2017-12-14 / Sports

Eagles Clipped by Munising Mustangs in Home Opener

By Stephen King

The Engadine Eagles girls opened their home season when they hosted the Munising Mustangs Monday, December 4. That night, the Eagles knew they had to play their best to get a win against one of the better teams in the U.P. Even though it is still early in the season, the Mustangs had already rung up victories against both Manistique and Stephenson.

The Eagles had notched a victory last week against the Newberry Indians, so they were hoping to open their home season with a win against Munising, but the Mustangs outran the Eagles and took a lopsided win 64-41.

The Eagles came out strong in the first quarter, led by Aubrey Simmons and Allison Margherio with a lot of help from Sophia Vaughn and Mickaela Deace. After a Margherio breakaway off the initial tip off, the Eagles led for most of the quarter.

In the second quarter, things went downhill for the Eagles. In the first quarter, they were moving the ball well, making excellent moves in transitions, making some excellent passes, and making the good shots. But in the second, on tired legs, they attempted to shoot from the outside, and this did not go as planned. Kenna Hopper sank one from just inside the paint, while Aubrey Simmons drew a foul and drained both resulting shots. For the night, they ended up with only a single three-pointer, going 1-13 from outside the arc.

The Mustangs kept up the attack. They were a team with many offensive weapons. Kianne Wendt was all over the place, driving, scoring, and drawing fouls. She never missed a foul shot all night, going 8-8 from the line. Then, the Ackerman twins, Marissa and Kelsea, brought the speed, moving the ball very well and setting up plays. Daryn Johnson was hitting from outside. She dropped in three threes and kept the Eagles defense off balance.

At the end of the half, the Eagles were down by 14. In the third, they came out stronger and again worked the ball well, but they had dug a very deep hole against a very good team. The Mustangs were not about to let them off the hook.

While the Eagles were struggling to get the ball through the netting, the Mustangs were not, especially from the line. On the night, as a team, they hit 84%. They went 21-25.

With a strong offense and the Eagles not able to match it, the Mustangs were able to steal away the home opener from the Eagles.

Eagles Coach Roger French said, “You never really lose a game. Sometimes you just learn lessons. Tonight we learned some lessons.

“Munising is a good team. We played good in the first quarter, then we went flat. I felt we played them decent except for the second and fourth quarters. Then, we went away from what we were doing.”

Munising statistics: Kianne Wendt 23, Daryn Johnson 15, Michaela Werner 10, Nykole Fitzgerald 9, Marissa Ackerman 6, Kelsea Ackerman 4. Free throws: 21-25. Fouls: 15. 3-point field goals: 4 (Johnson 3, M. Ackerman 1).

Engadine statistics: Aubrey Simmons 10, Allison Margherio 10, Sophia Vaughn 10, Mickaela Deace 9, Kenna Hopper 2. Free throws: 6-12. Fouls: 23. 3-point field goals: 1 (Deace).

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