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'New' Agate hoop squad heads to playoffs

Injuries have remade the roster of the Two Harbors girls basketball squad and that "new" team topped visiting Duluth Marshall 51-49 in the final regular season game Monday night.

Trailing by one at halftime, the Agates were able to come back and get the win over the Hilltoppers, showing coach Brooke Chaffee a lot of heart and optimism.

"I feel our energy is different, I'm seeing a winning attitude emerge that wasn't there just a few games ago," said Chaffee. "To come out with a win with pretty much a completely different set of kids was really fun to watch."

Senior Emily Cavallin stepped up and grabbed the reins, scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.

"She was on fire," said Chaffee. "It's been hard for her because she's had to change roles so many times this season."

Cavallin hit on five 3-pointers in the game.

With injuries to starters Kelsey Raycraft (stress fracture in her foot), Abby Ray (torn ACL) and Sara McDannold (torn ACL)--all of whom are out for the season--finding the right chemistry out of an already young team was perplexing for a time.

But with Sierra Tietge and Sis Alvarez, along with the experience and hard work from Cavallin and Beth Innis, younger players like Katelyn Adams, Kristi Olson and Nina Bukowski have turned their hard work into production on the court.

And a win.

"For a while they just weren't gelling, it was looking tough," said Chaffee. "I told the younger kids that they had to start playing like varsity players and they finally played like a team against Marshall. They had been working hard, make no mistake, but we just weren't putting things together."

Tietge scored 9 in the win over the Hilltoppers, Adams had 8 points, Bukowski and Innis each had 6 and Olson had 3.

"It's been tough to lose those kids but we're still a young team and they'll be back," said Chaffee. "This has given all the other young kids a chance to get in there and get valuable experience. It's been tough right now, but it will make us a better team in the future."

Two Harbors heads to Hoyt Lakes on Thursday night to take on Mesabi East in first round Section 7AA subsection play.

"I can't wait to see how we'll do. I really have a good feeling about this team right now, despite all the injuries we've had,' said Chaffee. "The girls could've packed it in but they didn't."