VIRGINIA — Heading into Monday’s game against Section 7AA rival Virginia, Mesabi East head coach Chris Whiting said the goal was to slow down the Devils’ height and keep point guard Rian Aune from getting hot from long range.
The Giants did both early as they were firing on all cylinders en route to a 71-49 win.
Mesabi East seemingly couldn’t miss from outside with Ava Hill putting in the game’s first nine points. Teammate Hannah Hannuksela put in eight of the next 13 Giants points and the visitors had a 22-0 lead about six minutes into the contest.
“We were fortunate they were going in and took advantage of it,’’ Whiting added. “They were patient on their shots. They weren’t rushing it.’’
Mesabi East seemed to capitalize on every Virginia miss or turnover as they built their lead.
Virginia’s weekend road trip at Crookston and East Grand Forks could have been a factor, according to Devils head coach Spencer Aune.
“It looked like we came out after traveling for Friday and Saturday and not having any practice coming into Monday.’’
The slow start was in no way what the Blue Devils wanted, he added.
“You can’t play non-aggressive against a team like Mesabi East. Mesabi East is as good a team as there is in our section and they showed it and they pounced on us and they just kept doing it.’’
Kaylee Iverson finally broke the Virginia scoring drought with a bucket down low and it was a 22-2 deficit. The Devils began to rally, but Mesabi East answered basically point for point.
Sophie Christofferson hit a couple of shots, but Hannuksela almost matched her by driving and getting three points form the charity stripe.
The driving of Hannuksela and Hill also helped Mia Mattfield score off their passes or grab a rebound and put it back in.
The work inside was exactly what Whiting wanted to see.
“I was happy how we played with that’’ inside game, he said. “We had some back side help, which I liked.’’
Iverson and Lexiss Trygg did their own work inside for Virginia, but the Giants could not be contained.
The Giants were getting every loose ball, which they often turned into points on the other end.
The Devils’ Aune hit a couple three-pointers late in the first half, but Meghan Walker and the Giants were able to answer back and held a 42-21 lead at intermission.
Hill scored 17 first-half points, while Hannuksela had 14.
Mesabi East outscored Virginia by just one point in the second half (29-28), but the Devils could never really make any inroads with Mattfield, Hannuksela, Hill and Meghan Walker leading the Giants to the 71-49 win. Hill led all scorers with 25, Hannuksela put in 22 and Mattfield hit double figures with 10.
Aune and Iverson helped Virginia try to comeback, but it was an uphill battle for the home team.
Aune found her shot a bit more in the second half and ended the game with 18, while Iverson had 12 and Christofferson added 11.
After the game, Whiting said he was happy with how his club contained Aune.
“She got a little hot on threes, but she had to work for them. We didn’t stop her completely, but she worked for them.’’
Was Mesabi East’s effort a complete game?
“Pretty good. As a coach it’s never 100 percent, but it’s pretty darn close tonight,’ Whiting added.
Coach Aune said his team has some things to work on before Cherry comes to town on Thursday.
“We need to be engaged in the game the whole time,’’ he said. “It’s effort. It’s all it is.’’
Mesabi East (13-1) plays at Proctor on Friday. Virginia (10-5) hosts Cherry on Thursday.
M. East 42 29 — 71
Virginia 21 28 — 49
MEHS: Aaliyah Sahr 2, Ava Hill 25, Meghan Walker 9, Hannah Hannuksela 22, Kora Forsline 2, Stevie Hakala 1, Mia Mattfield 10. 3-pointers: Walker 3, Hannuksela 3. Free throws: 11-14. Total fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.
VHS: Rian Aune 18, Lexiss Trygg 4, Kaylee Iverson 12, Sydney Cope-Robinson 2, Sophie Christofferson 11, Janie Potts 2. 3-pointers: Aune 4, Christofferson 1. Free throws: 4-5. Total fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.
Deer River 38
At Deer River, the Eveleth-Gilbert girls’ basketball team picked up a decisive road win Monday, downing Deer River 65-38.
Elli Jankila led the Golden Bears in scoring with 15 points. Lauren Latvaaho added 10.
Grace Bergland paced the Warriors with 10 points.
Eveleth-Gilbert (7-9) will host Proctor on Thursday.
EG 39 24 — 63
DR 22 16 — 38
Eveleth-Gilbert: Lauren Latvaaho 10, Maggie Landwer 7, Payton Dosan 7, Lydia Delich 4, Amara Wilcox 6, Morgan Marks 3, Liz Stanaway 5, Elli Jankila 15, Cadyn Krmpotich 6; Three pointers: Dosan 1, Wilcox 2, Marks 1; Free throws: 11-25; Total fouls: 16; Fouled out: none.
Deer River: Taylor Peck 4, Josie Drotts 1, Nevaeh Evans 5, Olexa O’Hern 5, Jessica Reigel 4, Grace Bergland 10, Kristin Schaaf 7, Katie Storlie 2; Three pointers: O’Hern 1, Bergland 1; Free throws: 10-17; Total fouls: 21; Fouled out: Evans.
Hill City/Northland 44
At Chisholm, Sofie Anderson led the Bluestreaks with 18 points, followed by Jordan Temple with 17 and Tresa Baumgard 15 as the Bluestreaks knocked off Hill City/Northland, 67-44.
Hunter Ahonen had 15 for Hill City/Northland.
Chisholm hosts Duluth Denfeld tonight.
HC/N 15 29 — 44
CHS 30 37 — 67
Hill City/Northland: Kayleigh Horn 2, Amber St. Martin 2, Hunter Ahonen 15, Ava Solie 5, Alexis Cash 8, Emma Finke 3, Alynza Welk 5, Joei Koran 4.
Chisholm: Katie Pearson 5, Lola Huhta 2, Sofie Anderson 18, Hannah Kne 6, Jordan Temple 17, Tresa Baumgard 15, Mya Pessenda 2.
Total Fouls: Hill City/Northland 20; Chisholm 19; Fouled Out: Baumgard; Free Throws: Hill City/Northland 10-21; Chisholm 7-19; 3-pointers: Ahonen 2, Solie, Cash 2, Anderson 2, Temple.
Mountain Iron-Buhl 48
At Coleraine, an undermanned Mountain Iron-Buhl boys’ basketball team put up a fight Monday night against Greenway, but the Raiders came out on top at home, winning 65-48.
The Rangers were without freshmen Asher Zubich and Riley Busch due to illness and had a few more play while sick, according to head coach Jeff Buffetta.
Nikolas Jesch was the high-scorer for the contest, leading the Rangers with 27 points. He was the only MI-B player to finish in double figures.
Dylan DeChampeau led the Greenway Raiders with 26 points. Grant Hansen finished with 17.
Despite being without a few players, Buffetta only had praise for his team in the loss.
“I’m proud of the way the guys played tonight,” Buffetta said. “We had a couple guys out and a few more playing while sick and they all played hard the entire game. Greenway is pretty tough to beat inside and we just couldn’t handle that.”
Mountain Iron-Buhl (6-7) will play host to Ely on Friday.
GHS 29 36 — 65
MIB 15 33 — 48
Greenway: Westin Smith 9, Grant Hansen 17, Gordon Skaar 5, Jajaun Hall 4, Dylan DeChampeau 26, Mathias MacKnight 4; Three pointers: Smith 3, Skaar 1, DeChampeau 1; Free throws: 14-25; Total fouls: 18; Fouled out: none.
Mountain Iron-Buhl: Nels Parenteau 3, Mason Clines 2, Jeffrey Kayfes 5, Hunter Weigel 4, Josh Holmes 1, Nikolas Jesch 27, Braxton Negan 2, Braylen Keith 2, Alex Schneider 2, Lucas Madson 2; Three pointers: Kayfes 1, Jesch 5; Free throws: 8-9; Total fouls: 19; Fouled out: Parenteau.
Mesabi Range 61
At Virginia, the Norse went into the break down just six Sunday to visiting Northland, 39-33, but the Pioneers held the Norse to just 28 in the second half and outscored them by 14 to take home the 20 point win, 81-61.
Bakri Gubara led Northland with 28 points. Isaiah Williams added 18.
Mike Fleming paced Mesabi Range with 16 points off the bench. Mayan White and Williams Howard each finished with 14.
Mesabi Range (1-11, 0-3 MCAC North) will host Itasca Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.
NCTC 39 42 — 81
MRC 33 28 — 61
Northland: Neal Garvia 3, Adrian Scott 5, Quincy Leday 4, Ibrahim Nasir 7, Isaiah Williams 18, Zack Meyer 9, Bakri Gubara 28, Kenny Placide 7; Three pointers: Garcia 1, Scott 1, Nasir 1, Meyer 1, Gubara 4; Free throws: 3-4; Total fouls: 10; Fouled out: none.
Mesabi Range: Dejsani Beamon 7, Mayan White 14, Jaylen Williams 8, William Howard 14, Mike Fleming 16, Mamoudou Cisse 2; Three pointers: Beamon 1, White 2, Fleming 2; Free throws: 8-11; Total fouls: 11; Fouled out: none.
Mesabi Range 44
At Virginia, the Lady Norse were no match for Northland Sunday as the Pioneers took down Mesabi Range, 91-44.
Christianna Monger was the only Lady Norse in double figures with 17 points. Carly Mekash led Northland with 23. Janie Wunderlich added 17, Holly Steer had 12, Emma Waling finished with 11 and Emma Duden chipped in with 10.
Mesabi Range (1-6, 1-2 MCAC North) will host Itasca on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
NCTC 29 28 19 15 — 91
MRC 12 7 10 15 — 44
Northland: Emma Waling 11, Macy Skyberg 8, Alex Syverson 3, Holly Steer 12, Janie Wunderlich 17, Emma Duden 10, Bailey Greene 7, Carly Mekash 23; Three pointers: Waling 1, Syverson 1, Steer 3, Wunderlich 3, Duden 2, Greene 1, Mekash 1; Free throws: 13-13; Total fouls: 5; Fouled out: none.
Mesabi Range: Hanna Sandberg 7, Hailey Aho 3, Madisen Overbye 5, Haley Hansen 5, Christianna Monger 17, Jazmine Manning 7; Three pointers: Sandberg 1, Aho 1, Overbye 1, Monger 3, Manning 1; Total fouls: 13; Fouled out: none.
Irondale/St. Anthony 3,
Eveleth-Gilbert Area 1
At Blaine, Autumn Gregorich got Eveleth-Gilbert Area on the board first Saturday, but Irondale/St. Anthony put in the next three goals to take a 3-1 win over the Golden Bears Saturday.
Gregorich scored on the power play at the 8:03 mark with helpers by Anna Seitz and Anneka Lundgren. However, the Bears couldn’t get anything else past ISA netminder Jennifer Rupp.
On the other end, the Golden Bears’ Daisy Andrews recorded 40 saves in net.
Eveleth-Gilbert (6-10-1) hosts North Shore tonight in Hoyt Lakes.
Eveleth-Gilbert 1 0 0 — 1
Irondale/St. Anthony 1 0 2 — 3
First period: 1, EG, Autumn Gregorich (Anna Seitz, Anneka Lundgren), PP, 8:03; 2, ISA, Alaina DeGiacomo, (unassisted), 10:53.
Second period: No scoring.
Third period: 3, ISA, Jo Mahlum (unassisted), 6:53; 4, ISA, Madison Townsend (Emily Rupp, Madelyn Kunza), 7:01.
Saves: Daisy Andrews, EG, 16-15-9—40; Jennifer Rupp, ISA, 6-54—15.
Penalties: EG, 3-for-6 minutes; ISA, 5-for-10 minutes.