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Girls basketball: Agates fall in opener

Two Harbors senior Tori Bott drives past Proctor junior Liz Frase during the Agates' 59-22 loss Tuesday, Nov. 27, in Two Harbors. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)

Early in Two Harbors' season-opening home loss Tuesday, Nov. 27, to Proctor, senior Tori Bott stepped back beyond the the 3-point arc amd drilled a jumper to put the Agates up 3-0.

It wouldn't be long before the Proctor caught up and pulled away, eventually winning 59-22 over Two Harbors. The Agates had trouble scoring against the stifling Rails defense, but Bott extending her range will be a key for the Agates this season.

If Bott and junior Laura Erickson, who was 2-for-3 from long range against Proctor, can be a threat from deep, the inside will open for Bott and junior Tricia Osbakken to attack in the paint.

That wasn't the case Tuesday, when the Agates were just 3-for-8 from 3-point range and shot less than 32 percent overall. The Rails were able to back off of shooters and clog the lane, preventing the Agates from attacking the basket.

Two Harbors also showed some of its inexperience. Bott is the only senior on the roster and three juniors, Kate Thomasen, Riley Larson and Jada Larson, just joined the team last week after advancing to the state swim meet.

Turnovers were a big problem for the Agates, with 14 in the game, and several that were unforced.

Two Harbors also missed on a number of fast-break opportunities. In one instance, Riley Larson missed sophomore Morgan Beardsley streaking down the floor for an easy layup, instead choosing to drive to the basket against multiple Proctor defenders.

On the other side of the court, Rails junior Sam Pogatchnik was 11-for-19 with 26 points, but the rest of the Rails shot just 32 percent from the field.

Prior to the season, coach Chris Lemke said he was concerned about opening up against a strong team like Proctor followed by a matchup with Class AAAA Duluth East. However, he expects the team to round into shape over the next month and begin to limit turnovers.

Two Harbors was scheduled to play Duluth East on Thursday, Nov. 29; results weren't available by press time. The Agates will then host Ely on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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