Back to the grind

ROGERS CITY-Having a long layoff seemed to catch up with the Rogers City girls basketball team on Monday.

Playing their first game in 10 days, the Hurons struggled against Arenac Eastern from the outset and never seemed to find their footing in a 54-27 North Star League loss.

Waves of extreme cold have rocked northern Michigan this winter and wrecked havoc on sports schedules. Rogers City’s last game was a Jan. 17 win over Mio and the Hurons (6-3, 5-2 NSL) had a couple of cancellations last week.

The cancellations and rescheduled games have given the Hurons plenty of practice time, but have left them short on game experience.

“We can’t make excuses like that because we know everybody’s probably run into the same situation that we have,” Rogers City coach Gary Bisson said. “We’ve just got to come out ready to play all the time.”

Arenac (11-1, 7-1 NSL) added another league win in what has already been a remarkable season considering the Eagles roster only goes eight deep. The Eagles seized control of the game from the opening tip and led 19-4 after the first quarter.

There wasn’t anything flashy about Arenac’s success; the Eagles were just solid fundamentally. They passed the ball well, shot well and pressured the Hurons on defense, creating numerous turnovers.

“They must’ve shot the ball 60 percent. Everything they threw up didn’t miss,” Bisson said. “They played very well.”

Chantal Murdick led the Eagles with 17, Brooke Schutte added 15 and Brooke Sendo had 13.

Rogers City struggled to create offense and when the Hurons did the shots didn’t always fall. Alexa Quaine paced the Hurons with six points and Sarah Meredith added five.

Arenac led 27-10 at halftime and went toe-to-toe with the Hurons early in the third quarter, but eventually pulled away after Rogers City managed just one basket in the last 2:46. Arenac scored six points during that stretch and led 39-20 at the end of the quarter.

Defensively the Hurons couldn’t do much to slow Arenac as Murdick, Sendo and Schutte found ways to get open and weren’t afraid to drive inside and draw contact. The Eagles were 8-for-16 from the free-throw line and Rogers City was just 2-for-4. Rogers City even tried switching things up defensively, going from zone to man-to-man, but Arenac was able to break through it with ease.

“Just trying stuff to put a little bit of pressure on those two or three girls that do all the work for them,” Bisson said of the switch. “But there again when you play man-to-man everybody’s got to be clicking and communicating and working all together otherwise it becomes a lay-up drill.”

Rogers City hosts Atlanta on Thursday at 6 p.m.

ARENAC (54): E. Nelson 2 0-0 4; C. Murdick 8 1-2 17; B. Sendo 5 2-7 13; B. Schutte 5 5-7 15; C. Lake 2 0-0 5.

ROGERS CITY (27): S. Meredith 2 1-2 5; L. Fleming 2 0-0 4; C. Streich 2 0-0 4; M. Quaine 1 1-2 3; A. Quaine 3 0-0 6; A. Hilla 1 0-0 3; C. Purgiel 1 0-0 2.

James Andersen can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.