Girls second in Hoops for Hope tournament

UP FOR TWO - Brielle Kallberg (3) puts the all up for the Ely Timberwolves over several Lake of the Woods defenders. Photo by Eric Sherman

by Tom Coombe -

The Ely Timberwolves couldn’t quite hold on Wednesday night.
A 12-2 run near the end of the game cost the high school girls basketball team dearly, as Lake of the Woods rallied for a 49-43 victory in the title game of the third annual Hoops for Hope Holiday Tournament.
Alcia Draper’s three-pointer with about 3:30 to go put the Bears ahead 40-38, and the visitors never trailed again against the tiring Wolves.
Ely, which fell to 6-3 and had a three-game winning streak snapped, led for much of the game but had several

turnovers during the home stretch.
“We had a few turnovers that hurt us down the stretch and we had trouble defending the post,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser. “Overall though I felt we played better as a team against Lake of the Woods than we did against Wrenshall. Lake of the Woods was a much better opponent.”
Freshman guard Erika Mattson led the Wolves with 18 points, and the hosts built a 29-21 lead by halftime.
Lake of the Woods (4-3) came back and regained a 35-34 edge, but Ely countered with baskets by Mattson and Shayla Zaverl.
But the three-point Ely lead proved tenuous and Lake of the Woods responded with the run that sealed the victory.
“It was a good game for us,” said Visser. “It was nice to have a close competitive game, and now we just have to figure out how to close those things out.”
Draper knocked down four three-pointers and had a game-high 20 points for the Bears. Center Marissa Johnson added 15 points for the winners.
Mattson and Zaverl combined for the bulk of Ely’s offense, while Brielle Kallberg added six points.
The Wolves’ hopes tumbled late in the game when senior Maggie Isbell, a defensive sparkplug, fouled out.
Ely returns to action Thursday when it hosts Nashwauk-Keewatin.
Wrenshall downed Northeast Range 47-31 in the third-place game of the tournament.
Wolves 57, Wrenshall 38
The opening round contest on Tuesday was even more lopsided than the final score indicated.
Ely led by as many as 30 points in the game and took over early, forcing numerous Wrenshall turnovers and getting many layup opportunities with pressure defense.
Zaverl led all scorers with 23 points. Mattson added 10, with Kallberg and Isbell scoring eight points each.