PETOSKEY — The annual Petoskey girls’ basketball tournament always gives Northmen head coach Bryan Shaw and his players a pretty good assessment of where they're at to start the season.
What they’ve got, what they’re good at and what they need to work on always becomes more clear following back to back days on the court against solid competition.
That proved true again over the weekend, with Shaw’s Petoskey group picking up a victory Friday and narrow loss Saturday, in which they almost pulled off a double-digit comeback in the second half.
On Friday, the Northmen had six different players score at least six points in a 65-26 victory over Milan, then they turned around on Saturday and fell in a 35-27 final against Lake City, one of the better Division 3 teams in the state.
“It should be a fun season,” said Shaw on Saturday. “I felt like the second half today was really a basketball game that was well played and I think fun to watch.”
Petoskey moved to 1-2 overall on the season, while the tournament was won by a Trojans team competing in the event for the first time. Grandville earned a win over Milan in the consolation game Saturday as well.
Down 24-10 at the break on Saturday, while struggling to contain Lake City’s Alie and Mackenzie Bisballe, a pair of Division I recruited players, Petoskey put on a run in the second half that had them shutting out the Trojans in the third.
Behind Lia Trudeau in the paint and Kenzie Bromley creating her own shot, the Northmen put together an 11-0 run that had them trailing just 24-21 after three.
“I thought the second half we played well, we played hard and played to the end,” said Shaw. “We could have folded it in at halftime down 24-10. I told the girls, I think in the second half we figured some stuff out. A lot of these girls can play and it’s been difficult figuring out who to play where and with who.”
The Bisballe cousins eventually got things going again in the fourth and a 3-pointer from Caroline Guy of Petoskey had them down 32-27 with around a minute left, but that would be as close as the Northmen came.
“The girls played really,” added Shaw. “I was proud of them. They played hard, aggressive and then with confidence. I hate losing, but I think (Lake City’s) good. They’re going to have a good season.”
Petoskey was led by Bromley with eight points and five rebounds, while Caitlyn Matelski had six points and six rebounds, Trudeau had six points and Guy had four steals.
Mackenzie Bisballe scored 18 to lead Lake City and Alie Bisballe had 14 points.
On Friday night against Milan, Petoskey used a 20-0 run between the second quarter and start of the third to really pull away. It was a 27-11 advantage for Petoskey at the half, then they just added to it in the second half.
“That’s a good win,” said Shaw Friday. “I was happy with it, especially after what happened Tuesday. We moved the ball a lot better after that first quarter. Without fouling I thought we were defending alright. We’ve just got to get better every game and keep working on stuff.”
Caroline Guy led with 13 points for Petoskey, Matelski scored 11 and Trudeau had 10 points. Bromley also added nine, Ellie Stolzenfels scored seven while celebrating her birthday and Hope Wegmann added six.
With a couple low scoring opening quarters and just 27 points against Lake City Saturday, one of the big things Shaw and his team will look to get going is finding ways to get points on the board, whether that’s through creating shot opportunities or other ways.
“We always work on it, screening,” said Shaw. “We focus on it, it just doesn’t always come out in games. We got a lot of shots today, they just didn’t go down. What we’ve got to get better at is being better in transition and we’ve got to find different ways to score. We have to get to the line more and then make them.”
Petoskey will next meet Ogemaw Heights at home on Tuesday, Dec. 6 for another non-conference game, then get a break with a chance to work on some things before meeting Gaylord at home on Thursday, Dec. 15.
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Petoskey earns first win, battles back against Lake City in loss during tourney