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Girls get defensive in tourney

Ely’s high school girls basketball team won one low-scoring battle and lost another during the 12th Annual Ely Holiday Tournament.The Timberwolves edged Lake of the Woods 35-31 Tuesday afternoon but were stymied by Cromwell, falling 36-16 the next day.Ely met Eveleth in the tournament finale, completed after the Echo’s early New Year’s holiday deadline.Both of the first two contests were marked by solid defense, and even in defeat the Wolves were effective in containing Cromwell (7-1), one of the area’s top Class A teams.“I think the low score is an indication that it was a good defensive game both ways,” said Ely Head Coach Judy Klun. “We had trouble scoring. Cromwell is a tough team with a high ranking.”Cromwell’s highly-touted Kylee Smith sank a pair of three-pointers in the first half, and that was just enough offense to spark the Cardinals.Cromwell led 10-4 after one quarter and extended the gap to 20-9 by halftime.The Wolves didn’t have enough firepower to come back.Ninth-grader Tomi McDonald, Ely’s top scorer for the season, was held scoreless by the Cardinals’ suffocating defense.Ely also continued to play without starters Jackie Lekatz and Kelsey Ivancich, who have missed the last five games because of injuries.The Wolves managed just three second-half baskets and seven total points.Senior Angie Mackie was the top point-getter for the Wolves, finishing with seven points.Barb Klun added six points while Candice Smrekar (two) and Christa Streit (one) also scored.Alexa Grones led Cromwell with 14 points and Smith was next with 12.In the tournament opener, Ely got out to a 21-16 lead in the first half and shut down Lake of the Woods the rest of the way, prevailing by four.McDonald nailed three three-pointers, including a crucial shot that helped seal things in the final quarter.She finished with a team-high 11 points.Three other Wolves - Smrekar, Klun and Betsy Guck - added six points each. Mackie finished with four points and Streit contributed two.The Wolves are right back in action this week with a busy slate.They host Chisholm Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) and go to Tower Thursday for a showdown with local rival Tower-Soudan. On Saturday, the Wolves are at Maranatha Academy in Superior, Wis., as part of a girls-boys basketballl doubleheader.Girls get defensive in tourney

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