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Cardinals knock out Blue Bolts, 68-36 | News, Sports, Jobs

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Dollar Bay-Tamarack City’s Joshua Gaunt dribbles against Wakefield-Marenisco’s Jordan Libertoski during a game Monday at the Dollar Bay Gym. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

DOLLAR BAY — If high school boys’ basketball was scored like professional boxing, Monday night’s match up between the Dollar Bay-Tamarack Blue Bolts and the Wakefield-Marenisco Cardinals would have been declared a knockout after the first quarter.

The Cardinals were up 27-7 after eight minutes of play, well on their way to a 68-36 victory.

The Blue Bolts were knocked to the mat quickly in the opening minutes as the Cardinals jumped out to a stunning 15-0 lead. Dollar Bay did not score their first bucket until there were only 2:51 left in the quarter.

“What can I say … we laid an egg tonight,” said Blue Bolts Jesse Kentala, clearly frustrated with his team’s efforts. “We had way too many turnovers to start this one and dug a huge hole. They hit us with a diamond press, and it totally threw us off. It seemed every turnover was a basket for them.”

As if the first quarter wasn’t bad enough, the second quarter quickly made things worse. The Blue Bolts (3-5) were outscored 30-8, leading to a 57-15 lead for Wakefield at the half.

Cardinals coach Pat Libertoski was elated, to say the least, about his boys’ first-half performance.

“They did everything right,” he said. “Our press, our offense, and our ball movement on offense, were all things of beauty. Our goal was to come out and rattle them, and that’s what we did.”

That rattling came by way of a stellar Cardinals (6-4) defense. Their press caused the Blue Bolts to make numerous errant passes and forced poor shots. As well, Dollar Bay was out-rebounded left and right.

“Our boys’ intensity made it tough for them to do anything. They never got settled,” said Libertoski. “It shows you what we are capable of.”

Leading the scoring for the Cardinals was Antonio DelFavero with 23 – 18 of which came in the first half as Libertoski played much of his bench in the second half. DelFavero was followed by Conner Johnson, who poured in 13.

Caleb Kentala and Chase Benson led the scoring for the Blue Bolts with just nine points each.

If there was any consolation in this one for Jessie Kentala and the Dollar Bay fans, it was the fact that they won the second half with a score of 21-11 after being down by 42 points at half.

“I was pleased to see that our boys didn’t give up,” he said. “They have pride and work hard whatever the score is.”

Up next

The Blue Bolts will welcome the Ironwood Red Devils to the Dollar Bay Gym on Thursday, Jan. 19.


WM 27 30 5 6 – 68

DBTC 7 8 13 8 – 36

WM – DelFavero 23, Libertoski 4, Imhoff 8, Merconti 6, Bachand 4, Londo 6, Cole 4, Johnson13.

DBTC – Reyes-Luoma 3, Kentala 9, Benson 9, Tourtillott 4, Poyhonen 1, Gaunt 3, Norland 7.

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