Ely girls make it three straight
by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school girls basketball team is rising to the occasion.
Even without injured senior Hannah Penke, the Timberwolves closed out their holiday tournament with a dominant win over a solid Floodwood team, and kept right on rolling on Tuesday night.
That’s when Ely put things away early against host Littlefork-Big Falls and cruised to an 88-28 victory.
It was the third straight win for Ely now 8-3, and all have come without Penke in the lineup.
Her absence has forced the Wolves to go deeper into their bench, and seniors Grace LaTourell and Sarah Visser are picking up the slack.
Both hit double digits at Littlefork, with LaTourell scoring all of her game-high 20 points in the first half, when the Wolves piled up 58 points and put the contest away.
Four Wolves in all reached double digits, with freshmen Audrey Kallberg and Amelia Penke adding 16 and 11 points, respectively. Visser also recorded 11 points.
During the game, 10 different Wolves scored as Clare Thomas finished with nine points and Zoe MacKenzie added six.
An even more impressive win was the Wolves’ 69-44 destruction of Floodwood (6-4) in the holiday tournament finale on Dec. 29.
Because Bigfork dropped out of the event, the game was a rematch from the night before, when Ely squeaked out a 54-51 triumph against the same Polar Bears squad.
The encore was all-Ely, with the Wolves draining 12 three-point baskets.
Eight were by LaTourell, who was eight-for-14 from three-point range and 10-for-20 overall on the way to a season-best 33-point outburst.
Visser also knocked down three triples and scored 13 points while adding both eight rebounds and seven assists, leading the Wolves.
Kallberg, who has come on strong in the last three weeks, scored 11 point and added four rebounds, while Amelia Penke and MacKenzie scored five points each.
LaTourell also had four assists.
• The Wolves met North Woods on the road Thursday, after deadline, and have a busy stretch ahead.
It starts with Monday’s home game against Cherry and continues with road tilts against Greenway (Jan. 9) and Two Harbors (Jan. 11).
• Ely is currently rated third in the north half of Section 7A, behind only Mt. Iron-Buhl and Chisholm.