Firebird girls continue winning ways

Ray Maloney, Sports
Chelsea Kurtz goes up between a pair of Fargo Davies defenders for two of her seven points during Tuesday’s game at the Devils Lake Sports Center. The Firebirds improved their record to 5-2 on the year with a convincing 59-40 win over the Eagles.

The first seven minutes of Tuesday’s game against Fargo Davies had all the markings of a great high school basketball game.

In the words of famed college football announcer Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend.”

After a slow start by both teams, Devils Lake used an impressive run to overtake the visiting Eagles on the way to a 59-40 win at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

The score was closer than the game.

“Both teams got off to a slow start,” Devils Lake coach Scott Privratsky said. “We had about six missed layups ... and when you don’t get the ball to go in the hole it is a much more difficult game.”

The Eagles and Firebirds were tied 5-5 until Steph Mertens drove the lane for two of her 12 points in the game. She added a free throw on the play and Devils Lake went in front 8-5 with 11:38 remaining in the first half.

The Firebirds would not look back.

After extending that lead to eight points on a pair of free throws by Hannah Elshaug to make it 17-9, Davies’ Jami Larson dropped in a short jumper at 8:38.

That’s when things went south for the visiting Eagles.

They would go the next 6:05 without finding the basket as the Firebirds increased their lead to 33-11.

“After the slow start we played a pretty good first half,” the Devils Lake coach said. “We had just five turnovers (in the half) and we won the battle on the boards.”

The second half, at least the first portion of the second half, was a near carbon copy of the final 11 minutes of the opening half for the Firebirds.

Devils Lake saw its lead increase to as much as 36 when Krissy Larson dropped in a long 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Firebirds in front 55-19 with 9:31 remaining in the game.

That was when Privratsky began to empty his bench.

But, the Devils Lake reserves were outscored 21-4 over the final 9:31 to make the game closer than it should have been.

“When you get your chance to perform, you have to step up and do the job,” Privratsky said.

Elshaug led the way for the Firebirds, who moved their record to 5-2 on the year, with 15 points. Kelley Olson chipped with 10 points to go along with the 12 from Mertens.

Jasmine Moffett led all scorers with 16 points and Brooke Hildre added 11 for the Eagles.

Davies (40): Jasmine Moffett 16, Brooke Hildre 11, Jami Larson 4, Lauren Hage 3, Whitney Syverson 3, Olivia Naylor 2, Alana Grabarkewitz 1.

Devils Lake (59): Hannah Elshaug 15, Steph Mertens 12, Kelley Olson 10, Chelsea Kurtz 7, Sarah Schafer 7, Mackenzie Wade 4, Krissy Larson 3, Morghan Carew 1.

Halftime: Devils Lake 35-13