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Girls fade against state’s best

Photos by Snotty Moose Photography.

Powerful MIB lives up to top billing, dominates 83-38 over Ely

by Tom Coombe

Ely’s high school girls basketball hung with Mt. Iron-Buhl, but for nowhere near long enough.

The defending state champion Rangers held a low double-digit lead for much of the first half of Monday’s contest and the gap was 17 points at the break.

But Ely managed just 10 second-half points, and the Rangers pounced in the wake of Wolves turnovers and rolled to an 83-38 triumph.

Mt. Iron-Buhl improved to 19-2 and remained undefeated against Section 7A competition, with NCAA Division I recruit Jordan Zubich, a North Carolina commit, scoring a game-high 31 points.

The Rangers went on a 7-0 run to take a 35-17 lead late in the first half, and the Wolves never got on track in the second.

Turnovers were a big story, with Ely committing 31 in the contest.

The Rangers went on an 18-0 second half run as well, opening a bulge that helped send the game into running time.

Senior Hannah Penke was the only Timberwolf to score in double digits with 11 points, while classmate Grace LaTourell added eight points and freshman Audrey Kallberg finished with five.

Senior Sarah Visser pulled down seven rebounds and added five assists for the Wolves, who took only 43 shots in the game.

• Ely (16-5) bounced back quickly Tuesday night as LaTourell drained five three-point shots and the Wolves hit 10 overall in a 72-42 romp at Two Harbors.

LaTourell finished 10-for-21 overall from the floor on the way to 25 points and five assists, while Penke netted 17 points and four steals.

Visser added six points to go with nine rebounds and four steals.

Clare Thomas recorded six points and six rebounds and Amelia Penke scored six points with five rebounds.

• After a home date with Mesabi East Thursday night, the Wolves return to action Feb. 12 at Chisholm in a contest that figures to decide the number-two seed out of the north half of 7A.

Playoff action begins Feb. 28 at home sites.

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