Cardinals Beat Undefeated Trollers 62-52!


Searra Frostman

Myla Lahti, a junior, shoots her free-throws ending 10 for 15 from the line.

Morgan Rock, Director of Internal Communication

If you are a fan of the high school girls’ basketball team at South Shore, you are well aware of their continuous rivalry with the Bayfield Trollers. Over the past few years, the Cardinals have had some intense battles with the Trollers on the court. Last year, in the 2016-17 season, the Cardinals beat the Trollers twice in some very close games. Since they beat them twice, this ruined Bayfield’s chance at placing second in the conference. The Cardinals knew coming into this new season that the Trollers would be out for revenge. The Cardinals only had one shot at the Trollers in conference play and that one game would be on Troller territory. Anyone who follows Indianhead basketball also knows that Bayfield is one of the hardest places to play. Their crowd is known for some very aggressive support.  They are very loud, rambunctious, and intimidating. The Cardinals, however, counterbalanced this rowdy atmosphere Monday night, Jan. 29th, by bringing their own crowd and having a very energetic bench.

As always, the junior varsity game was first. With 14:53 on the clock, the game was paused just one minute and seven seconds into the game due to some issues with the scoreboard.  The delay and irregular routine, however, did nothing to upset the Cardinal’s efforts.  Once play began again, the Cardinals quickly took the lead. The Cardinals hit some shots and got some fast-breaks putting them above the Trollers. In the second half, the Trollers made a run to try and get the lead on the Cardinals. However, the Cardinals were ahead by so many points that it did not phase them. The Cardinals took the win 41-32, properly setting the tone for the varsity to do the same in their game. With a sense of déjà  vu – more complications! – the varsity game started over a half hour late. The Cardinals actually lost the jump but recovered by going for the steal which led to a quick lay-up by junior Rylee Nicoletti. The Cardinals had a great start hitting lots of shots and making some solid post moves. The Trollers, for the most part, matched the Cardinals’ intensity, but South Shore was determined to not lose their momentum and managed to maintain a very slim lead. With just 3:21 left in the first, the score was 22-21, South Shore. From that time until the end of the half, the Cardinals played assertive defense, not allowing the Trollers any more points. They also had a fluid offense scoring 8 more points, and shooting at nearly 70% to put them at 30-21 at the end of the half.

Although the Cardinals had a 9 point lead, they knew they would still have to come out strong in the second half. The Cardinals made a few more baskets and kept a lead of at least 1o points for most of the second half. With the minutes dwindling down, and a much subdued Troller cheering section, the Bayfield girls knew they had to start hitting some threes. They intentionally fouled the Cardinals on defense to save time. The Cardinals did a good job at the free throw line making a majority of their shots. The Trollers attempted to make a run on offense as one of Bayfield’s key shooters Leala Birkholz-LaPointe, hit two three-pointers with a defender in her face within two possessions. With 37.2 seconds left, the score was 57-48. Leala made one more clutch three-pointer to bring the Trollers up to 51 points. The Cardinals then made 5 of 6 free-throws on offense, and Bayfield could not pull out any more shots, sealing their first loss of the season. The Cardinals beat the previously undefeated Trollers 62-52!

This was a big win for the Cardinals after some tough losses previously in the season. Ultimately, this win will help the Cardinals with seeding in the playoffs, hopefully giving them a home game. A big assist to their win was having four key players in double digits. The top scorers for the night were Rylee Nicoletti with 16 points, Myla Lahti with 15, Chloe Sipsas with 13 and Signe Branham with 10. Heather Ranta also chipped in 4 points, along with Natalie Knaack and Taylor Nicoletti, who each made a basket. The Cardinals had a great game offensively and defensively; it was a wonderful example of a team effort. Congrats Cardinals! Good luck on your home game against another tough team, the Washburn Castleguards, this Thursday. We hope to see all the fans there to cheer on the Cardinals!!