Skip to main content

Ironwomen long for victory

The Vermilion Ironwomen are hoping that persistence pays off.It’s been a long winter for the community college basketball team - with no victories yet and a difficult schedule featuring top state and regional contenders.Vermilion is off to an 0-3 start in Northern Division play, after a 62-33 loss to division-leading Mesabi Wednesday at Virginia.But the Ironwomen are finally about to catch a break in their schedule, and coach Ray Podominick hopes that leads to his squad’s first win of the year.Starting with a weekend date at Itasca (6-7), the Ironwomen began a three-game stretch against other sub-.500 division opponents. They host Hibbing (4-11) Wednesday and Central Lakes (0-12) Saturday.“I think we played the three toughest teams in the division already,” said Podominick. “We’re hoping we can pick up some wins here.”With just eight players, VCC has little depth and that hurt against Mesabi.The Ironwomen trailed by just nine points early in the second half, but Mesabi outscored VCC 29-9 the rest of the way.“The girls gave a tremendous effort,” said Podominick. “They came out ready to play and I thought we played good defense by forcing 24 turnovers. We just didn’t hit any shots.”Vermilion connected on just 23 percent of its field goal attempts in the game.Gena Jerich, one of four former Ely Timberwolves on the roster, led Vermilion in scoring with 15 points.Fellow Elyite Lara Doran added six points for Vermilion, and teammates Kelsey Edwards (five) and Meghan Pauley (four) were next.Nicole Switzer had 20 points to pace the Norse, who are 4-0 in division play and 9-7 overall.The Ironwomen started division play at home the weekend of Jan. 15-16.Northland pulled away for a 75-55 win in the opener.The Pioneers led 49-26 at halftime and maintained their edge in the second half, behind a combined 41 points from Ashley Kujawa and Alisa Kostin.Jerich, who is ninth in the division in scoring with 13.2 points per game, had 14 points for Vermilion.Doran knocked down three three-point shots and had 11 points. Edwards scored 10 points, Pauley finished with eight and Ely sophomore Krystle Smrekar had six points.Other VCC scorers were Ely’s Jill Manning (three), Zandra Carlson (two) and Chris Venema (one).Rainy River opened up a 47-21 lead at the half and held Vermilion to 14 points in the final 20 minutes en route to a 75-35 triumph on Jan. 15.Edwards was the only Vermilion player in double digits with 16 points. Jerich scored eight points and Carlson poured in five.Rozalind Jones had 14 points and led five Rainy River players in double figures.

Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates