Calumet’s girls basketball season ends in MHSAA Division 3 semifinals

Calumet’s Elli Djerf, center, puts up a shot against Kent City during their MHSAA Division 3 semifinal game on Wednesday in East Lansing. (Hockey Weekly Actions Photos/MHSAA)

EAST LANSING — Despite a game high 22 points from senior guard Elli Djerf, the Calumet girls basketball team came up short in a 59-53 loss to Kent City in an MHSAA Division 3 state semifinal Wednesday at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.

In a battle of unbeatens, Kent City had four players score in double figures, led by senior Jenna Harrison with 15 points. Madelyn Geers netted 14 points, while the Bowers sisters Kezie and Lexie combined for 23.

“I think in some ways, the girls made some mistakes today that we weren’t accustomed to them doing, and I think that had to do with nervousness,” Calumet head coach Matt Laho said. “The girls knew what they needed to be doing, they just weren’t doing it well, and it kind of caught up with us.”

From the start, Calumet used its customary pressure with Jana Loukus and Djerf swarming the ball from the inbounds line, across midcourt. The Copper Kings’ press did give Kent City some trouble handling the basketball at first, but they were able to manage it the rest of the first half and for the rest of the game when Calumet employed it.

Kent City came out in a full-court, man-to-man defense. It was effective in certain aspects, but their press was also effective once they began to use it later.

Early in the second, Calumet’s defensive intensity increased, and they were able to convert a couple scoring opportunities during that time frame, taking a 15-10 lead at the 5:16 mark.

Calumet came out of the locker room at halftime trailing by two.

In the third quarter, Kent City’s half-court to three-quarter-court pressure was causing the Copper Kings trouble, as they began turning the ball over.

The Eagles were able to increase their lead to eight points by the end of the third stanza, which they maintained down the stretch.


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