2018-01-25 / Sports

McCarthy propels Portagers past North Bay

NORTH BAY sophomore Paige Kohler follows through on a 3-pointer in the second quarter of a loss to visiting Onekama on Tuesday. NORTH BAY sophomore Paige Kohler follows through on a 3-pointer in the second quarter of a loss to visiting Onekama on Tuesday. Smack dab in the middle of the Northwest Conference standings is a first-year program that has become all too familiar with the league’s increasingly uneven playing field.

Blowouts have become commonplace in the Northwest — and Jim Champion and his North Bay girls are well aware. Six of the team’s first eight conference games were decided by more than 20 points, including four decided by 40 or more.

“A lot of outcomes seem predetermined … it’d be nice to see a little more parody,” Champion said.

Parody played out in Suttons Bay on Tuesday as Colleen McCarthy and her Onekama teammates — who lost to North Bay 56-49 at home back in December — flipped the script and walked away with a 58-44 road win.

Alas, the rollercoaster season continues for North Bay (6-7, 4-5 Northwest).

“I just thought our defensive intensity wasn’t high enough,” Champion said. “To beat them like we did at their place, we needed to get them hurrying shots and turning the ball over. Tonight, not all the girls were ready to roll as hard as they should have been. Pressing is a wonderful thing, but if one or two people aren’t up to speed, the other three are just wasting their time.”

North Bay swarmed but simply could not stop McCarthy, who poured in a game-high 28 points.

Twelve of those points came in a second quarter in which the Portagers outscored North Bay 16-8.

“We played pretty good defense on her,” Champion said. “She just made everything she threw up.”

Onekama also had a big game from Elizabeth Domres, who scored eight of her 13 points in the third quarter.

North Bay countered with a balanced scoring attack led by Joan Ogemaw, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, but the team shot 0-for-7 from 3-point land and failed to mount a legitimate comeback down the stretch. Two sophomores, Emily Halvorsen and Paige Kohler, added eight points apiece. Kohler also had six rebounds, six assists and five steals.

North Bay can make its way back to the .500 mark with a victory over visiting Buckley in Suttons Bay tonight.

Seniors shine in Northport

The final girls game inside the Northport gym this season was a good one for three Northport seniors on Friday as North Bay notched a 48-18 win over the Traverse City Bulldogs.

The trio — Ogemaw, Jasmin Denny and Sarah Reynolds — accounted for half of North Bay’s offensive production with 24 points combined.

Kohler led with 16 points.

“We ended up shooting really well,” Champion said. “There were a lot of opportunities in transition for us to spot up and take some good shots.”

North Bay breezes past Mesick

Kohler poured in a career-high 17 points last Wednesday as North Bay notched a convincing league victory over visiting Mesick, 70-26.

“When she takes advantage of that speed she’s got, she’s tough to stop,” Champion said of his upstart sophomore, who finished with five rebounds, six assists and eight steals.

Halvorsen stood out, as well, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers in the third quarter and reaching double figures for the first time in her career. She and Ogemaw finished with 12 points apiece while Denny added nine points and Reynolds scored seven.

Abby Riffle led Mesick with nine.

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