CALUMET — In a battle of unbeaten teams, Calumet took a substantial lead early and handed Houghton its first loss of the season on Tuesday.
The Copper Kings (8-0) scored 22 points in the opening eight minutes en route to their 66-49 win.
“We like to jump on teams early,” said calumet head coach Matt Laho. “We are going to pressure them and push the ball up the floor and then just try to get a lead and build it.”
During the game, Houghton senior Paige Sleeman scored her 1000th career point.
“I’m just really happy for her,” Houghton head coach Julie Filpus said of Sleeman, who scored 15 points on the night. “To be a thousand-point scorer and to be as unselfish as she is just a credit to her as a person. She gets the big picture. We are very happy to have her.”
Houghton (10-1) scored the first bucket of the game, but Calumet followed that with a run of seven points. The Kings stretched their lead to 11-5 at the midway point of the first quarter.
Calumet continued their dominance, outscoring Houghton 11-5 in the final four minutes of the first. The Kings took a 22-10 advantage into the second quarter.
“I thought they were ready to play, and they were the aggressor,” Filpus said. “They created things off their pressure, and that put us in a bit of a hole.”
The Gremlins opened the second frame with a seven-point run to cut the score to 22-17. ‘The Kings were held scoreless through the first half of the quarter. Calumet caught fire and scored 14 straight points in the second half of the quarter to take a 36-17 lead with under a minute to go in the half. Houghton scored before the halftime buzzer, and the score at the break was 36-19 in favor of the Kings.
The teams traded baskets for the majority of the second half. The Kings kept their foot on the gas and did not allow Houghton back into the game. Midway through the third quarter, the score was 42-26 in favor of the home team. Houghton failed to significantly close the gap before the end of the third quarter, and the score was 48-33 entering the fourth.
Trailing by 15, the Gremlins went on the 8-3 run to start the final quarter. Houghton cut their deficit to ten, 51-41, with four minutes remaining. Calumet cruised through the rest of the fourth quarter and took home a 66-49 victory.
Senior Jana Loukus led Calumet with 19 points, senior Alexis Strom had 12, and senior Laura Giachino added 10.
Annika Peterson scored 16 points for the Gremlins.
Houghton will play in West Iron County at 6:15 p.m. today. Calumet hosts Gwinn at 7:15 p.m. Friday.