Mt. Abram’s Madison Phelps (20) and Spruce Mountain’s Summer Chretien (14) close in as Spruce’s Calley Baker (22) and the Roadrunners’ Summer Ross (23) battle for the ball during a game at The Nest in Jay on Saturday night. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

JAY — Whether Spruce Mountain forward Haley Turcotte knocks down a 3-pointer or pulls down a key rebound, she is already thinking about her next move on the court.

Turcotte piled up a game-high 35 points in the Phoenix’s 61-44 home-opening girls’ basketball victory against Mt. Abram at the Phoenix Dome on Saturday night.

But Turcotte will tell you that her exploits, including hitting six 3-pointers and going 7-for-7 at the foul line, now belong to the past. Her mindset also explains her nonchalant attitude on the court.

“Yeah, on to the next,” Turcotte said. “They (points) were going in tonight. It was a great win and onto the next.

“They (Roadrunners) are a tough team. They are physical. They know how to move it around. They are tough.”

Spruce Mountain coach Zachary Keene couldn’t stop smiling about his Phoenix’s prime-time performance or Turcotte’s scoring.

“When (Turcotte) gets going, that’s not a mistake,” Keene said. “When she gets going, that’s what she is capable of. The key was the other ones were able to support her a little bit so they just couldn’t key on her.

“I can say I am not surprised. I have seen her do it before. She is slow and steady.”

But it was indeed a total team effort for the Phoenix, whose press and zone defense were a nuisance for the frustrated Roadrunners.

“That’s (press) is obviously key for us,” Keene said. “When we come out flying around, that energy in the press, with some of the athletes we have, it is tough and they came ready tonight and they were great in it, that’s for sure. That (zone) was a little wrinkle we worked on for (Summer) Ross. She is one of the best players in the conference. We had to make really sure we did a good job on her so we threw that wrinkle in and they were great in it. To handle her the way we did, I couldn’t have asked for more.

“We had three weeks leading into this game, and they knew from the get-go, that was going to be our focus tonight and they got the game plan and they did it to a T.”

By halftime, the Phoenix had already left the ground with a comfortable 33-21 lead. The Roadrunners, though, nearly got back into in the third quarter before Spruce put the kibosh on Mt. Abram in the fourth quarter.

The unselfish Calley Baker made sure she got the ball to open players and scored 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, along the way. Junior guard Jaycee Cole scored eight points.

“Calley has taken a huge step from last year as far as what she is trying to do on the court, how comfortable she is with doing things, being more a leadership role,” Keene said. “Defensively, she is dominant. It is pretty fun to watch.”

“She’s an animal. She is every where,” Turcotte said about Baker. “You can’t ask anything more from her.”

Spruce’s shut-’em-down defense put the Roadrunners’ offense on hold for three quarters. Sophomore Madison Phelps scored a team-high 15 points and Ross added 13 for Mt. Abram.

Mt. Abram’s Kaylee Knight pursues Spruce’s Calley Baker (22) during a game at The Nest in Jay on Saturday night. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)

Spruce Mountain’s Haley Turcotte (24) battles for the ball with Mt. Abram’s Kaylee Knight (4) and Allison Pinkham (10) during a game at The Nest in Jay on Saturday night. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)


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