By RON DEUTER
KINGSFORD - Carlee Benzie and Hannah Tresedder supplied Kingsford with a one-two combination that knocked out Escanaba in the second half here Thursday.
Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Hannah Tresedder fights for rebound with Escanaba’s Lynsey Collins during Thursday night’s Great Northern Conference basketball game at Kingsford High School.
Scoring 25 of the Flivvers 28 second-half points Benzie and Tresedder helped turn a 21-20 halftime deficit into a 48-33 Great Northern Conference victory.
Benzie finished with a game-high 20 points, 14 coming after halftime, while Tresedder - off the bench - poured in 16 on 7-of-8 shooting, including eight in the third quarter alone.
"Hannah Tresedder was huge tonight," Flivvers coach Mike Cross said. "She did a great job, took advantage of what they gave her."
With the offense in good hands, Kingsford's defense did the rest. The Flivvers pressure forced Escanaba into 27 turnovers and limited the Eskymos to 12 points in the second half.
Escanaba didn't score in the final quarter until a lay-up by Jessica Beauchamp with 1:22 to play. But by then Kingsford was up by 17 points.
"Our goal was to put as much pressure on them as we could and hopefully wear them out in the second half," Cross said. "We scored in the second half pretty well, but defensively we were tough, and I'm really happy about that as much as anything."
Aside from the turnovers, a key to slowing the Esky offense was containing sophomore Michelle LaFave. Cross left that assignment with Andrea Roell, who checked the talented post to just 10 points.
"I can't say enough about Andrea Roell," Cross said. "LaFave is the real deal, and Andrea was huge against her."
LaFave's 10 points led the Eskymos. Beauchamp dumped in seven.
After nine giveaways in the first quarter, Escanaba committed just one turnover in the second and was able to erase a seven-point deficit to take their one-point halftime lead.
But the wheels came off again in the third with another 10 turnovers.
"Kingsford is very athletic and has one of the best players in the U.P. in Carlee Benzie," Escanaba coach Kelly O'Connell said. "i thought we contained her well in the first half, but their pressure got us in the second half.
"And I knew Tresedder could shoot it, but she really stepped up tonight."
A basket down low by Benzie put the Flivvers ahead for good at 24-23 with 5:55 to play in the third quarter. It began a 23-4 Kingsford run to put the game away.
"My team has a lot of heart," O'Connell said, his team slipping to 2-7 (0-3). "We've been competitive in every game. I couldn't be more proud of my kids. We're competing hard.
"Kingsford is a good basketball team."
Kingsford's junior varsity squad fell 37-36 in the final seconds, but the freshmen, with a buzzer-beater by Ali Gering, won 43-42 in overtime.
The Flivvers (7-2, 2-1) play at Menominee Thursday.
Escanaba8 13 7 5 - 33
Kingsford13 7 14 14 - 48
ESCANABA: LaFave 10, Beauchamp 7, Cook 5, Jenshak 4, Gafner 2, Berquist 2, Collins 1. FT: 5-9. F: 17.
KINGSFORD: Benzie 20, Tresedder 16, Roell 7, Bianco 3, Qualley 2. FT: 11-17. F: 11.
FG shooting - E: 14-34 (3-pt: 0-3); K: 18-56 (3-pt: 1-15). 3-pt FGs - K: Benzie. Rebounding - E: 29 (LaFave 14); K: 34 (Roell 10).