EJ girls return to win column, Ellsworth boys start with a victory
CHEBOYGAN — Basketball isn’t always that complicated.
You’ve got to make shots if you want to win.
Late last week in a road trip to Johannesburg-Lewiston, that didn’t happen for the East Jordan girls’ basketball team and a loss later followed.
When the Red Devils visited Cheboygan Monday, shots fell and so too did the Chiefs, bringing East Jordan back to the win column with a 50-24 victory.
“We had some girls step up and make threes,” East Jordan coach Tim Smith said. “From all the help that Lindsey (Cross) draws inside, we made some shots off it. It just came down to we made five threes tonight and the other night we made zero. You’ve got to make shots.”
The win moved EJ to 2-1 overall on the season, all in non-conference fashion.
East Jordan jumped out to a big lead early, up 26-9 at the half.
Cross finished the night with a game-high 18 points after scoring 20 in the opener, with Smith crediting her ability to know when to score and when to pass it back outside to teammates.
“Lindsey was really solid. She had 18 points in three quarters and she’s trusting her teammates to kick it back out to them.”
June Kirkpatrick added 10 points for East Jordan and Alley Whiteford and Lillian Stone each scored six.
The busy start to the season continues for East Jordan with a visit from Lake Michigan Conference rival Harbor Springs on Friday, Dec. 9.
Ellsworth 76, Central Lake 61
ELLSWORTH — The James Willingham era leading the Ellsworth boys’ basketball program started with a win Monday when the Lancers welcomed in non-conference rival Central Lake.
While they share a locker room and jerseys on the football field, Monday night was all about Lancer black and white, with Ellsworth cruising to a 76-61 victory behind a big defensive performance early.
“We jumped ahead 29-8 after the first quarter,” said Willingham. “It was defense. A lot of defensive pressure. Guys were getting their hands on a lot of passes and Patrick (Puroll) was big up top for us.”
After that big first quarter advantage, Ellsworth later led 43-28 at the half.
Kelan Pletcher finished with 27 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals to lead the way, while Puroll added 18 points.
Jacob Jenuwine also had 15 points and eight rebounds and Cam Snyder had nine points and 11 rebounds.
The season opening win follows a 19-4 season a year ago for the Lancers with nearly a fully intact group back on the court.
Ellsworth will next head to Harbor Light Christian (0-1) on Thursday, Dec. 8 to open Northern Lakes Conference play.