ESCANABA, MI – The Gogebic Community College Samsons (13-13) pulled off a big upset on the road, sinking a three-point basket in the closing seconds to end the season of the Bay College Norse (17-11). The Samsons won by a final of 60-57 earning a spot in the Region 13 Championship.
Gogebic started hot and raced out to a 19-9 lead after the first quarter. The momentum flipped in the second quarter as the Samsons hit on just two of their twelve attempts from the field. Meanwhile the Norse offense would pick up the pace, and Bay held on to a 27-23 lead at intermission.
Bay College remained hot in the third quarter. They shot 53.8% in that period and got eight points apiece from sophomores JuliAnn Wickman (Felch, MI) and Kaitlyn Hardwick (Gladstone, MI). The home team looked to be in control heading into the fourth quarter, leading by a score of 44-35.
The beginning of the fourth quarter saw the momentum swing the other way. Gogebic started the frame on a 15-3 run, reclaiming the lead. The Norse managed to fight back, tying the game on multiple occasions, but could not wrestle the lead away from the Samsons. Down by five with two minutes to play, Brooke Dalgord (SO, Garden, MI) came through with a jump shot that pulled the Norse to within one score. After a Wickman free throw, Hardwick tied the game by getting to the rim with just over 30 seconds left. The Samsons ate the clock with their last possession and found Ariana White a few feet behind the arc on the top of the key. Her shot fell through the net with four tenths of a second remaining, giving the Samsons a 60-57 lead. Bay was able to advance the ball with a timeout, and produced an open look on the out of bounds play, but the shot fell short, ending the season for Bay College.
The Norse hit on 35.0% of their shots, and shot uncharacteristically poor from beyond the arc, hitting on just six of 26 attempts for three. They were good on nine of 14 free throw attempts, but were beaten out in the rebounding department, grabbing just 25 rebounds, while Gogebic secured 35 of them, 11 offensive. The Samsons had an above average shooting night from deep. For the season they average 29.0% from behind the arc, but when it mattered the most they hit nine of 23 attempts, good for 39.1%.
Gogebic had five players reach double-digits in scoring on the night. Haley Grover led the charge with 14 points and six rebounds. Ariana White and Aiyana Nickel finished with 11 points apiece, with Nickel responsible for six rebounds. Samaiya Buchanan and Kai'Terra Ross each scored ten points.
The Norse relied on two sophomores to provide most of their scoring. Hardwick finished her Bay College career with an 18-point, seven rebound effort. Wickman also scored 18 points and dealt out three assists. Trish McGuire (FR, Gwinn, MI) was a spark off the bench and ended her night with ten points and three assists.
The loss ends the season for the Norse.
Gogebic will host United Tribes Technical College on Sunday for the Region 13 Championship.