Spartan Roundup: Spartan girls win second straight; gymnastics vault into action
The Superior High School girls basketball team wrapped up a busy five days with two wins and a loss.
After losing to Ashland Friday night, the Spartans won at Eau Claire Memorial Saturday then defeated Duluth Marshall 75-28 Tuesday night at home.
The Spartans (9-6) were led by 24 points from Bettye Jo Nelson and 12 more from Christa Diedrich.
The Spartans are back in action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Proctor.
SPARTAN SPIN: The SHS JV (9-6) won the JV game on the night as the JV (9-6) won 78-11 and the “C” team (12-1) won 54-4. Allison Gotelaere led the SHS junior varsity with 22 points. Callyn Lagro led the “C” team with 14 points.
Spartans 63, Old Abes 54
Superior got off to a fast start led by Bettye Jo Nelson’s 17 first-quarter points and Raya Kosey barely beat the first-quarter buzzer on a layup to give the Spartans a 26-11 advantage.
“Our objective early on was to pound the ball inside,” SHS coach Dan Schulz said. “We passed the ball very well and ran our offense flawlessly. The guards (Sam Demeyer, Kosey and Mary Beth Amys) did an excellent job of distributing the basketball to open girls underneath.”
ECM cut the lead to 41-31 late in the third quarter when MacKenzie Newman converted a three-point basket to end the quarter with the Spartans holding a 44-31 lead.
The Old Abes continued to battle and shrunk Superior’s lead to four points in the fourth quarter after a 6-0 run aided by some sloppy Superior turnovers.
Christa Diedrich stopped the Old Abes’ efforts short however, with a key basket down the stretch. She was also 4-of-5 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, which helped seal the nine-point Spartan victory.
“I must give Eau Claire credit, their girls refused to quit,” Schulz said. “For us playing back-to-back games with a shortened bench definitely took its toll on us mentally and physically. We were careless with the ball at times and had some uncharacteristically poor shot selections late in the game.
“I was proud of the girls though. We played our hearts out all week and our free-throw shooting enabled us to pull out a win against a tenacious, well-coached Eau Claire team.”
Nelson led the Spartans (8-6) with a game-high 31 points.
SPARTAN SPIN: The SHS JV improved to 8-6 with a 40-33 victory. Cassy O’Neill led the way with nine points and Allison Gotelaere added eight. … The SHS “C” team also improved to 11-1 with a 41-34 win over ECM. Leah Holmes led the scoring with 11 points and Allison Wainionpaa contributed nine.
Oredockers 54, Spartans 42
The SHS girls got the start it wanted, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the Ashland Oredockers left the SHS gym Friday night with a 54-42 win over the Spartans.
The Spartans took their largest lead of the game, 15-6, on a Nelson 3-pointer about seven minutes into the first half.
Superior also led by eight points three different times during the next five minutes, the latest 21-13 after a Janelle Strewler basket.
But that all changed when Ashland’s Anika Whiting returned to the game after suffering a bloody nose.
Now wearing a jersey with No. 50 on it instead of her usual No. 40, Whiting scored six points as the Dockers ended the first half with a 10-1 which gave them a 23-22 lead at the intermission.
Ashland’s only other lead in the first half was at 2-0.
“Superior was coming off a big win over Duluth East, and they were feeling good about that,” Ashland coach Rick Whiting said. “They were playing with a lot of confidence early. We just didn’t play with a lot of energy when we came out.”
Ashland controlled most of the second half, taking leads of nine points three different times, including 44-35 after a basket by Caitie Zepcyk with four minutes remaining.
Another Nelson 3-pointer helped Superior get within 44-40, but Ashland sealed the victory by making 8-of-10 free throws during the final three minutes.
Nelson led the Spartans with 22 points with Strewler adding six.
Whiting led Ashland with 16 points. Zepcyk added 12 and Barb Malyuk had 10.
Ashland improves to 12-1 overall with the win and takes over first place in the Lake Superior Conference with a 6-0 mark.
The Spartans (7-6, 4-4) are right back in action at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Eau Claire Memorial. The Old Abes are currently 1-12 overall and 0-6 in the Big Rivers Conference.
SPARTAN SPIN: Friday’s win was Ashland’s first victory in Superior since Nov. 23, 1991. The victory, Ashland’s 11th straight, moves the Oredockers to 6-0 in the LSC and 12-1 overall. The Oredockers have conference games remaining against Duluth Denfeld and Proctor. .. The Oredockers finished 15-of-20 from the free-throw line and the Spartans were 10-of-14. .. Superior won the JV game 55-35, and the Spartans won the two-quarter freshmen game.
The SHS gymnastics team finished fifth with a team score of 12.025 at the Hudson Invitational Saturday. Also competing were Grantsburg, Hudson, Menomonie, Red Wing, Tartan and St. Croix Falls. Hudson took first place in the team competition.
Three Spartans on the varsity team had top ten finishes individually. Jessica Engstrom was fourth on both the bars and floor, sixth on the vault and fifth in the all-around standings. Laura Schwartz took fifth on the vault, and Shana Soul finished seventh in the same event.
For all three gymnasts, their scores on the vault set new individual high records. Ronnie Markley also had a new personal high score on the vault. Stephanie Caldwell topped her previous high score on the beam.
On the junior varsity team, Whitney Podgorak placed third on the beam and fourth on the vault.
Superior’s next meet begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Rice Lake.
Varsity Individual Results
Vlt. Bars Beam Flr. All
Jessica Engstom 8.75 8.15 7.30 8.45 32.650
Laura Schwartz 8.80 7.15 6.90 7.25 30.100
Carissa Welch 7.65 5.175 5.20 6.70 24.725
Shana Soul 8.75 x 7.575 7.80 24.125
Whitney Podgorak x 6.65 x 7.475 x
Stephanie Caldwell x x 7.10 x x
Ronnie Markley 7.75 x x x x
Junior Varsity Individual Results
Vlt. Bars Beam Flr.
Whitney Podgorak 8.10 x 6.70 x
Abbie Bronson x x 4.40 4.80
Haley Johnson x x 3.80 3.50
Stacy Tribby x x x 3.60
Ronnie Markley x x 4.60 x
Stephanie Caldwell 7.35 x x x
The Hudson Raiders defeated the SHS girls hockey team 4-0 Saturday afternoon at the Superior Ice Arena.
Makayla Pitt made 37 saves for the Spartans, who hosted Silver Bay Thursday night.
Superior plays its final home game of the season against Webster at 8 p.m. Thursday.