EagleHerald/Brian Bell
Jaida Lesperance of Menominee goes up for a shot between three Sturgeon Bay defenders in the first half of Tuesday’s game in Menominee.
EagleHerald/Brian Bell

Jaida Lesperance of Menominee goes up for a shot between three Sturgeon Bay defenders in the first half of Tuesday’s game in Menominee.

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MENOMINEE — A suffocating defense and shooting 49 percent from the floor allowed the Menominee girls basketball team to get its second win of the season with a 72-36 blowout against Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday night. 

“What we looked for tonight was our defensive intensity to fuel our offense,” Menominee coach Lucas Chouinard said. “I think we lacked that a little on Saturday against Peshtigo, but we did just that tonight. We created some havoc and were able to cash in on the offensive end.”

The Maroons got started with a baseline drive by Sarah Barrette for a basket, then Barrette stole a pass and dished it to Emma Hofer for an easy layup followed by Erin Barrette swiping the ball and coasting for another easy layup for a 6-0 lead under a minute into the game. 

Menominee kept applying the pressure on defense, hitting shots on offense and by the time Sarah Barrette scored her seventh-point of the quarter, the lead was 17-1 in favor of the Maroons. Greta Meleen made a basket before the first quarter buzzer and Menominee led 17-3 after one. 

The Maroons corralled six steals in the first quarter and turned them all into easy baskets on the other end, something Chouinard said is a big part of the gameplan with the roster he has. 

“We have some girls that are very quick and very good at anticipating passes,” Chouinard said. “When we can play like that it’s going to lead to good things on the offensive end.” 

Sturgeon Bay got to within 12 at 25-13 after Sarah Bridenhagen hit a pull-up jumper, but Menominee’s full-court pressure defense started to make things happen and the Maroons capitalized. 

Menominee closed out the second quarter on a 18-4 run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Jenna Nolde, and was capped off by Jaida Lesperance getting a basket in the lane to take a 43-17 lead at halftime.

The Maroons shot extremely well in the first half, going 19-for-29 from the field (66 percent) and hitting 5 of 12 3-point attempts (42 percent).

“We have girls that put a lot of time in in the offseason and they have a green light from almost anywhere,” Chouinard said. “Our girls did a great job of swinging the ball against (Sturgeon Bay’s) zone and finding the open girl. Our message before the game was to swing the ball and get the best shot possible and they did that tonight.”

The sister duo of Erin and Sarah Barrette carried much of load for Menominee in the third quarter. 

Sarah started with a steal and found Erin for a fastbreak layup; Erin then stole a pass and converted a 3-point play after being fouled. Josie Hofer scored the only other Menominee points of the third when she canned a triple from the top of the key to lead 55-26 after the third. 

Kendell Klatt opened the fourth with a 3-pointer and it ended with another from Hofer before Sarah Barrette hit a shot from the wing to close the door on the Clippers. 

Erin Barrette led the way for Menominee with 14 points, six assists and six steals; Sarah Barrette backed her up with 13 points and five steals; Anderson had 12 points and four rebounds and Nolde added eight points and four rebounds. As a team, Menominee turned the ball over just 12 times and totaled 20 steals.

“At any moment it could be any one of the girls time to hit those open shots,” Chouinard said. “We spread it around well and it was nice to see that. I’m very proud of how the girls stuck together and played as a team on both ends of the floor.”

Menominee (2-1) hosts Stephenson on Thursday.