MOUNTAIN IRON — Mountain Iron-Buhl sophomore Jordan Zubich needed just 12 points Friday night if she hoped to cross the 1,000 point marker in the Rangers game against the Roseau Rams.

The standout guard eclipsed that easily, pouring in a game-high 30 points for her team to lead MI-B to the 88-32 win over Roseau.

With nine points to her name with 10 minutes to play in the first half, Zubich put up a three from near the top of the key and it was nothing but net, putting her over the mark with the Rangers in control of the game, 21-6.

MI-B head coach Jeff Buffetta complimented Zubich after the game on reaching the milestone while talking about how her game has grown over the last few seasons.

“She’s a good player,” Buffetta said. “The nice thing about her is that she’s more than just a shooter. She’s playing an all-around game and she’s dishing the ball well. When she is open, she’s a very good shooter and can knock down shots.

“Her game is expanding and the rest of this team is expanding. The team is playing very good right now so hopefully we can continue that and get even better.”

With Zubich earning herself a break after hitting the 1,000 point mark, the rest of the Rangers continued to support the team with a dominant offensive and defensive performance that left the outcome of the game known from very early on.

Eight quick points from Sage Ganyo put MI-B up 29-9 with the junior continuing to pick up steals on the defensive end and converting them into buckets the other way. Another pick and bucket made it 33-9 with Zubich then returning to the game with a three-point play that made it 36-9.

A three from Gabby Lira and a jumper from Brooke Niska made it 41-15 before senior Ava Butler knocked down a three to put MI-B up by 29. The Rangers had no interest in slowing down and ended the first half up 54-21 over the Rams.

Zubich, Ganyo and Butler continued to put in work in the second half as the Rangers cruised 88-32.

Zubich led all scorers with 30. Ganyo added 22 and Butler finished with 10. Roseau was led by Anya Severson and Shavonda Bender with eight points each.

Earning the win, Buffetta said his team’s aggressiveness on defense set the tone early for the contest.

“Roseau was 4-0 coming into tonight and they started off the year well. I’m just happy to see how well we’re defending. Our transition defense is really relentless. Roseau likes to push the ball but we were always coming from behind and playing really aggressive and it’s nice to see.”

Even when that aggressive turned into a few too many fouls, Buffetta said he’d take those fouls over most others any day of the week.

“We want us playing aggressive so we’re going to get some aggressive fouls. We just have to eliminate some of the small reach fouls. I’d say some of our fouls tonight were actually really good. It was aggressive basketball and as long as we eliminate the bad fouls, we’ll be fine.”

The Rangers (5-1) are off until Monday, Dec. 20 when they travel to Esko. Buffetta says the Eskomos will be a solid test for his team and they’ll need to work on some things in their week of practice.

“Esko is one of those half court, really patient teams that will grind you out. The next week we’ll have to work on taking away their haircuts and their penetration and work on some good, solid halfcourt team defense because that’s what they’re going to force us into.”

RHS 21 11 — 32

MIB 54 34 — 88

Roseau: Kayla Bachleitner 2, Hanna Mooney 2, Anya Severson 8, Janna Preteau 2, Brooklyn Hulst 2, Emma Bassingthwaite 5, Shavonda Bender 8, Nevaeh Fletcher 3; Three pointers: Bassingthwaite 1; Free throws: 11-18; Total fouls: 9; Fouled out: none.

Mountain Iron-Buhl: Jacie Kvas 6, Hali Savela 5, Jordan Zubich 30, Brooke Niska 7, Gabby Lira 5, Sage Ganyo 22, Ava Butler 10, Suzy Aubrey 3; Three pointers: Savela 1, Zubich 4, Niska 1, Lira 1, Ganyo 2, Butler 2, Aubrey 1; Free throws: 6-7; Total fouls: 19; Fouled out: none.

Cherry 67,

Cook County 17

At Cherry, the Cherry girls’ basketball team shrugged off their close loss to Virginia on Thursday and responded with a dominant 67-17 win over Cook County on Friday.

Rylee Mancina led all scorers in the contest with 18 points. Lauren Staples added 16, Faith Zganjer finished with 12 and Jillian Sadjak chipped in with 11.

The Vikings were led by Rhonnie Poyirier’s seven points.

Cherry head coach Danni Grotberg said he was happy with how his team responded, 24 hours removed from their loss to the Devils.

“It was a good game to follow the Virginia game from the night before,” Grotberg said. “The girls were a little bummed about that so I’m glad they came out strong tonight.”

Cherry (2-3) will host Barnum on Monday.

CC 9 8 — 17

CHS 43 24 — 67

Cook County: Makenzie Fairbanks 3, Katie Peck 2, Kamryn Johnson 3, Anelicia Poyirier 2, Rhonnie Poyirier 7; Three pointers: none; Free throws: 9-17; Total fouls: 11; Fouled out: none.

Cherry: Kaelyn Greenly 2, Mackenna Ridge 4, Lauren Staples 16, Amara Aimonetti 2, Kaylynn Cappo 2, Faith Zganjer 12, Rylee Mancina 18, Jillian Sadjak 11; Three pointers: none; Free throws: 10-17; Total fouls: 16; Fouled out: Mancina.

International Falls 57,

Ely 56

At Ely, the Ely and International Falls’ girls basketball teams found themselves locked in a battle, tied 30-30 at halftime.

In the last 18 minutes, it was the Broncos that got the edge, outsourcing the Timberwolves by one to get the 57-56 win.

Olivia Thostenson led all scorers in the contest with 26 points. Maddie Lowe added 19 for International Falls.

Ely was led by Grace LaTourell and Madeline Perry, both finishing with 15 points.

Timberwolves head coach Max Gantt commended both teams on a hard fought game.

“It was a really good game by both teams,” Gantt said. “It was quality basketball and I’m proud of how hard our team worked defensively tonight.”

Falling in a close game, Gantt said the loss should only help his team out in the future.

“This is the type of game that will only make us better down the road. Falls played multiple defenses and we had to figure them out. I thought we did a good job of doing that and learning from that. The game was close the whole way and we just fell short at the end. I’m very proud of our effort.”

Ely (2-2) will travel to Silver Bay on Tuesday.

IF 30 27 — 57

Ely 30 26 — 56

International Falls: Lola Valenzuela 7, Gracie Swenson 3, Izzy Valenzuela 2, Maddie Lowe 19, Olivia Thostenson 26; Three pointers: Thostenson 1; Free throws: 16-23; Total fouls: 11; Fouled out: none.

Ely: Lily Tedrick 6, Madline Kallberg 8, Sarah Visser 7, Grace LaTourell 15, Madison Rohr 5, Madeline Perry 15; Three pointers: Visser 1, LaTourell 2, Perry 1; Free throws: 4-8; Total fouls: 16; Fouled out: Tedrick, Perry.

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