Broncos win with pressure on Manistique girls

Manistique’s Ava Fleck, left, looks for an open teammate as Bark River-Harris’ Sierra Debelak defends during their girls basketball game played at the Broncos' gym on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Justin St. Ours)

HARRIS — Bark River-Harris got off to a fast start and coasted from there for a 46-30 victory over Manistique in a high school girls basketball game played Tuesday night.

Neither team found its footing as the start, but the Emeralds (2-6) were first on the board with a jumper from Kayla Muth.

Bark River’s Grace Peterson then kicked off a 13-5 run with a jumper to finish the first quarter ahead 13-7.

“Our press has come a long way,” Broncos coach Matt Richer said. “A (few) games ago, we’d junked it. … (But the) last couple games it’s really been working for us, and hopefully we can continue to do it well.”

The Broncos (4-2) were quick to add to their advantage, scoring six points in the first two minutes of the second period, capped by a triple from Allison Richer.

“We had way too many turnovers,” Emeralds coach Dave Winkel said. “Just silly ones — unforced errors. Bark River did a good job of pushing the pace.

“They’re a really aggressive defensive team, and I think that gets us going a little too fast for ourselves. We’re not seeing the court as well as we should and we weren’t executing very well.”

Emilee McDaniel sunk the front end of a bonus situation at the charity stripe late in the first half for Manistique. She missed the second, but Muth was there for the rebound and a follow-up jumper to pull the Emeralds within 19-13.

“We went with a small lineup tonight,” Richer said. “We wanted to outwork them. Go up and down the court to make them handle the ball, and at times, we knew we’d give up some rebounds. We worked a lot on boxing out, but sometimes they’re just bigger than you.”

The Broncos pulled away on the back of bonus free throws and led 24-15 as the half closed.

Bark River had the scoreboard to itself for the first six minutes of the third, going on a 12-0 run that included back-to-back triples from Richer and Cara Zawacki.

The Emeralds were able to start a 6-0 run of their own in the last minute and a half of the third.

“We played well in spurts,” Winkel said. “We’re just not consistent enough for a full 32 minutes to get the victory. I liked our defense at times, and I liked their willingness to keep fighting.

“We kind of went through a stretch in the third quarter where we got a deer-in-the-headlights look, but they worked hard.”

The Emeralds were led by Brooke St. John with 12 points. Muth followed with 11.

Richer led the Broncos with 12 points, while Peterson notched 11.

Bark River won the JV game 53-49 as Manistique hosts Negaunee Friday.


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