Saber girls fall at Pentwater

 

Manistee Catholic Central’s Nicole Kaminski (left) dribbles around a Pentwater defender during the Sabers’ 42-35 loss to the Falcons on Wednesday. Kaminski dished out 5 assists in the contest. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Manistee Catholic Central’s Nicole Kaminski (left) dribbles around a Pentwater defender during the Sabers’ 42-35 loss to the Falcons on Wednesday. Kaminski dished out 5 assists in the contest. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

PENTWATER — Manistee Catholic Central girls basketball went toe-to-toe with West Michigan D League leader Pentwater on Monday but a late rally wasn’t enough to pull off the upset.

The Sabers fell 42-35 after making a serious run against the Falcons, who at one point led by 12 points in the final quarter.

“We’re not there yet. I told them that they aren’t perfect yet. We’re getting better but we’re not there yet,” MCC coach Todd Erickson.

Led by Jenna Bialik and Elizabeth Nelson in the first quarter MCC and Pentwater (4-2, 4-0) played to a fast-paced 14-14 tie off the bat. The duo was able to open up a few plays in the open court for the quick start with the help of Nicole Kaminski, who had five assists.

“We’re getting down the floor and making the plays that we need to make with the 2-on-1,” Erickson said. “We’re smiling about it.”

In the second quarter the Falcons began to switch their defensive looks up. They switched in and out of a couple of variations of a 2-3 and 3-2 zone by extending their half-court defense almost all the way out of the line. They also went to a full-court pressure whenever possible.

“We started running a bit of a 3-2 with it. We brought that middle person up. We wanted to make it difficult for them to get into their offense,” Pentwater coach Jeff McDonough said. “We tried to get our hands on some passes and just disrupt the flow.”

The Sabers began to struggle in the middle two quarters and weren’t able to get into their offense as often as they would have liked.

Throughout the second and third quarters MCC only scored nine points and could only manage to make three field goals.

“The third quarter really hurt us the most,” Erickson said. “We had 11 (turnovers) at the half. We knew if we could keep it to eight or under for the rest of the game then we’d do well. We ended up with nine in the third. There were times where the ball just didn’t bounce for us.”

Going into the fourth quarter Pentwater led 35-23, but MCC slowly began to edge back into the game. Five quick points from Nelson cut the deficit to 36-28 with 6:20 left.

Bialik made a jumper after the ball was worked from the inside-out against the zone and later assisted on a pass to Kaminski in transition to cut the lead down to 38-32 with four minutes left, but the Sabers would eventually just run out of steam in the end to fall by seven.

“I like the way we worked tonight,” Erickson said. “We had some scattered moments, but we had some solid moments. We had more solid moments tonight than we’ve had in a while.”

Nelson finished with 13 points and three rebounds, Bialik had eight points and four rebounds and Riley Feliczak added seven points and 12 rebounds.

MCC (1-5, 1-3) will be back on Friday at home against Walkerville (2-3, 0-3).

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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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