By RON DEUTER
KINGSFORD - In racing circles, it's called stretching your fuel.
Theresa Peterson/The Daily News photo
Kingsford’s Caleb Harrington looks to drive against Menominee’s Bryan Hines (4) during Tuesday’s Great Northern Conference boys basketball game.
The Flivvers, doing just that, erased a 13-point third quarter deficit and made it to the finish line ahead of Menominee, 61-56, in Great Northern Conference boys basketball here Tuesday night.
"It was a nice win," Flivvers coach Dan Olkkonen said.
Led by Caleb Harrington's 25 points, including an 11-of-14 effort at the foul line, Kingsford's only lead of the game was at 2-0 until late in third and then Harrington put in a pair at the line and added a triple to put Kingsford ahead for good early in the fourth.
"Caleb really responded well, and that's what a senior point guard needs to do," Olkkonen said.
Despite never losing the lead again, the game was still in doubt down the stretch. But Kingsford made enough at the line to overcome a few late turnovers as Menominee's last gasp drew the Maroons within two in the game's final minute.
The Flivvers were in jeopardy of being blown out early, as Menominee shot a near 70-percent clip in the first quarter against Kingsford's zone defense. The Maroons buried four of their six triples in the first frame and opened up a double digit lead by early in the second.
Bryan Hines (9 points) and Jared Rivard (14 points) each canned two treys, and Zachary Budzynski put in six of his 14 in the first period.
"In the first half we were trying to do some different stuff, even came out in different defense," Olkkonen said. "It didn't work. They shot hot, and we had to make adjustments."
Kingsford trimmed the margin by just three at halftime, but the Maroons pace slowed after the break.
Three buckets by Budzynski right after the half allowed the Maroons to expand to their largest lead of the game at 13 points. But the shots that were dropping every which way early for the Maroons started to drift from target once Kingsford shifted into man coverage.
"We felt a little overmatched a times with the speed and quickness, but I think the guys sort of did it by community, and we did a better job," Olkkonen said. "What I like at the end is we limited them to one shot. I thought all our guys rebounded well, and Aidan (Wienke) did a great job of being the director underneath and really helping the defense."
Kingsford closed the third quarter with a 14-0 run. A couple of feeds inside to Wienke produced points. Harrington hit the Flivvers' first 3-pointer of the night, and a block by Wienke that led to a fast-break lay-up by Nick Baldwin erased Menominee's lead.
The only thing that stopped the Flivvers from entering the fourth with the lead was an accidental tip-in by Wienke on the Maroons end.
Jeremy Rivard (12 points) gave the visitors some life in the final minutes with a few jumpers, but for the most part, the Maroons offense was spent.
"I don't know if it was so much we were out of gas, but we made some poor decisions with the ball up front," Maroons coach Pete Pericolosi said. "We threw the ball over two or three times and then they hit that three and a few baskets.
"I think that started the momentum and we had a hard time stemming that."
The Maroons had a chance to make it one-point game with 30 seconds to play but came up empty on two attempts from the foul line. Menominee (2-2, 0-1) was just 4-of-16 there for the night, while the Flivvers hit 17-of-25.
"Free throws were a difference," Olkkonen said. "I'm proud tonight because we didn't throw in the towel. That's the kind of thing you look for from your team, how they respond and handle adverse times."
Wienke finished with 12 points for Kingsford, along with eight boards. Cole Michaud, a big reason - on both ends of the floor - the deficit wasn't larger in the first half, had 10 of his 14 points before intermission.
Kingsford (3-2, 1-1) doesn't play again until Jan. 8, hosting Forest Park.
Flivvers won both the jayvee (63-35) and freshmen (48-32) contests.
Menominee 22 13 11 10 - 56
Kingsford 13 16 16 16 - 61
MENOMINEE: Jared Rivard 14, Budzynski 14, Jeremy Rivard 12, Hines 9, Champeau 5, Howell 2. FT: 4-16. F: 17.
KINGSFORD: Harrington 25, Michaud 14, Wienke 12, Baldwin 8, Allen 2. FT: 17-25. F: 14.
FGs - M: 23-60 (3-pt FGs: 6-23); K: 21-43 (3-pt FGs: 2-11). 3-pt FGs - M: Hines (3), Jared Rivard (2), Champeau; K: Harrington (2). Reb. - M: 31 (Je. Rivard 11); K: 36 (Harrington 9).