Bay Women’s Basketball opens season with a win over a top 20 team

Rudyard’s Cierra Molina, Ontonagon’s Holly Wardynski provide the punch
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:58 PM EST
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RIVER GROVE, ILLI. (WLUC) - The Bay College Norse Women’s Team (1-0) opened the season with an upset, knocking off the Kankakee Cavaliers (0-1) by a final score of 69-65.  Kankakee started the season ranked #18 in the NJCAA Division 2 Preseason Poll, while Bay received votes, but was unranked.  The game was played at a neutral site, at Triton College.

The Cavaliers took the early advantage, capitalizing on some early Norse turnovers.  Bay would be charged with 19 turnovers in the first half, allowing Kankakee to control the action in the early going.  The Norse weathered a strong first quarter from Kankakee and trailed 24-19 after the period.

Bay would also struggle from the free through line, especially in the first half.  They would only connect on nine of 17 from the charity stripe before intermission.  Despite the troubles, the Norse managed to slow down the Cavalier attack in the second quarter, only allowing nine points.  Bay College grabbed their first lead of the game just before the half and took a 34-33 lead into the locker room.

The Cavaliers regained control early in the third, as they were able to adjust and get their offense back on track.  Meanwhile the Norse were able to keep pace, regaining the lead late in the quarter, but it would be Kankakee holding on to a 52-50 lead as the two teams headed into the final period.

The Norse made a late charge and with just 37 seconds left, Holly Wardynski (SO, Ontonagon, MI) put Bay College ahead 67-65.  After a defensive stop, the Cavaliers were forced to foul and Kennedy Englund (FR, Rock, MI) hit two critical free throws to seal the victory for the Norse.

Cierra Molina (SO, Rudyard, MI) had a big night, collecting 23 points as she connected on three three-pointers in the first half.  Lauren Blonairz (SO, Perronville, MI) scored nine of her 15 points in the second half and was a key component to the late push.  Wardynski added 13 points.

Kankakee’s Brandi Hudson (SO, Chicago, IL) led all scorers with 24 points.  Emma Morts (SO, Milford, IL) ended her night with 14 points.

The Norse will faceoff with Triton College tomorrow afternoon.  Tipoff is scheduled for 2 pm.

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