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Carney-Nadeau bows out in MHSAA Division 4 girls basketball semifinals

Carney-Nadeau’s Haley Ernest, front right, shoots over Fowler defenders Wednesday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids during an MHSAA Division 4 semifinal. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Todd Rose)

GRAND RAPIDS — From the modestly sized gyms of the Upper Peninsula to the near-11,000 capacity Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, the remarkable run by the Carney-Nadeau girls basketball team came to an end Wednesday morning as Fowler beat the Wolves 61-37 in an MHSAA Division 4 state semifinal.

The first loss of the season ended up being the Wolves’ only one as they finished at 22-1.

“It meant a lot (to make it this far),” Wolves coach Ken Linder said. “We haven’t been this far in 20 years. So it meant quite a bit.

“It was one of our goals to get here because we haven’t been here in so long, and we met that goal. So, yeah, it was pretty special.”

Tessa Wagner — who finished with 21 points — netted her first points just over three minutes into the game with a layup and one from the free-throw line to put the Wolves up 7-6. It was the last lead Carney would have.

Following Wagner’s basket, Fowler turned up the defensive pressure, pressing and forcing turnovers.

By the end of the quarter, Fowler led 15-10. And the foot never came off the gas pedal as the Eagles outscored the Wolves 18-7, 16-11 and 12-9 for each of the final three quarters.

“We just really struggled with their pressure,” Linder said. “I thought we got off to an OK start … We hung in there in the beginning but a lot of uncharacteristic turnovers for us and a lot of unforced turnovers that we normally don’t make. I don’t know what happened, but that’s the way it went.”

All told, the Wolves had 31 turnovers compared to the Eagles’ 14.

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