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Norway grad assists Ironwood
March 22, 2013 - Burt Angeli
If not for an injury to a star player, a Norway High School reunion may have been staged in the Class C boys basketball regional tournament at Escanaba.
Coach Ben Leiker’s Knights shook off a shaky regular season to win the district title and reach the regional. Ironwood, with 2002 Norway grad Tom Mott helping out, advanced to a district final but experienced back luck.
With standout Adam Mackey sidelined by an injury, Ironwood fell to Houghton in the district championship. The Gremlins followed that victory by besting Norway in the regional opener.
Mott played on a Norway team that “was just full of athletes.” Leiker said. “Tom didn’t play as much as he would have loved to. He’s a nice kid, good kid.”
Tony Mendina, Mark Henrion and Paul Kraemer earned All-U.P. nominations from Norway’s 2002 team.
Mott assists Ironwood head coach Pete Lewinski. The Indianhead Conference champion Red Devils capped the regular season with 17-3 overall and 14-2 league records. They graduate just two players from this year’s squad.
“We’ve had an outstanding season,” Lewinski said after the district final setback. “Starting the 21st game, we didn’t have a single injury all year. And the 21st game, we go down with an injury, so you never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes, fate, luck or whatever.”
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The Daily Globe Photo Ironwood assistant Tom Mott, a Norway High School graduate, joins the team huddle.