HIBBING — When Alexis Desjarlait is on her game, the Hibbing Community College women’s basketball team prospers.
Desjarlait displayed her talents Wednesday evening against Mesabi Range as she scored 20 points in the first half as Hibbing forged out a big 15-point lead at the half. Desjarlait would finish with 30 points and the Cardinals would cruise in the second half in coming away with a 75-56 Northern Conference victory over Mesabi Range.
Hibbing led 23-13 after the first quarter and it extended its lead to 42-27 at the half. If Mesabi Range had an inkling of coming back in the second half, that was quickly squashed as Hibbing had a seven-point scoring advantage in the quarter to take a 63-41 lead into the final quarter.
Hibbing coach Kasey Palmer said her team worked on offense quite a bit during the last couple days, principally shooting drills.
“We haven’t been shooting very well so we spent a lot of time making sure that we were taking good shots and working on spacing in offense,” Palmer said. “We knew (Mesabi) was going to run a zone so we went over a few different plays the last few days. We worked on good ball movement to make open shots and we are not forcing shots like we have been.”
Mesabi Range coach Brad Matuszak said it was his team’s objective to limit Desjarlait offensively but it didn’t do a good job of it.
“(Desjarlait) had 20 first-half points and our game plan was to stop her and we obviously weren’t doing a very good job of it,” Matuszak said. “She was making the shots, getting herself open and give her credit because she took it to us.”
Three-point shooting played a big factor in the victory for HCC as it hit 10 of its 23 attempts. Meanwhile, Mesabi Range jacked up 34 3-pointers but made just seven of them.
Palmer said the Cardinals had to make sure that Mesabi Range’s Haley Hansen – a 6-foot, 2-inch forward – did not control the boards.
“We wanted to make sure we had a body on Haley Hansen so they weren’t getting easy second-chance points,” said Palmer. “We worked on defending her because they run the pick-and-roll a lot and offensively we shot the ball well in both the first and second halves. That helped us quite a bit.”
While Desjarlait led Hibbing with 30 points and five steals, Klaryssa Whelan also reached double figures with 14 points and she had four steals. Shayler Lislegard and Paige Romberg both scored six points while Athena Dunham had five points and 12 rebounds. Madeline Mann and Savannah Deragon also scored five points.
Hailey Aho drained three 3-pointers and scored 18 points to lead Mesabi Range in scoring. Hansen had 14 points and 12 rebounds while Christianna Monger nailed three 3-pointers and also scored 14. Madisen Overbye added five points.
Matuszak said it was difficult to come back from a big deficit against a good team like Hibbing.
“It is hard to get out of that hole; every time we made a little bit of a run they just took it right back to us,” Matuszak said. “I am proud of my girls; we battled, we played hard and we just didn’t play good enough today.”
The win puts Hibbing at 4-2 in conference play, tied for third place with Central Lakes. Northland and Rainy River currently are in the top two spots in the conference.
“We are slowly getting better and it will be helpful that we will be getting a couple of injured players coming back soon,” Palmer explained. “That will add a little more depth to our roster; we normally like to run a high-speed game, transition, get the players in and out and keep working all 10 in. It has been a little bit harder when we dropped a few of them so it will help to get them back.”
Palmer said it was a nice win over Mesabi Range for her squad.
“It definitely is a nice win especially beating Mesabi who are kind of our rivals here,” Palmer said. “So, it is always nice to beat them especially when you come out with a 10-or-20-point lead and maintain that the whole time. We know they are feisty and scrappy and they don’t like to lose to Hibbing very much. We knew they were going to play the full 40 minutes.”
Mesabi Range 13 14 14-15—56
Hibbing 23 19 21 12—75
Mesabi Range: Hanna Sandberg 3, Hailey Aho 18, Haley Hansen 14, Christianna Monger 14, Madisen Overbye 5, Olivia Suihkonen 2.
Hibbing: Shayler Lislegard 6, Alexis Desjarlait 30, Athena Dunham 5, Amaiyah Robinson 4, Klaryssa Whelan 14, Madeline Mann 5, Paige Romberg 6, Savannah Deragon 5.
Total Fouls: MR 12; Hibbing 15; Fouled Out: None; 3-pointers: MR, Aho 3, Monger 3, Overbye; Hibbing, Lislegard, Desjarlait 4, Dunham, Mann, Romberg 2, Deragon; Free throws: MR 9-of-15; Hibbing 13-of-19
Mesabi Range 93, OT
At Hibbing, the Norsemen held a four point lead at halftime over hosting Hibbing, but the Cardinals sent things to overtime where they fended off Mesabi Range for the win, 98-93.
Mayan White led the Norse with 20 points in the loss. William Howard had 18, Jaylen Williams added 16, Dejsani Beamon had 14 and Mike Fleming chipped in with 13.
Raiden Forrest led Hbbing with 26 points. Kevaun Maull-Edwards added 20, Cole Mammenga had 15 and Moe Washington added 13.
The Norsemen (2-14, 1-6 MCAC North) will host Rainy River on Saturday.
Mesabi Range 35 45 13 — 93
Hibbing 31 49 18 — 98
Mesabi Range: Dejsani Beamon 14, Mayan White 20, Jaylen Williams 16, Josue Collazo 4, William Howard 18, Mike Fleming 13, Mamoudou Cisse 8; Three pointers: Beamon 2, White 4, Williams 1, Fleming 1; Free throws: 12-22; Total fouls: 27; Fouled out: Fleming.
Hibbing: Marcus Malloy Jr. 6, Raiden Forrest 26, Moe Washington 13, Janier Harris 7, Khyle Spence 5, Kevaun Maull-Edwards 20, cole Mammenga 15; Three pointers: Harris 1, Spence 1, Maull-Edwards 2, Mammenga 3; Free throws: 19-25; Total fouls: 26; Fouled out: Forrest.