SEVEN UP: Burchette, Norse Ladies Extend Streak

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and to hear post-game comments from Brooklyn Phillips and from Coach Todd Ciochetto.

Seven in a row.


The Bay College Norse women's basketball team led from start to finish and beat the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders, 79-38, Monday night in Escanaba. The win was Bay's seventh in a row, and helped the team to stay in a tie for first place in the MCCAA North Conference with a 3-0 record.


It was an epic performance for Ashlee Burchette. She dominated the game in all aspects in the first half, both inside and out, handling the ball, dishing it, and shooting it. She had 28 points in the first half alone and led the Norse with 35 points. That is one point off of the school record, which Burchette herself set earlier this season against Western Tech (36 points).


“She was just so calm,” Bay College Coach Todd Ciochetto said. “I just think that her, and Siena, and Kennedy, and Jada, they're just playing so well together. We're just playing better basketball, and it's actually fun to watch.”


Ciochetto says that the dramatic turnaround for the Bay program may be a surprise to some, but he says he knew the ladies had it in them.


“I don't think they ever didn't want to. They just didn't know. And I can't blame them for not knowing,” said Ciochetto, who won 200 of his 277 games before coming to Bay. “It's my job to teach them. I knew early on that it wasn't going to be a quick fix. I think we can beat a lot of teams. We have some talent. We have some top players. Defensively, especially in the half-court, we're getting really good. And we're sharing the ball so well.”


The Norse jumped to a 17-4 lead early on as Burchette and Kennedy Sproule combined to lead an offense that was fueled by an aggressive trapping defense. It was 28-10 after the end of the first quarter, as Burchette scored 13 points, Sproule scored five, and Siena Lingle chipped in seven points.


The second quarter was almost entirely Burchette, as she nailed three triples and scored 15 more points. The Norse led, 49-18, at halftime.


In the third quarter, Lingle scored three baskets, and Sproule added another two triples in the second half. Sproule wound up with four triples and scored 17 points, while Lingle added 19 points, making all eight of her free throws. Lingle also added eleven rebounds for a double-double, and Sproule had eight rebounds to go along with her 17 points.


Burchette's 35 points were accompanied by seven steals and four assists.


Another Norse player who had a nice game was Brooklyn Phillps. The Peshtigo High School graduate has been hampered all season by a leg injury, but on Monday, she played a season-high 19 minutes and scored five points, also chipping in three rebounds, one steal, and one assist.


“Honestly, it was a really good feeling being in there,” Phillips said. “I've been working really hard to earn back some minutes. I made a few mistakes out there, but Coach told me to shake it off. I'm really glad that I was able to be out there and play with my team. It was nice to be back, actually in the game. It helped to break a little bit of the nerves, and I feel like I'll be better the next time.”


GRCC (4-10 overall, 1-2 MCCAA) was led by Ava Schultz, who had ten points and eleven rebounds, and Tia Richards, who also scored ten point.

Bay College, meanwhile, improved to 11-7 overall, and 3-0 in the MCCAA. That keeps Bay tied for first place with 13th-ranked Mid Michigan, which improved to 16-0 overall over the weekend.


The Norse continue their three-game homestand this Wednesday night against Alpena Community College (3-10 overall, 1-1 MCCAA). Game time is 5:30, and it will be broadcast live on FM-106.3 and at

LISTEN: Todd Ciochetto post-game comments
LISTEN: Brooklyn Phillips post-game comments