Girls basketball: North begins season with victory over Governors

A year ago the North High Polars girls basketball squad didn’t win a game until five games into the season.

On Thursday, Dec. 4 at the Hal Norgard Gymnasium, the Polars ended the opening-game drought by handing the St. Paul Johnson Governors a 65-43 loss.

“It is really nice to win the first game of the year,” said North head coach Andy Jacobson with a smail. 

“It was somewhat of a sloppy start, but the first games of the year usually are. The kids are coming off AAU basketball and into their first varsity contest. There are a lot of hands on and too many fouls.

“But I really liked our effort tonight. Our kids went to the floor. They were taking changes. I thought we did a good job controlling the game,” Jacobson said.

“We did this without a senior leader (captain Autumn Moder), who is away on a college visit. We played a lot of youth out on the floor. There were several kids who got in the game who haven’t had a lot of experience.”

He added, “But then we have a lot of kids who have been around for a while and know what it is like. We’re hoping for a good season this year.”

Between the adversaries there were 47 shots taken from the free-throw line. The Governors shot 64 percent (18-for-28), while the Polars managed 63 percent with 12-for-19 from the charity stripe.

With their starters on the floor, the Polars never trailed as they bounced to leads of 11-2 and 31-13 before closing out the first 18-minutes with a 37-18 lead.

With both teams substituting freely in the second half, Johnson opened with an 11-2 run.

The Polars responded with a pair of two-point field goals and then had three straight three-pointers to pretty well clinch the win.

Gaining points for the visiting Governors were three players with double figures led by NeFishia Fields and Lauryn Smith with 15 each. Curtesa Scott contributed 10 and Gabrille Brown added 3.

Jolisa Ross and Anna Kemper led the Polars with 14 points apiece. Bailey Culver dropped in 10 and Kelley Steinberg 8, Abbie Warzeka 7, Ashley Wiederhold 6, Kara Star 4 and Krystal Tonseth 2 rounded out the North scoring.

Next up the Governors take to the road for games against Minneapolis Patrick Henry Tuesday, Dec. 16 and Minneapolis Edison Friday, Dec. 19.

The Polars play at Isle at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, and then take on Mounds View Wednesday, Dec. 17 at home before opening the Metro East Conference at Henry Sibley Friday, Dec. 19.

Games, unless otherwise noted, begin at 7 p.m.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at


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