t find it.

“We don’t have a conference game until our sixth game, so these games aren’t hurting us. We’re learning a lot about ourselves and how we’re going to work together as a team. I’m not worried. We’re going to get there.”

In the third quarter, the Mustangs continued to pile on. Munising went on a 14-0 surge to open up the quarter and held a 49-16 advantage when it was done. The run was highlighted by a steal and layup from Johnson.

“Daryn is going to find her shot,” Mattson said. “I don’t know how many points she had tonight, but she can shoot better than she has the first two games. I’m also happy with our post play. We had some people come off the bench and Crystal (Murdock) played some great minutes. Taylor was fantastic and Kaila (Cotey) is consistent for us and does a good job. We do have some other options than Michaela and Daryn. We might be even deeper than even I thought.”

“I love it when the points are spread out,” Werner added. “It shows that there’s no weakness on our team at all.”

During the fourth quarter, some of the Munising bench players got a chance to come in and a putback from Megan Matson capped off the Mustangs’ victory. Matson led Munising with eight rebounds.