ESCANABA, MI – The Bay College Norse hosted their annual Quality Inn & Suites Holiday Classic on December 29 and 30. Gogebic Community College, Alpena Community College, and Milwaukee Area Technical College would all participate. The Norse would tally wins against Alpena and MATC during the weekend.
GAME 1 - Stormers Hold on to Down the Samsons
MATC - 65, GCC - 61
In the opening game of the tournament, the MATC Stormers (3-10) were put to the test, but eventually came out on top of the Gogebic Community College Samsons (9-7) by a slim four-point margin.
The Stormers would shoot the ball well for the game, hitting on 44.8% of their shots, but Gogebic would find ways to keep the game close. The Samsons would hit on six of 14 attempts from behind the three-point arc in the first half to erase a nine point MATC lead and take a 29-28 advantage into the locker room at half.
Unfortunately for Gogebic, they would fall off that mark from deep in the second half, hitting just four of 18 attempts from three in the second half. That would allow the Stormers to reclaim the lead late in the third quarter and build it to seven points as time was winding down in the fourth. Both teams would leave points on the free throw line, as the Samsons would only connect on seven of 17 attempts from the charity stripe, while MATC would sink 11 of their 17 free throw attempts for the game. In the end those four points would be the difference in the game, as the Stormers would take an exciting opening to the tournament.
MATC's Coraye Wesley (SO, Milwaukee, WI) would lead all scorers with 27 points and five rebounds. Bailey Froberg (SO, L'Ancse, MI) would score twenty points and grab seven rebounds for Gogebic, while Ariana White (FR, Kenosha, WI) would add 19 points.
GAME 3 - Bay Blows by Lumberjacks
Bay College - 76, Alpena - 49
Bay College (10-5) would overcome a poor shooting performance in the opening quarter to open up a big lead and cruise to a big win over Alpena Community College (0-7).
The Norse would shoot just 25% from the field in the opening quarter, but hitting seven of eight free throw attempts would give them a two-point lead going into the second. The Norse would come alive in the second and third quarter, shooting 50% over that time period and building a 30-point lead late in the third quarter.
Meanwhile the Lumberjacks would shoot 34% for the game as they saw the lead build. Twenty-nine turnovers would certainly not help their offensive production, but defensive pressure would create twenty Norse turnovers and negate that advantage. Alpena would lose the rebounding battle 47-36, which included surrendering 24 offensive rebounds to the Norse. Although they would manage to slow down the Norse in the fourth quarter, they would not be able to take advantage and fall by 27 points.
Bay College would get 21 points and nine rebounds from Jordan Kraemer (SO, Norway, MI). Kaitlyn Hardwick (FR, Gladstone, MI) would end her night with ten points and eight rebounds. For Alpena it would be Taylor Livingston (FR, Lincoln, MI) leading the way 14 points and five steals. Shelby Seaver (FR, Alpena, MI) would add ten points and seven rebounds.
GAME 5 - Samsons Come Out on Top of Back-and-Forth Battle
Gogebic CC - 65, Alpena CC - 58
In a game that would see nine lead changes and six ties, it would be Gogebic Community College (10-7) that would pull out the victory over Alpena Community College (0-8) on day two of the Holiday Classic.
The Samsons would hit on ten of 25 attempts from behind the three-point arc, good for 40%, but only connect on 11 of 21 free throw attempts for the game. The Lumberjacks would take advantage of a small Gogebic scoring drought in the third, and use a 10-3 run to claim their largest lead of six midway through the quarter. Alpena would cling to a two-point lead at the end of the third.
The Lumberjacks would hold strong until midway through the fourth. Tied at 43 with 6:14 left to play, Froberg would knock down a three-pointer that would give the Samsons the lead for good, and help trigger an 18-4 run for Gogebic that would put the Lumberjacks in a deep hole. Alpena Community College would cut into the lead late, but time would run out on any comeback attempt, as the Samsons would take a seven-point victory.
Froberg would once again pace the Samsons, this time ending with 21 points and five assists. Aiyana Nickel (FR, Wakefield, MI) would tally a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing ten rebounds, while collecting seven steals. For Alpena it would be Seaver getting credit for a double-double, scoring 18 points, grabbing ten rebounds, and blocking four shots. Livingston would add 13 points and five rebounds.
GAME 7 - Norse Cruise to Victory
Bay College - 75, MATC - 40
The Norse (11-5) would see all 13 players score in a game where it seemed as though their offense was hitting on all cylinders against Milwaukee Area Tech (3-11) on Sunday afternoon.
Bay College would shoot 41.7% on the afternoon, including converting eight of 19 attempts from behind the three-point arc. The Norse would lead by as many as 39 at one point in the fourth, and were in control from the very beginning. For the second straight day the Norse won the rebounding battle 55-36. They would create 21 Stormer turnovers, and have better ball security themselves, turning it over 14 times in this matchup.
The Stormers were on the opposite end of the spectrum in this matchup, as they struggled to get their offense going throughout. They would shoot just 24.1% from the field and connect on only five of 27 attempts from beyond the three-point arc. They would also only connect on nine of 21 free throws on the afternoon. MATC would finally find a rhythm in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points on six of 18 shooting, but the game was out of reach at that point, and they would fall by 35.
Kramer would lead all scorers with 19 points while grabbing six rebounds. Wesley would score 12 points and grab four rebounds for the Stormers, while Tamarra Pugh-Torres (FR, Milwaukee, WI) and A'Daijah Johnson (SO, Milwaukee, WI) would add ten points.
The Norse have now won seven consecutive games and were undefeated in the month of December.