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Escanaba girls basketball team wins 1st regional title

The Escanaba girls basketball team celebrates with its MHSAA Division 2 regional championship trophy after beating Ludington on Wednesday in Houghton Lake. (Ludington Daily News photo by David Bossick)

HOUGHTON LAKE — The second half would not be a repeat of the first for Escanaba as it made program history with its first girls basketball regional championship on Wednesday night in the MHSAA Division 2 tournament in Houghton Lake.

Ludington was able to cut a big second-quarter deficit to tie the game at halftime, but the Orioles were unable to cut another big Eskymos’ lead in the second half as Escanaba won, 53-35.

The Eskymos limited Ludington to just five field goals in the second half while working their offense to earn the victory.

“After halftime, we put it together, played good defense,” Escanaba coach Mike Beveridge said. “We really worked hard on defense, and that helped our offense get going.”

Ludington began the game on a tear, opening with a 9-4 run over the early going. The Orioles were getting the ball into the post with RyAnn Rohrer finishing the play with seven first-quarter points.

Escanaba came back, though. Behind future Grand Valley State player Nicole Kamin, the Eskymos finished the first quarter on a 15-2 run for a 19-11 lead after one quarter. She had 10 points for Escanaba in those opening eight minutes.

The Orioles were able to claw back into the game in the second quarter. Turnovers hurt Escanaba, and the Eskymos couldn’t take advantage of foul trouble by the Orioles’ Hailey Stowe and Annie Kline. As they sat with three fouls each, Ludington still knotted the game 21-21 at halftime.

Ludington surged to start the third quarter, rattling off five straight points before Escanaba’s Carney Salo answered with a traditional three-point play.

Call hit the long 3-pointer with 3:56 remaining in the third to give Escanaba the lead back.

The Eskymos went on a 14-0 run in the final 5:40 of the third quarter to take a 35-26 lead into the fourth.

The Eskymos were led by Kamin with 16 points while Salo had 15.

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