Manistee defeats Mason County Central in opener

 

Manistee’s Tatum Liston (5) drives to the bucket during the Chippewas’ 50-38 season-opening win over Mason County Central Monday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Tatum Liston (5) drives to the bucket during the Chippewas’ 50-38 season-opening win over Mason County Central Monday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — It may be a rebuilding year for Manistee girls basketball, but after creating chaos with its press the Chippewas are 1-0.

Manistee forced Mason County Central into 28 turnovers on Monday for a 50-38 win.

“There were a lot of positives tonight, but you can see that ‘the pool is in, but the patio is not dry,’” Manistee coach Kenn Kott said.

The first quarter left the Chippewas up 11-10, but they were able to ramp the pressure up in the second quarter to jump out on a 13-0 run in the first six minutes to go up 24-10. That was led off by eight quick points by Natalee Kott to get the team going. She ended up with 21 points.

“We struggled with their press. We stood around too much. We can’t do that,” MCC coach Mike Weinert said.

The Spartans couldn’t control the ball during the scoring run. They had 20 turnovers in the first half and they didn’t make their first field goal of the second quarter until the final minute.

“I thought we executed real well defensively and that was a big key in the game,” Kott said.

Manistee went into the half with a 25-15 lead, which could have been twice as large if it weren’t for a series of missed layups off of those turnovers.

“Usually at this point in the season the defense is ahead of the offense,” Kott said. “I think it was for us tonight, as you can see by some of the missed shots tonight. Defensively we were getting the steals and turnovers. If we can start to capitalize off some of those we will be a lot better off.”

The Chippewas were able to go up by 14 again towards the end of the third quarter after a Sara Thompson three-point shot made the game 32-18, but MCC settled down and began to attack the press. The Spartans only had eight turnovers in the second half, part of that had to do with Manistee not scoring to set up the press and the other factor was that MCC began attacking the basket and drawing some fouls.

With only 1:14 remaining a three-pointer from the Spartans’ Kelsey Kosiboski pulled her team within eight at 42-34, but that would be as close as they would get as the Chippewas made free throws down the stretch to win the game.

“They came out with the pressure and we know what to do, but we’re still pretty inexperienced,” Weinert said. “It got to them in the early part of the game. That was probably the difference. I think we played them pretty tough after that.”

In addition to Kott’s performance, Grace Chandler had eight points, six of which came off two three-pointers and Georgia Hiipakka had seven points.

Manistee will be back on Thursday against a team that they are familiar with in Frankfort. The Panthers defeated the Chippewas last season, but both teams have lost major contributors.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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