Bay Ladies Crush Alpena For Eighth Straight Win
Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and to hear post-game comments from Kennedy Sproulre and Norse Coach Todd Ciochetto.
ESCANABA---The Bay College Norse women's basketball team continued its hot streak Wednesday night with an easy 84-34 win over the Alpena Community College Lumberjacks at the Bay College Gym.
It was Bay's eighth straight win, and kept them perfect in the MCCAA North Conference with a 4-0 record (12-7 overall). The Norse pace with 13th-ranked Mid Michigan, which is also 4-0 in conference play after the Lakers whipped Delta College, 103-49, Wednesday, to improve to 17-0 overall.
In Wednesday's game, the Norse crushed the Lumberjacks with three players scoring 20-plus points: Ashlee Burchette had a game-high 28 points (along with seven steals and six assists), Kennedy Sproule had a double-double of 21 points and eleven rebounds, and five triples. And Siena Lingle chipped in 20 points, plus seven steals and four assists. All in all, a great night.
“We shared the basketball well,” Norse Coach Todd Ciochetto said. “The energy is really good. You can see that I am hard on them when something's wrong, but that's because we're getting better on every possession. It doesn't matter what the other team is doing. If we played this team two months ago, there's no question it would've been a close game. But now. we won by 50.”
It's been a remarkable turnaround for a Norse team that suffered a pair of three-game losing streaks and started the season with a 4-7 record.
“It's a credit to our girls with their attitudes and wanting to be coachable,” Ciochetto said. “They're working hard.”
The Norse led, 27-5, after the first quarter, and 46-10 at halftime in their most dominating performance of the season. The Bay defense forced 36 Lumberjack turnovers, and that led to 47 of the Norse 84 points.
For Sproule, the five triples and 21 points are nice, but she was also happy with her defense. She had eleven rebounds, blocked a shot, and had two steals. Plus she had four assists at the other end of the court.
“Especially in practice, I've been putting in a lot more work on my defense,” the Manitoba, Canada, native said. “Just making sure I'm in the right spots at all times. Using my length. That's what Coach keeps telling me to do. I think I'm really starting to put that into my game.”
It was also a relief for Sproule to make five triples, after having shooting struggles the past few games.
“The warm-ups were a little bit rough, but once I started going in the game, I started hitting them, and everyone was hitting them,” Sproule said. “There were a few times when there was a pass that I should have caught, but our passes are getting better, and our shooting is getting better.”
Burchette, who scored 35 points Monday night against Grand Rapids, scored 28 Wednesday night but also Ciochetto says the best part of her game was her passing.
“Her vision is as good as anybody in the country, at any level,” said Ciochetto, who has coached successful teams in Iowa and Kansas before coming to Bay this season. “She's setting our girls up. I know where she's going to throw the ball way before she throws it. She changes the defenses with her eyes, and the passes are right on.”
Jada Freudinger added eight points and seven rebounds for the Norse.
Alpena (3-11 overall, 1-2 MCCAA) was led by Izabella Franklin's 12 points. Mid Peninsula High School graduate Shae Lampinen got the Lumberjacks' first basket of the game, but did not score the rest of the night.
Bay outrebounded Alpena, 38-24, and the Norse made nine of their ten free throw attempts.
The Norse also made 13 triples in 42 attempts, as they attempted more three-pointers than they did two-pointers (42-31). Besides Sproule's five three-pointers, Burchette sank four triples.
The Norse complete a three-game homestand this Saturday against Delta College. The Pioneers, who knocked Bay out of the playoffs last season, are 2-8 overall this season, 1-2 in the MCCAA. Game time on Saturday is 1:00 and it will be broadcast live on FM-106.3 and at www.baynorse.com.