Spartan girls come up bigSuperior wins battle of area’s top-ranked teams with a 65-63 double-overtime win over Esko
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
The Spartan girls have bragging rights — for one year at least.
The Superior High School girls basketball team defeated the Esko Eskomos 65-63 Monday night in double overtime. Superior entered the game ranked No. 4 among Wisconsin Division 1 schools, while the Eskomos were ranked third among Minnesota Class AA teams.
“I’m 31 going on 58 right now,” Spartan coach Phil Roe said after the game. “This was a phenomenal win. This was for bragging rights in the Northland. It had the hype, it had the fans and it lived up to the billing tonight.”
Superior improves to 16-1 with the win, while Esko falls to 18-2.
“It was a hard-fought game, and unfortunately we came up on the short end of it,” said Scott Antonutti, Esko head coach.
Despite the loss, two Esko players reached personal milestones during Monday’s game.
Claudia Turner, who led the Eskomos with 21 points, scored her 1,000th career point on a free throw with 4:41 left to play in the fourth quarter.
Moments later, 6-foot-9 UCLA recruit Savanna Trapp broke into the Minnesota record books when she blocked a shot under the basket. She finished the game with four blocked shots to move her career total to 645. Cassie Rochel, who is currently playing for the University of Wisconsin, set the previous mark of 643 in 2010 while playing for Lakeville North.
“They’re both fantastic girls, team players,” Antonutti said. “They play hard and it’s great to have them both on the team.”
Jessica Lindstrom led the Spartans with 21 points. She also added a number of blocks for Superior and found herself matching up with Trapp on defense, who had more than a half-foot height advantage over the 6-foot-1 Lindstrom.
“That was tiring,” Lindstrom said. “I was deep breathing on the court. That is a lot of work.
“But we knew what we were coming in for. We knew she was 6-9; we knew we had to just put our butt into her and box her out whenever we can.”
Lindstrom said the Spartans also knew Trapp was nearing the Minnesota record for career blocks, but that didn’t stop the Spartans from trying to put the ball up inside.
In the opening quarter, Lindstrom scored seven of Superior’s 16 points to give the Spartans a 16-10 lead. She put up a shot over Trapp for her first basket of the game and then scored her next five points on put- backs.
Superior extended its lead to seven points in the second quarter, but Esko heated up from the arc with three 3-pointers to take a 27-25 lead at halftime.
The score was tied 40-40 at the end of three quarters, and through the fourth quarter neither team led by more than three points.
Superior sophomore Alyssa Correll gave the Spartans a three-point lead with nine second remaining when she made both free throws on a one-and-one attempt, but Esko’s Kallyn Knutson matched Correll’s heroics with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the score at 50-50 and send the game into extra time.
“There was plenty of time left on the clock when we initially passed half court, so we didn’t have anything drawn up,” Antonutti said. “She had a good look and I’m sure she was somewhat aware of the time.”
The lead switched back and forth during the first overtime period. With 1:02 left, Superior’s Abby Clemons hit a 3-pointer to give the Spartans a one-point lead, but Turner tied the game again with a free throw to send the teams into double overtime.
In the second overtime period Superior came out strong and never trailed again.
Superior scored the first five points on a 3-pointer from Lindstrom and a mid-range shot from Correll. Esko closed to within two points twice but was not able to overtake Superior.
“I feel like our season has really prepared us for this game,” Roe said “There were some interesting situations that showed our girls have a lot of resiliency. They didn’t hang their heads or let it affect them emotionally, they just kept battling.
“You saw the two best teams in the Northland battling through double overtime, and it was intense the entire time.”
SPARTAN SPIN: Claudia Turner played for Barnum High School before moving to Esko this season for her senior year. Her father, Keith Turner, played football at UW-Superior.
Esko 10 17 13 10 8 5— 63
Superior 16 9 15 10 8 7— 65
Esko — Claudia Turner 21, Savanna Trapp 16, Erika Shady 3, Molly Trapp 6, Kallyn Knutson 6, Bailey Mudek 5, Marisa Shady 4, Brooke Schramm 2.
3-point goals — E. Shady, Knutson 2, M. Shady, Mudek, Turner.
Superior — Jessica Lindstrom 21, Hailey Kontny 13, Alyssa Correll 12, Abby Clemons 10, Alison Wainionpaa 4, Natalie Kintop 3, Rachal Fergin 2. 3-point goals — Clemons 2, Lindstrom 2.
Superior 53 32 — 85
Grand Rapids 34 18 — 52
Superior — Jessica Lindstrom 29, Alyssa Correll 15, Hailey Kontny 11, Alison Wainionpaa 9, Abby Clemons 5, Rachel Fregin 5, Shannon Johnstad 5, MacKenzie Kmecik 4, Tailor Schuster 2.
Grand Rapids — Erin Baker 4, Alyssa Beaty 3, Kenzie Kane 25, Maggie Gibbons 1, Kary Sheppard 2, Jordan Olson 2, Taylor Kane 9, Katie Anderson 2, Olivia Lopac 4.