Rough 2nd half dooms Cardinals against Central Lake
A lid on the basket in the third quarter and trouble at the foul line in the fourth doomed Johannesburg-Lewiston in a makeup Ski Valley game Monday.
Central Lake beat the host Cardinals 49-43 in a girls basketball game.
The Cardinals (5-5, 4-3 SVC) led 14-12 and 24-22 after the first and second quarters, respectively. But the Trojans held them to only four points in the third.
When J-L attempted its comeback in the fourth, it went only 4 of 16 from the foul line.
"They put a press on us in the third," J-L coach Heather Huff said. "We broke it, and we had lay ups, but we missed some shots. Probably three times we'd break it, and they'd swat our shots, or they would get a hand on a loose ball a few times.
"We could have easily won the game if we would have made a couple more free throws. We were only 8 for 24 for the game."
Deanna Miller led J-L with 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter that gave the Cardinals a decent-sized lead. Her third 3 helped J-L trim its deficit to only three points with 1:30 left.
Sydney Townsend tacked on 12 points, followed by Tara Madej with six, Alyce Vermilya with five, Hannah Collins, Arielle Vermilya and Brooke McKenney with two apiece and Alicia Korff with one.
The Cardinals visit St. Mary for another conference game Friday, Jan. 19.
4 Cardinals in double digits as they beat Onaway
A 15-point deficit wasn't too much for the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team, which used great defense and foul shooting to beat visiting Onaway 67-59 in Ski Valley play Friday.
Kennedy Crawford's drives to the hoop in the first quarter helped Onaway gain a huge lead, but J-L (5-4, 4-2 SVC) switched to a 2-3 zone defense to slow her down.
J-L took a 32-29 lead into halftime and then went to the free throw line to complete the comeback (18 of 34).
Brooke McKenney was 7 of 10 from the foul line and finished with 17 points, Alyce Vermilya had 15 points, Tara Madej scored 12, Alicia Korff added 11, Sydney Townsend had six, Deanna Miller pitched in four and Arielle Vermilya had two.
"Kennedy Crawford was beating us in the middle with her driving, and she's fast," J-L coach Heather Huff said. "We dropped back into a zone, and she couldn't do that anymore, and she got into foul trouble.
"Brooke made her foul shots when they mattered, and Alyce and Alicia hit key 3s."
Korff scored nine points in the second to ignite the comeback, while Townsend also had six pivotal free throws.
"Alicia had good put back shots where she boxed out and put them back in," Huff said.
Inconsistent play mars Cardinals in loss to Bulldogs
JOHANNESBURG – The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team couldn't have asked for a better start to Wednesday's game.
The Cardinals cruised to a huge lead thanks to a 15-3 run. But with three minutes left in the first quarter, the wheels fell off, and they were never able to recover from their letdowns.
Inland Lakes topped J-L 52-42 in Ski Valley play, dropping the Cardinals to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
The Bulldogs used a 10-0 run to cap the first quarter – highlighted by six points from Mara Clancy – to take a 14-13 advantage into the second.
Clancy scored nine points – all 3-pointers – in the third to all but put J-L's comeback chances out of reach, as Inland Lakes led 43-31 going into the final eight minutes.
"I guess that's what has happened all year is that we have inconsistencies," J-L coach Heather Huff said. "We play parts of the game really well, and then we give up the easy things.
"Like they'll take a shot, and we don't box out, and they'll get a second, third and fourth shot. That's unacceptable, and we have to do better.
"We traded baskets with them when we were trying to come back. That's unacceptable when we give up easy baskets, and we don't get the rebounds we should get when we're in position and don't come down with them."
Huff said she was frustrated because her Cardinals showed signs of being a great basketball team throughout the game.
During the first quarter, for instance, Alyce Vermilya came up with a pair of key baskets for J-L, while Deanna Miller seven of her 11 points and Sydney Townsend had two assists and two points while leading the team's transition offense.
Another highlight was Arielle Vermilya burying a tough 2-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to end what was a couple-minute scoring drought for the Cardinals.
The team was just too sporadic, Huff said. It just needed to play more consistent throughout the game.
"Tonight I just said: You have to decide to get better," Huff said. "I have faith in them, and I know they can. I know they will keep working hard.
"They just have to decide they want to do better. It's the same mistakes we're doing over and over – at least that's what it felt like tonight. So we'll keep working on it."
Clancy finished with 22 points.
Alicia Korff led J-L with 12 points, including nine in the second half, followed by Townsend with seven, Alyce Vermilya with five, Arielle Vermilya with three and Brooke McKenney and Tara Madej with two apiece.
The Cardinals host Onaway for conference game Friday, Jan 12th.
Cardinals tough out comeback win against Pellston
Points in the paint and smart play in the second half helped the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team earn a comeback win Wednesday at home.
The Cardinals (3-2, 2-0 SVC) overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Pellston 39-33 in a Ski Valley game.
Tara Madej scored 10 of her 13 points in the second half, and J-L went on a 13-4 run in the third quarter to carry a 26-25 advantage into the final eight minutes.
Alicia Korff, Hannah Collins and Deanna Miller each made a late 3-pointer to ensure the Cardinals the win.
"We stopped fouling because we fouled a ton in the first half," J-L coach Heather Huff said. "They made six points on free throws alone right before halftime, so we reduced that in the second half.
"Tara had a good second half. She was getting rebounds and put-backs, and they were fouling her, and she was doing a good job on the boards."
Brooke McKenney scored seven of her nine points in the first half to keep J-L in the game.
The rest of the half was marred by sloppy defense and fouling for the Cardinals, who sent the Hornets to the foul line seven times, five of which turned into Pellston points.
Pellston led 17-7 and 21-13 after the first and second quarters, respectively.
"Our big downfall tonight was turning the ball over," Huff said. "We put the pressure defense on in the second half and didn't throw the ball away as much."
Korff finished with six points for J-L, Alyce Vermilya added three and Arielle Vermilya chipped in two.
Cardinals tighten defense to beat Mancelona on the road
Thanks to clutch free throws from senior Hannah Collins, the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team secured a comeback win Friday at Mancelona.
The Cardinals (2-2, 1-0 SVC) topped the Ironmen 48-32 in their Ski Valley opener.
They trailed 24-22 at halftime but managed to play defensive more intensely in the second half, ultimately outscoring Mancelona 16-3 and 10-4 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
Collins, who finished 6 of 6 from the foul line, made four free throws down the stretch to halt any chances of an Ironmen comeback attempt.
"She was clutch," J-L coach Heather Huff said.
Mancelona managed to get past J-L's full-court defense in the first half, so Huff had her team fall back into a compact zone to kick start the second-half rally.
"We changed things up on defense and played smarter ball and got aggressive," she said. "We played a really aggressive zone and anticipated the ball.
"Instead of pressuring up front, we dropped back into a half court zone. That made them (Mancelona) settle down offensively."
J-L's two freshmen, Sydney Townsend and Tara Madej, led the scoring with 12 and 10 points apiece.
Madej showed her dominance in the paint as a tall post player.
"She had eight of her 10 points in the second half and six in the third alone," Huff said. "She made strong power moves to the basket. She was doing what I've seen her do in practice but what I haven't quite seen in a game yet."
Alicia Korff added eight points and eight rebounds, Alyce Vermilya and Collins each had six points and Arielle Vermilya and Brooke McKenney had three apiece.
Boyne City's size, strength too much for Cardinals in home loss
Boyne City had strength and aggressiveness.
The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team couldn't offset either of those things in its 54-21 loss to the visiting Ramblers in non conference play Wednesday.
"They're a very physical, strong team," said J-L coach Heather Huff, whose team is 1-2. "They played very aggressively, and we didn't handle their pressure very well."
Hannah Collins, who was 2-for-2 shooting, and Alyce Vermilya led the Cardinals with five with points apiece. Jersey Layman had four points, Tara Madej, Arielle Vermilya and Alicia Korff each pitched in two and Sydney Townsend scored one.
The Ramblers took a 31-9 lead into halftime. J-L didn't turn things around until the fourth quarter, as it outscored Boyne City 11-6 in the period.
"We played better in the fourth quarter," Huff said. "In the second half, we adjusted to their pressure and handled it better, but we had too many turnovers.
"They were ripped (physically). They looked like soccer players – big, strong, taller and more physical."
J-L visits Mancelona to begin Ski Valley play Friday, Dec. 8.
Cardinals undersized, inexperienced in loss to Red Devils
Outsized and inexperienced.
The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball faced both those problems in their 52-22 loss Friday at East Jordan.
Brooke McKenney scored eight points, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Cardinals (1-1) only scoring six points in the second half.
"I knew we had our work cut out for us, but if we had gotten to go on a run, we would have been OK," J-L coach Heather Huff said. "Their girls were twice our size. They made us turn the ball over, and we missed baskets we should have made."
East Jordan lead 28-16 at halftime.
"We played pretty well in the first half, but we were very outsized and out experience," Huff continued.
Alicia Korff added five points, followed by Alyce Vermilya with four, Jersey Layman with two and Tara Madej with one.
Cardinals shake early nerves, beat Fairview on opening night
The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team shook its opening-night jitters quickly Tuesday.
The Cardinals (1-0) missed a handful of easy shots in the first half but rebounded to down host Fairview, 42-13.
Seniors Brooke McKenney and Alicia Korff led with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Sydney Townsend added nine.
"In the first half, we had that type of first game of the season where you miss some of the easy ones," J-L coach Heather Huff said. "We came out in the third quarter and played very strong – it was probably our best quarter."
The Cardinals held a 26-10 halftime lead.
They limited Fairview to only one point in the third.
"Our defense made quite a few turnovers happen," Huff said. "We got a lot of shots on fast breaks, so our press worked well for us."
Also scoring were Alyce Vermilya and Tara Madej, who each added four points, while Hannah Collins and Jersey Layman had two apiece.
J-L visits East Jordan for a non conference game Friday. It'll be playing without Deanna Miller, who suffered an ankle injury in practice Monday. Huff said the senior will likely miss four to six weeks.
Outlook: Youth and inexperience could rear its head for the Cardinals, as they graduated three of their top four offensive players from a year ago and have welcomed the addition of four underclassmen to the roster. Only five players – seniors Alicia Korff, Hannah Collins, Deanna Miller and Brooke McKenney – have considerable varsity experience, but the athleticism they're gaining from freshmen Sydney Townsend and Tara Madej and twin sophomores Alyce and Arielle Vermilya could be enough to help the Cardinals compete against St. Mary for the Ski Valley title.
2016-17 Record: 8-14 (6-10 SVC)
2016-17 Finish: Lost to Lincoln Alcona in the Class C district final, 45-35.
Key Returners: Alicia Korff, Deanna Miller, Brooke McKenney.
Key Losses: Haley McVannel, Taylor Kroll, Claire Huber.
Key Additions: Tara Madej, Sydney Townsend.
No. - Name - Grade - Height
3 - Brooke McKenney - 12th - 5-6
4 - Alyce Vermilya - 10th - 5-6
10 - Alicia Korff - 12th - 5-5
12 - Arielle Vermilya - 10th - 5-6
14 - Deanna Miller - 12th - 5-1
20- Hannah Collins - 12th - 5-5
22 - Jersey Layman - 11th - 5-5
30 - Tara Madej - 9th - 5-11
33 - Elizabeth Eaton - 11th - 5-7
44 - Sydney Townsend - 9th - 5-5
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