Girls basketball: Simley stomps on ‘hurting’ Polars

North High junior Claire McNamara (21) muscles her way to the basket against Simley. The Polars lost 61-31 at home Feb. 7. (Linda Baumeister/Revie)

North misses injured Ross

The Simley Spartans traveled to the Hal Norgard Gymnasium Saturday, Feb. 8, for a Classic Suburban Conference girls basketball game against the North Polars.

The Polars were without a key player -- ninth-grader Jolisa Ross, who was hospitalized in Minneapolis with a severely injured foot.

Coach Andy Jacobson said Ross is “if not a team leader, she is certainly one of our most important emotional leaders. The girls really miss her and are having a difficult time dealing with her absence.

“We really showed how much we miss our leader. We never were in the game,” continued Jacobson. “I thought we had a little better showing in the second half. We’ll have to just keep going and continue to work hard.”

The outcome was never really in doubt, as the Spartans dominated from the outset on both offense and defense.

Did Simley coach Tim Peper expect his charges would have such an easy time on North’s home court?

“No, absolutely not. We usually expect a battle whenever we come to North.

“But we are playing well right now. It is nice to have a couple of big kids clog up the middle for us. We are healthy and these games give us a chance to give everyone some valuable experience.”

The Spartans have four players 6 feet or taller and Peper’s comments referred to 6-3 senior Kylie Brown and 6-1 sophomore Abby Kain.

As the Spartans began creating turnovers - they had 15 to North’s four in the first half - and scoring points almost at will.

They moved to a 30-6 lead with five minutes to go in the first half and finished the first 18-minutes ahead 43-16.

The Polars tightened up their defense and improved their offense in the second half.

They matched the Spartans on turnovers with just eight apiece and saw Simley gain just a three-point margin in the half as the final score, 61-31, was posted.

Gaining points for Simley were Katie Atkins 19, Kain 16 and Maria Paulsen 11 in double figures. The trio was followed by Brown 8, Maya DeLao 4, Jenna Paulsen 2 and Anna Scheffley 1.

For the Polars gaining points were Amy Marlowe 8, Kelley Steinberg 6, Ashley Wiederhold 4, Madison Stilp 4, Anna Kemper 4, Claire McNamara 3 and Katie Sauvageau 2.

Up next

Simley will stay at home Tuesday, Feb. 18, for a game against Mahtomedi. The Spartans will travel to Maplewood to meet Hill-Murray Friday, Feb. 21.

North will take to the road to meet Hill-Murray Feb. 14, Tartan Feb. 18 and Mahtomedi Feb. 21.

The games start at 7 p.m.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at


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