COVID, Floodwood combine to derail Ely girls’ playoff run

by Tom Coombe
Even with a mile-wide hole in their lineup, the Ely Timberwolves put up a fight.
The high school girls basketball season came to an end Wednesday night, when seventh-seeded Floodwood got past Ely 47-35 in the opening round of the Section 7A tournament.
But it was an odd matchup typical of an odd season, after COVID-19 protocols decimated the Wolves’ roster on the eve of the postseason and after the team had put together a late-season surge.
The Wolves, who finished 8-10, were without part of their starting lineup as well as several key reserves, forcing first-year head coach Max Gantt to go with a makeshift lineup against the Polar Bears.
Sophomore Lily Tedrick and junior Laura Holmstrom stepped into the lineup and eighth-grader Clare Thomas got her first extended varsity action of the season.
The Wolves still competed well, but were done in by a pair of Polar Bear runs and scoring droughts of their own.
After tying the contest at 10 midway through the first half, the Wolves only scored four points the rest of the stanza and trailed 24-14 at the break.
Ely ratcheted up its defense to open the second half and ninth-grade guard Grace LaTourell found the range.
A LaTourell basket trimmed the gap to 30-28 with 10-and-a-half minutes left, but the Wolves went the next six minutes without a basket.
That allowed the Polar Bears to rebuild a double-digit advantage and close things out.
LaTourell finished with 18 points for the Wolves, while fellow ninth-grader Sarah Visser added seven points and junior Katrina Seliskar finished with six.
Haley Bergin led Floodwood with 14 points and Alice Irvine netted 10.
The Polar Bears advanced to meet second-seeded Cherry, a 70-9 winner over Northeast Range, in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
• The Wolves were impressive in their regular season finale.
Visser and LaTourell scored 20 points each in a 68-46, March 11 rout of Class AA Greenway.
Ely erupted for a season-high 45 second-half points to put the Raiders away.
Sophomore Taylor Gibney hit double-digits with 14 points and classmate Madeline Kallberg wound up with eight.