By BURT ANGELI
NORWAY - Kingsford, batting .667 three games into the girls basketball season according to head coach Mike Cross, played a respectable first half and turned back Norway 43-34 Monday.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Norway’s Heather Evosevich (14) splits the defense of Kingsford’s Sam Fleming (10) and Amber Larson (23) in Tuesday’s non-conference game. Flivvers’ Carlee Benzie (11) and Knights’ Rachel Conery (32) look on.
"I told the girls we've played six halves of basketball this year and four have been really, really good including the first half tonight," Cross said.
The unbeaten Flivvers (3-0), with matching 13-point quarters in the first half, built a 10-point lead. That margin grew to 12 early in the third quarter but the Knights eventually closed to four.
"The first half we did a pretty nice job defending them," Cross said. Offensively, we weren't outstanding but 13 points a quarter isn't terrible."
Norway, as expected, faced a tough Flivver defense in the physical non-conference game. The Knights gave the ball away 31 times.
"We beat ourselves and caved in to pressure," Norway Coach Carli Kelly said.
Heather Evosevich's 14 points and 10 rebounds paced the Knights (1-1). Bailey Grayvold shook off an ankle injury to post 10 points and five steals.
"We had enough shots but the ball just wasn't going in," Kelly said. "We missed a lot of bunnies."
Andrea Roell's 12 points (nine first half) led the Flivvers. Carlee Benzie was next with nine.
"The second half we struggled to put the ball in the hole," said Cross, his Flivvers giving up six unanswered points late in the third quarter for a 32-28 difference. "They were able to get some easy looks and put some baskets in. We probably didn't do as good a job on defense."
The Flivvers did come up with 17 steals - five from Benzie, four from sophomore Courtney Qualley and three from Roell.
A Qualley bucket to wrap up the third quarter ended a three-minute scoring drought and put the Flivvers ahead 34-28.
In the fourth quarter, Kingsford opened up a 40-30 spread after baskets from Sam Fleming, Amber Larson and Benzie.
"It's early in the season," Cross said. "Maybe the last couple years this is the kind of game we might wind up losing. But this team wins it and that's a plus."
Norway (1-1) hosts Mid-Peninsula Conference foe Manistique on Thursday and Kingsford entertains Forest Park on Friday. Kingsford's junior varsity, behind Maria Wiltzius' 15 points, topped Norway 53-26. Annika Erickson chipped in 12 points and Jaelyn Jennings had 10 for the Flivvers. Brooke Teafoe led Norway with eight points.
Ali Gering's 19 points powered the Kingsford freshmen past Norway 49-38. Lauren Champion tacked on 11 points and Savannah Martin had 11 for the Flivvers. Norway's Harlie Caster collected 16 points and Brandi Winkler had 10.
Kingsford 13 13 8 9 - 43
Norway 10 6 12 6 - 34
KINGSFORD: Fleming 4, Benzie 9, Roell 12, Tresedder 2, Larson 6, Smith 4, Qualley 10. FT: 6-9. F: 7.
NORWAY: Matonich 2, Evosevich 14, Grayvold 10, Conery 6, Casanova 2. FT: 2-5. F: 11.
3-point FG: Grayvold 2, Benzie. FG shooting: Kingsford 18-59, Norway 15-39. Rebounding: Kingsford 29 (Roell 9), Norway 24 (Evosevich 10).