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Agates battling for playoff position

Alyssa Ruberg (33) tied the Two Harbors school record for 3-pointers made after hitting two Tuesday against Mesabi East. (Photo by Gary Molitor)1 / 2
Silver Bay junior Jenny Walewski brings the ball into the offensive zone during a game against Carlton Feb. 10 in Carlton. (News-Chronicle photo by Jamey Malcomb)2 / 2

Two Harbors lost a game to Esko 65-51 last week that would have put them in position to win the Polar League for the first time in team history, but won two more as the Agates are jockeying for playoff position against three other teams in the Section 7AA tournament that will begin next week.

Esko traveled to Two Harbors as a heavy favorite and looked to run away in the first half after senior Ayla Lemke was forced to watch a large portion of the half from the bench after picking up three fouls in the early going. The Eskomos built a 33-16 lead at halftime and hoped to coast to an easy win.

Two Harbors came out and throughout the second half chipped away at Esko's lead cutting it eight points with a little more than three minutes to play. Lemke then picked up her fifth foul after playing much better in the second half and had to watch the final three minutes of play as well. Esko hit a couple more baskets and some free throws to seal the win and take the Polar League crown.

The Agates had trouble defending an unexpected offensive outburst from Esko sophomore Bridget Yellin scoring 22 points, mostly on offensive rebounds or shots in and around the key.

Lemke finished the game with 22 points and nine rebounds and sophomore Tori Bott scored 10. Other scorers included: Carina Hebl and Alyssa Ruberg with six points each; Stephanie Williams with five; and Cassie Prince with two.

On Saturday, the Agates topped Virginia 61-43 with Lemke scoring 23 points and collecting 12 rebounds and six steals against the Blue Devils.

Ruberg found her shooting touch against Virginia, hitting five 3-pointers and scoring 15 points. Other scorers included Paige Gries with eight points; Bott and Hebl had five each; Williams had three; and Brianna Hiukka had two.

Lemke recorded her second double double of the week when she scored 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 60-47 win over Mesabi East Tuesday in Aurora.

Lemke was 12-for-17 from the field and also dished out three assists, had three blocks and made a pair of steals.

Bott also got a double double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Other scorers included Ruberg with six points, Hebl scored five and Williams had two points.

Ruberg's two 3-pointers against Mesabi East also gave her 124 for her career and tied with her volleyball coach Christy Voltz for the career record for made 3-pointers at Two Harbors.

Two Harbors (18-6) is in a three way race for the second seed in the Section 7AA Subsection 2 bracket of the upcoming section tournament, competing with Proctor and Duluth Marshall for the spot. The Agates split a pair of games against Proctor already this season and beat the Hilltoppers in the finals of the Christmas tournament in Two Harbors.

Two Harbors played Duluth Marshall again Thursday, too late for the News-Chronicle's deadline, and will play Virginia today at 7:15 p.m. in Virginia.

Mariners top Wrenshall

Silver Bay junior Jocelyn Russell notched a double double with 22 points and 13 rebounds as the Mariners beat Wrenshall 34-28 Feb. 17 and recording their sixth win of the season.

Other scorers included Jenny Walewski with eight points and Lily Mead and Sylvia Davey with two points each.

Against Ely on Monday, Walewksi scored 14 points to lead Silver Bay, but the Mariners had a tough time stopping the much quicker Timberwolves and lost 73-40.

Russell recorded another double double with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Other scorers included Mita Frericks with nine points, Hannah Thums with four and Lily Lewis with two.

Silver Bay finished its regular season Tuesday with 44-39 loss to Nashwauk-Keewatin. Walewski led the Mariners with15 points and Russell recorded her third double double of the week with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Other scorers included Frericks with eight points and Julia Littlewolf with two.

Silver Bay (6-18) finished the regular season ranked sixth in Section 7A Subsection 1 and, if the standings hold, will play South Ridge at 5:45 p.m. Thursday in Esko.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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