Chippewa girls defeat Shelby 64-41 in 3rd game in 5 days

 

Manistee junior Natalee Kott (2) gets around the defensive attention of Shelby’s Jenny Beckman (22) during the Chippewas’ 61-45 win over the Tigers on Jan. 2. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Manistee junior Natalee Kott (2) gets around the defensive attention of Shelby’s Jenny Beckman (22) during the Chippewas’ 61-45 win over the Tigers on Jan. 2. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — After picking up its first two losses of the season over the Christmas break, Manistee girls basketball rebounded with a dominating performance to open the 2016 portion of its schedule.

Four different Chippewas scored in double figures in a 64-41 win over Shelby on Jan. 2.

Emilee Kott led the way with 16 points, including a drive to the hoop 20 seconds into the game that began an 18-4 run that allowed Manistee (7-2) to put the contest away early.

Emily Thompson scored 14 points and Emma Burns and freshman Erin Dorn added 11 each for the Chippewas.

“We’re a really good team when we have balance,” Manistee head coach Kenn Kott said. “We got balanced scoring tonight, and that’s what you’ve got to have. When your veterans do what they’re supposed to do, and you have kids coming off the bench and contributing, that makes for a pretty successful game.”

After that quick start, Shelby clawed back into the game in the second quarter, cutting the Manistee lead to seven points, 25-18, when sophomore Jenny Beckman stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for two of her game-high 21 points, a layup that made the score 25-18 with 4:15 left in the first half.

Kott said that the lull may have been the result of fatigue in his team’s third game in the span of five days.

“There were times when I think the week caught up with us a little bit,” he said. “We were going really hard and really fast, and then it just sort of slowed down a little bit. It was not only defensively, but rebounding and everything.”

But that would be as close as Shelby (5-2) would get. Burns stopped the bleeding with an and-1 3-point play, the start of an 11-2 run, and the Tigers would not get within single digits again.

Shelby head coach Sarah Wolting said that she wanted to take advantage of Manistee’s possibly tired legs.

“We’re young, but we didn’t let up,” Wolting said. “We’d go on little runs and they’d have to press, and that’s what we wanted to see. We did some good things tonight, but we lost to a good team, one of the best teams around. I’m pretty happy overall with how we played.”

Kott said that one of the most important goals this season is developing some depth to spell his starters. Dorn’s 11 points off the bench and some quality minutes inside from sophomore Madison Miller were especially encouraging.

“The nice thing about it is, not that they made the shot, but that they didn’t hesitate it taking it,” he said. “Sometimes when young kids play with veterans they’re afraid to shoot the ball because they think, ‘it’s not my turn.’ They’ve got to learn that it is, and I was glad to see it.”

The Chippewas will have one more game in this busy stretch, a home game on Tuesday, Jan. 5 against Manton that will mark the halfway point of the regular season.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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