By RON DEUTER
NORWAY - Iron Mountain, leaning on its defense, chalked up a 47-36 Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball victory over Norway here Monday evening.
Ron Deuter/The Daily News Photos
Iron Mountain’s Luke Zambon drives the baseline against Norway’s Austin Grayvold during the second half of Monday’s Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball game.
"We got to good start defensively and rebounded the ball," Mountaineers coach Harvey Johnson said. "That was a key to the game."
Three Mountaineers reached double figures in scoring, led by Taylor Huotari with 17 points after canning three triples. Gerry Pirkola scored 11 points, and Luke Zambon added 10 with a game-best 12 rebounds.
"We started off slow but made a couple of adjustments and got the ball where it needed to get," Johnson said. "We did a better job in the second half of getting it where it needed to go, and it kind of opened things up and then some kids hit some shots."
Iron Mountain never trailed in the game, but didn't really sustain a double-digit advantage until the final quarter. Up five at the half, the Mountaineers' lead was just seven going into the fourth.
"It was tight throughout," Johnson said. "By no means did we feel safe with that lead. We had a good fourth quarter, hit some shots."
The Mountaineers pushed their advantage well beyond 10 before Norway closed the gap a bit in the final minutes.
John Grayvold Jr. scored 16 to lead the Knights.
"Both teams came out a little cold," Knights coach Ben Leiker said. "But then they were able to make a few shots and we weren't.
"We needed to get the ball to Johnny in the post - that was our mismatch - and we didn't do a good job with that. I didn't have the right plays called to get him the ball."
Norway had some success with its pressure after halftime, but still struggled converting turnovers into points.
"Iron Mountain played really hard, played really well defensively," Leiker said. "They didn't let us get into our sets.
Grayvold Jr. was the only Knight in double digits scoring. His brother Austin managed eight points.
"We just couldn't score," Leiker said. "We just couldn't get anything going offensively,"
Iron Mountain improved to 4-0 (3-0 MPC) with the win and is idle until Dec. 27 at Stephenson.
"We missed some shots in the interior early on, but I thought they found the open man a couple times when the play broke down and then they just played basketball - found open guys, and they made shots.
"It was a good win."
Norway slipped to 2-2 (1-1), and hosts West Iron County Thursday.
Iron Mountain posted a 44-28 JV victory. Cole Rossato and Josh Kramer each tallied 14 points for the Mountaineers.
Iron Mountain 10 7 14 16 - 47
Norway 4 8 12 12 - 36
IRON MOUNTAIN - Huotari 17, Pirkola 11, Zambon 10, Brooks 9. FT: 12-17.
NORWAY - Grayvold, Jr. 16, Grayvold 8, Bray 6, Fontana 4, Johnson 2. FT: 2-5.
FG shooting - IM: 15-42;N: 15-36. 3-pt FGs - IM: Huotari (3), Pirkola, Zambon; N: Bray (2), Grayvold, Jr. Rebounding - IM: 28 (Zambon 12); N: 20 (Grayvold, Jr. 7).