Ely girls take two-of-three
by Tom Coombe
With four starters back and an impressive transfer waiting to debut, Ely’s high school girls basketball team figures to be one of the leading contenders in Section 7A.
The Timberwolves looked the part Tuesday, especially early on against Class AA Greenway.
With junior guard Grace LaTourell leading the way, Ely clicked on all cylinders and all but ran the Raiders out of the gym in the first 10 minutes
LaTourell had 15 points in a 26-7 early run and the Wolves rolled to a 62-28 victory.
It was the second win in three tries for the Wolves, who are still waiting to be at full strength given an injury to junior Hannah Penke.
But Ely still had too many weapons for the Raiders.
LaTourell had 19 of her game-high 21 points in the opening half, as the Wolves built a commanding 39-14 edge.
The Wolves’ pressure created turnovers and they ran the floor well after missed Raider shots.
LaTourell connected from three-point distance and Ely showed patience in the half-court set, passing on some shots and waiting for better ones while putting the Raiders away early.
From long range, LaTourell hit three bombs for the Wolves and senior Madeline Kallberg drained another on her way to an 15-point night.
Senior Madeline Perry also hit double digits with 11 points, while sophomore Clare Thomas scored six points and junior Sarah Visser contributed five.
Nobody hit double digits for the Raiders.
The only blemish for the Wolves thus far came last Saturday, where an athletic Two Harbors team came away with a 66-47 win.
Ely was plagued by turnovers, committing 29 in all in the defeat.
LaTourell scored 14 points for the Wolves and Perry notched 13, while both Kallberg (13) and Visser (10) reached double digits in rebounds, with Visser also dishing out five assists.
Thomas and Zoe Mackenzie scored six points each for the Wolves, who shot only 26 percent from the floor.
Ely opened the season Dec. 1 in dominant fashion, scoring 40 first-half points in a 66-31 rout of Nashwauk-Keewatin.
The Wolves put the game away early and sent it into running time in the second half.
Perry caught fire early, slicing through the Spartan defense and hitting mid-range jumpers on the way to 20 first-half points.
She led all scorers in the contest with 24.
LaTourell connected on three triples to score 20 points for the night, and Mackenzie finished with seven.
Kallberg and Visser had four points each for the Wolves, who host Silver Bay at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the high school gymnasium.