BENZONIA — A rough start put the Manistee girls’ basketball team in a hole they could not dig out of Monday night.

Falling behind by 14 points, 16-2 in the first quarter, the Chippewas battled to claw their way back into the game, but never made it all the way and lost, 55-41, to Benzie Central (11-6) in non-conference action.
“We missed too many opportunities and free throws that did us in,” said Manistee coach Kenn Kott. “They showed great composure early on and kept chipping away at the lead. But every time we got close, it would spring back to 10 from our mistakes. But, there were several moments where we really played well.”
The Chippewas trailed 22-9 after one and spent the rest of the game playing catch-up that expended a lot of their energy.
Manistee outscored the Huskies 21-16 in the second quarter and shaved the deficit down to eight, 38-30 at the half. But the Huskies outscored the Chippewas 17-11 in the second half.
Libby McCarthy led the Chippewas with 13 points and seven rebounds while Jayna Edmondson finished with 12 points and Allison Kelley pulled down nine rebounds.

Manistee (7-10) returns to the hardwood Friday night at home against Ludington for a West Michigan Conference Lakes Division game.