Season comes to an end for Bay College Women’s Basketball

Courtesy: Bay College
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 12:28 AM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Bay College Women’s Basketball Team (6-11) saw their season come to an end on Wednesday evening as they fell after a tough fought game to the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellowjackets (15-0).  After the two teams went back and forth for three quarters, the Norse went cold in the fourth, allowing their guests to run away with a  64-46 victory in the Region 13 Eastern Sub-Regional Tournament game.

The Yellowjackets took the lead in the first, but the Norse matched them shot-for-shot.  Kennedy Englund (FR, Rock, MI) knocked down a three-pointer with just over four minutes left in the opening quarter to tie the game at seven.  She would have an answer again a few minutes later, hitting another shot from behind the arc to pull the Norse to within one, but RTCT converted a basket on the next possession to take a 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Bay stayed hot from three-point land, hitting a pair at the halfway mark of the second quarter. Cierra Molina (SO, Rudyard, MI) and Bree Arsenault (FR, Hermansville, MI) converted them on back-to-back possessions and with 4:17 remaining in the half, the Norse took their first lead of the game at 21-20.

The offenses slowed at that point.  The two teams traded baskets, and free throws led to a tie at 25 to end the half.

The Norse came out of the gates in the second half firing on all cylinders.  Holly Wardynski (SO, Ontonagon, MI) knocked down shots from behind the arc on back-to-back possessions, putting Bay up by six.  The Yellowjackets were able to answer, but Lauryn Bloniarz (SO, Perronville, MI) finished at the rim to hold the lead, and then Molina struck again with three’s on consecutive possessions, putting the Norse up 39-35.

A 10-0 run over the next three minutes erased the lead for the home team.  Olivia Christianson (FR, Lyle, MN) knocked down a pair of free throws in that stretch, and then was fouled as she finished at the rim on the next possession.  She would convert from the charity stripe to finish the three-point play.  Myia Ruzek (FR, Alutra, MN) chipped in four points on that run.

Chevy Koski (FR, Rock, MI) and Englund three made the score 45-43 heading into the final period.

That is when disaster struck for the Norse.  They would go one for thirteen from the floor in the fourth quarter.  A Wardynski three cut the score to 50-46 with 6:57 to play, but the Yellowjackets would hold the Norse scoreless over the next nearly seven minutes.  Bay was unable to find a basket and did not have any free throw attempts in the fourth quarter.  Meanwhile the Yellowjackets were seven of 12 in the same time period, including hitting three of four from behind the arc.

The Norse were plagued by turnovers, as they amassed 24 of them compared to RCTC’s 13.  The Yellowjackets also won the rebounding contest 42-31.  Rochester got to the free throw line 21 times and hit 14 of them, while the Norse only toed the charity stripe seven times, converting four of those attempts.

Wardynski’s three three-pointer helped her lead the effort for the Norse with 11 points.  Molina ended her night with ten points on three of seven from behind the arc.  She also five assists and four steals.  Englund hit three three-pointers for nine points, while Madison Olsen (SO, St. Ignace, MI) and Trish McGuire collected five rebounds apiece.

Christianson led all scorers, pouring in 25 points and grabbing five rebounds.  Ruzek added 17 points and five rebounds off the bench.  Kandace Skikkink (FR, Preston, MN) pulled in 13 rebounds for RCTC.

The loss ends the season for the Norse as they finish with a 6-11 record under first-year Head Coach Matt Gregory.

The Yellowjackets continue their undefeated season and will advance the Region 13 Championship Game.  They will go to United Tribal Community College (2-20) on Sunday.  United Tribes came from behind to beat Dakota College at Bottineau by a final score of 78-71 to earn the right to host the Regional Final.

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