OH, CANADA! Bay Rolls; Sproule Shatters Records
Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos from the game, and to hear post-game comments from Kennedy Sproule and Coach Todd Ciochetto. Also click the AUDIO button to hear Leah Allan's player spotlight interview.
GRAYLING---It was a history-setting night for the Bay College Norse women's basketball team Wednesday as the ladies stretched their winning streak to ten games with a dominating 124-33 win over the Kirtland Community College Firebirds.
On a day where Ashlee Burchette was named the NJCAA Division Two National Player of the Week for her performances in the last three Norse wins, there was more highlights in the evening as Kennedy Sproule shattered a pair of school records.
Sproule made 13 three-point baskets and scored 45 points, as seemingly nothing could go wrong after a sluggish start to the game that saw Coach Todd Ciochetto angrily call a time out a few minutes into the game. From there, the Norse were in complete control.
“I feel good,” Sproule said. “I mean, that's the most I've ever scored. It really helped that my team was passing me the ball. I just had a lot of open looks, and I guess once I started feeling it, it just stayed consistent. I'm sure after this, when I check my phone, there's going to be a lot of texts. I know they (her parents, who have traveled from Canada to be at many games) are proud of me, and I'm proud of myself.”
Incredibly, it wasn't only about Sproule. There was a monster performance from Marquette Senior High School graduate Siena Lingle, who had 25 points, 14 assists, 14 steals, and nine rebounds. That's just a tad short of a very rare quadruple double.
“On the bus, I called her up and told her, I need you to get a quadruple double tonight,” Norse Coach Todd Ciochetto said. “She said, I can't do that, and I said, yes you can. At halftime, her and Ashlee talked. Ashlee had (only) nine points, and Siena needed some assists, so you saw that. She made sure she gave it to Ashlee, and she smiled every time they made a shot. So, they just get it.”
Sproule says that was one of the goals in this game, as a war looms with 13th-ranked Mid Michigan this Saturday at the Bay College Gym this Saturday,
“We wanted to set some records tonight,” Sproule said. “We really wanted that for her (Lingle).”
“It's not about running it up,” Ciochetto said. “It's about working hard together to get better. They've worked hard to get better. Nobody thought we'd be breaking records at this time in the year, earlier in the year. I'm not sure I thought we would be as good as we are. I've never seen a team gel like this and actually be coachable, and get better.”
Burchette became the first Bay College player ever to be named the National Player of the Week, and that includes both men's and women's basketball.
Sproule not only broke the Bay College single game scoring record for scoring for the women, but also for the men, shattering the record set by Mark Branstrom in the 1970's (40 points).
And Sproule tied the NJCAA Division Two record for three-pointers made a game, a mark that was set by Mandy Williams of North Iowa Area Community College. And perhaps not coincidentally, Ciochetto was the head coach of Williams and that NIACC team.
All of this seems unreal considering where the Bay women's program was a short time ago.
After a 9-20 season last year and making the conference playoffs only when another team didn't have enough players to compete, and starting off this season with a dismal 4-7 record, the Norse women have now turned into a force to be dealt with over the past seven weeks.
Kirtland, meanwhile, fell to 2-9 overall, 1-4 in conference play.
Bay has not only won ten straight games, but the Norse are 6-0 in MAACC North Conference play, keeping pace with the Mid Michigan College Lakers, who are also 6-0 in league play. The Lakers are 19-0 overall after beating Muskegon Community College (90-71) Wednesday night, and they are ranked 13th in the country.
And they're coming to Escanaba this Saturday afternoon for a showdown.
“They're obviously a very good basketball team,” Ciochetto said. “I just think we're every bit as good as them, if not better, and our team thinks so. We get a chance to prove it. If we're not, we're not. We are 50-55 percent of where I think we can be, and if we can even get up yo 70-percent, we'll be pretty scary.”
Saturday's game starts at 1:00 and it will be broadcast live on Maverick FM-106.3 and on-line through the AUDIO link at www.baynorse.com.