The Northwestern High School girls basketball team opened its season with a 47-38 win over the Cloquet Lumberjacks Tuesday night in the NHS gym in Maple.
A couple of milestones were set with the victory. The game was the first varsity basketball game in the newly remodeled gymnasium and the victory was the 100th career win for NHS coach Shawn Leith.
Leith was awarded with a gold-painted basketball after the game and members of the Tigers proceeded to count to 100 for each win.
Cassidy Stolzman led the Tigers with 19 points, including three 3-point baskets. Anna Morgan added 12 points and five rebounds, Taylor Prior had five points, Katy Konczak had four points and Carinda Larson had three points and nine rebounds.
Annabel Morrisroe led Cloquet with 16 points and seven rebounds. Jenna Beaupre and Sarah McMillen added eight points apiece.
The Tigers controlled the game from the start as Prior scored on a layup off the opening tip.
Cloquet managed to stay tied at 2-2 and 4-4, but Northwestern pulled away to take an 18-8 lead after the first quarter.
Key plays in the opening quarter were 3-pointers by Stolzman and Prior and two lay ups by Stolzman after Tiger steals on the defensive end of the court.
Cloquet scored the first four points of the second quarter to get within 18-12, but the Tigers, who went scoreless for the first three minutes of the second quarter, got a 3-pointer from Stolzman and a Jessie Morris layup after a Stolzman steal to put the Tigers ahead 23-12.
Cloquet scored the next two baskets to get within 23-16, then the two teams traded baskets during the rest of the quarter for a 25-18 halftime score in favor of Northwestern.
The only basket in the first three minutes of the third quarter was Stolzman’s third 3-pointer, which gave the Tigers a 28-18 lead.
Northwestern outscored Cloquet 5-4 over the remainder of the third quarter for a 33-22 Tiger advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
Play opened up in the fourth quarter as two straight Anna Morgan baskets started a run that helped the Tigers open up a 43-26 lead with around four minutes remaining.
Cloquet rattled off the next seven points to get within 43-33 with 1:38 remaining.
Leah Karna’s first basket of the night snapped Cloquet’s run and gave the Tigers a 45-33 lead 28 seconds later.
Stolzman’s final two points of the game came from the free-throw line, giving the Tigers a 47-38 victory.
The Tigers are back in action Friday at Hurley and Tuesday at Siren. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Cloquet 8 10 4 16 — 38
Northwestern 18 7 8 14 — 47
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