With temperatures hovering around zero outside, things were pretty hot inside Superior High School gym Saturday, Jan. 26, where the Spartan girls basketball team defeated the Northwestern Tigers 50-43 in a nonconference battle.
Chloe Kintop and Niya Wilson were hot for the Spartans scoring 19 points apiece. Brooke Ogren and Kennedy Nelson led a balanced Tiger attack with nine points apiece, followed by Mac Correll with eight points.
“I don’t think one player led to this win; it was definitely a team effort,” Kintop said. “We couldn’t have done it without the team assisting and without everybody playing great defense.
“Defense and free throws definitely win games and we did both tonight,” she said. “Correll is one of the best 3-point shooters around, and we knew we had to lock her up.”
The Spartans were 18-of-27 on free throws and held Correll, a finalist in last year’s 3-point shooting competition at the state tournament, to just one 3-pointer.
Tough defense and cold shooting by both teams led to Superior leading by the low score of 15-12 at the half.
“Honestly, I thought both teams played really good defense in the first half,” NHS coach Paul Eberhardt said. “Both teams missed some shots, but there weren’t a lot really good shots because both teams were solid defensively - them in their 1-2-2 zone and us playing man.”
The teams warmed up in the second half and combined to score 66 points.
The Tigers scored the first four points after the intermission for a 16-15 lead.
Kintop gave the lead back to Superior, but Nelson’s 3-pointer gave the lead right back to the Tigers 19-17.
Wilson then caught fire with eight straight points. Her 3-pointer, 3-point play and basket gave Superior a 25-19 lead.
Superior’s lead got as big as seven points twice, including 32-25 with another Wilson basket and free throw, but again, the Tigers battled back and took a 37-36 lead with 4:17 remaining on two Karsyn Jones free throws and a basket by Ogren.
The Spartans took the lead for good 36 seconds later. Kintop scored and was fouled. She missed the free throw, but Lauren Raboin scored on the offensive rebound and all of a sudden Superior led 40-37.
Three-point plays by Ogren and Correll got the Tigers within 44-43 with 43.3 second left.
Kintop made the first free throw to make it a two-point game, but when she missed her second attempt, Raboin got another offensive rebound and was fouled.
Raboin made the second free throw, and when the Tigers inbounded the ball, Wilson stole the pass, made the basket and was fouled. Her free throw made the score 48-43 with 10.3 seconds left.
Kintop finished the scoring with two free throws.
“When the game’s on the line you have to be tough and better with the ball,” Eberhardt said. “We made some turnovers late that hurt us, but all-in-all it was a great contest. Two local schools getting after it - that’s good for basketball in the Twin Ports area.”
The first half was streaky with the Tigers scoring the first five points of the game and the Spartans the next five.
A 7-1 run gave the Tigers a 12-6 lead and the Spartans finished the half with a 9-0 run, including six points from Kintop, for a 15-12 lead at the break.
The Spartans (8-8) host Virginia at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, while the Tigers (13-4) host Cameron (10-5) at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, and play at Bloomer at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.
NOTES: Northwestern won the JV game 60-42. Kendall Sletten and Allison Luoma both had 14 points for the Tigers. Halle Barker led the Spartans with 16 points. … Superior won the C-team game.
Northwestern 12 31 - 43
Superior 15 35 - 50
Northwestern - Mac Correll 8, Karsyn Jones 7, Brooke Ogren 9, Jayda Klobucher 3, Kasha Hughlett 3, Kennedy Nelson 9, Allison Luoma 4. Totals: 13 15-20 43SHS hoops
After winning the freshman and junior varsity games, the Spartans completed the sweep with a 53-44 victory in the varsity game.
"It's always nice to get a win at Rice Lake, and to win at all three levels was even better,” SHS coach Dave Kontny said. “I liked our defense and our young kids are starting to get comfortable at the varsity level and that's adding some depth to our lineup which is important.”
The Spartans were led by Wilson’s 19 points. Kaileigh Miller was next with 12 points and Kintop had 11.
“Our scoring balance is something we’ve been waiting for so we feel good about where we are at right now,” Kontny said. “Our kids give us everything they have every day and that's all I can ask for. They’re great kids and hard workers who play unselfish.”
Jordan Pagac led Rice Lake (3-13) with 14 points.
Superior 33 20 - 53
Rice Lake 22 22 - 44
Superior - Chloe Kintop 11, Niya Wilson 19, Emily Hunter 4, Kaileigh Miller 12, Izzy Swanson 2, Julia Roe 3, Lauren Raboin. Totals: 19 13-18 53.NHS hoops
The Tigers, who led 26-10 at the half, algo got nine points apiece from Jones and Luoma.
Jada Brunkow led Barron with nine points.
Barron 10 21 - 31
Northwestern 26 23 - 49
Barron - Rylee Stauner 2, Paige Knutson 2, Julia Wirth 4, Gina Smith 6, Jada Brunkow 9, Macey Herrman 8. Totals 11 8-18 31.