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Wolves, LaTourell catch fire

Scenes from Ely's game against North Woods. Photos by Eric Sherman.

Senior pours in 41 against North Woods, tops 100 in three games

by Tom Coombe

Grace LaTourell’s explosive home stretch has fueled a hard charge toward the postseason for Ely’s high school girls basketball team.

On the heels of a 41-point outburst against North Woods, LaTourell added another 22 points on Tuesday, as the Timberwolves blew out Cherry 87-44.

In Ely’s last three games, all wins, LaTourell has piled up over 100 points, and she did much of her damage at Cherry in the opening half.

That’s when the Wolves (19-6) racked up 54 points and opened a 30-point bulge, with LaTourell draining three three-point baskets and netting 17 points in the opening 18 minutes.

Ely sent the game into running time in the second stanza and completed a regular season sweep of the Tigers.

The Wolves may also have sent a bruising message - as Cherry (see related story) is their likely opponent as the Section 7A playoffs begin Wednesday.

Ely is shooting for a third straight trip to the semifinals, and perhaps could go deeper in a section field dominated by state powerhouse Mt. Iron-Buhl.

LaTourell and fellow seniors Hannah Penke and Sarah Visser give the Wolves a potent nucleus and plenty of experience as they look to go deep into the postseason.

Penke hit three triples and added 17 points at Cherry, while Visser snared 12 rebound and 10 assists while finishing only a basket away from a triple double.

Ely also showed off its depth with junior Clare Thomas netting 12 points and sophomore Zoe MacKenzie draining three three-point baskets and scoring 11.

For the night, the Wolves were effective from long range, going 11-for-26 from beyond the three-point line.

Overall, Ely shot at a 49 percent clip for the game.

• A 29-28 halftime deficit proved to be just a temporary obstacle during a Feb. 15 clash against North Woods.

LaTourell and the Wolves caught fire in the second half and the hosts erupted, blowing out the visiting Grizzlies 78-48 in the final regular season home game for all three Ely seniors.

On the way to her career-high 41 points, LaTourell knocked down five three-point shots and finished 15-for-34 from the floor.

Penke was red-hot as well, going 10-for-16 on the way to 24 points and nine rebounds.

Visser pulled down 13 rebounds and dished out six assists in the game, and Thomas had a nine-point, six-rebound evening.

• LaTourell became Ely’s all-time leading three-point shooter in the victory against North Woods.

She passed 2020 graduate Erika Mattson, who had 245 career three-pointers, and now has 251 and counting.

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