Tupper rolls past Norwood

TUPPER LAKE – The Tupper Lake girls basketball team rolled to a 42-23 win over Norwood-Norfolk on Monday night.

The Lumberjacks controlled the game from the start, owning the first quarter by outscoring the Flyers by a score of 17-4.

“We wanted to come out and put a little defensive pressure on them from the beginning,” Lumberjacks coach Jenn Cook said. “I told them I want to try a press for five minutes and see what happens. I think we went on an 11-2 run there to start the game, and that kind of gave us a little bit of an advantage. Then we settled into our offense, and we were moving the ball well, especially in the first quarter. We were running our pick-and-rolls and doing really well with it.”

The Lumberjacks offense was paced by Lindsey Maroun who scored 16 points. Freshman center Katie Zurek contributed 12 points.

Cook said it’s been difficult for other teams to figure out the Lumberjacks on offense because different players step up every game. The balanced offensive game was evident in the first quarter when six players scored points.

Norwood coach Becky Burns agreed with the fact that the Lumberjacks showed balance, but she was also impressed with Zurek’s game inside.

“She created a lot of opportunities, you know, got the ball in the post and made strong post moves,” Burns said. “She definitely was the one that stood up for me.”

After leading 17-4 to start the second quarter, the Lumberjacks stumbled a bit. They had a few turnovers and their offense stalled for the first time all game. However, they ended the quarter well and built on their substantial lead.

In the final minute of the half, Lizzie Zurek hit a jumper from the top of the key area. Then Katie Zurek hit a layup. Finally, Maroun capped off the surge with a jumper in the final seconds.

Maroun’s shot gave the Lumberjacks a 28-10 lead going into halftime.

Senior point guard Lizzie Zurek said the key to the team’s strong play was the ball movement on offense. The Lumberjacks showed the ability to hit open cutters and get themselves some open looks.

“We’ve been struggling with that in the past, and we’ve been working on that in practice a lot,” she said.

Lizzie Zurek said that the Lumberjacks have shown a lot of improvement since the beginning of the year.

“Lately, it’s been really good,” she said. “We’ve been figuring out what we have to do and actually doing it. We’ve been improving a lot.”

Evidence of that improvement is that the Lumberjacks only beat Norwood by one point the last time the teams matched up. This time the game wasn’t even close.

“You take our last two games,” Cook said. “We played a team in Colton the other night that we had lost to by 16 points the first time. We beat them by five the other night. We turned around today; we beat these guys by one back in December and we beat them by almost 20 tonight, so we are figuring things out. We’re playing much better, and that’s been our goal: Play teams better the second time around.”

Tupper Lake (3-8) returns to action tonight when it travels to Madrid-Waddington.