By RON DEUTER
IRON MOUNTAIN - Behind game highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds by Justin Nyqusit, Gwinn remained unbeaten in the Mid-Peninsula Conference, spilling Iron Mountain 55-38 Friday evening at the Mountaineer Gymnasium.
The high-energy Modeltowners applied constant pressure to the Mountaineers, taking advantage of 20 Iron Mountain turnovers. Gwinn built a 12-point lead by halftime and never saw it dip below 10 the rest of the game.
"Give them credit," Iron Mountain head coach Bucky Johnson said. "But you can't turn the ball over 20 times in high school basketball and win against a good team."
A four-point game after the first quarter, Gwinn (4-1, 4-0) went on a 10-2 run in the second quarter to build the margin it wouldn't lose. Iron Mountain, struggling to run its offense against Gwinn's pressure, managed just three buckets in the frame.
"That's the name of our game," Gwinn head coach Darren Sinnaeve said. "We work hard in practice with conditioning. These kids are conditioned to go hard, and this is why that works pays off. It's tough work to get a win. You have got to work your tail off."
Owen DeVooght joined Nyqusit in double figures, scoring 10 points. Nyquist was playing just his second game of the season after returning from a wrist injury suffered in November.
"Nyquist, he's a pretty solid player," Johnson said. "And DeVooght, he's still a catalyst.
"Their pressure is disruptive, there's no doubt about it. They speed you up. They don't necessarily turn you over every time, but they put you in position to take shots you don't like. They're a solid team."
Gwinn's largest lead of the game was late in the game at 18 points after a third-attempt putback by Nyquist. He collected nearly half of his 11 rebounds on the offensive glass.
"We were not in good position defensively tonight," Johnson said. "When you're out of position defensively, you can guess what happens on the offensive boards."
"Getting Nyquist back helps us," Sinnaeve said. "He's another weapon. He adds some height in there."
Sinnaeve commended the intensity his team showed throughout the game, hoping it can carry over into a key matchup with Ishpeming next week.
"Even though we don't get the steals, I just think that our constant pressure, it just throws a team out of rhythm offensively. Even if they get it across, they're having to work so hard just to get across that it takes them out of their flow."
Zach Caudell's 14 points led the Mountaineers. Jacob Thomann added 10, and Mark Beauchamp scored nine more.
"Gwinn had more energy," Johnson said. "That's the way they play all the time. We've got to have balanced scoring. Guys playing in the game need to score."
Iron Mountain's jayvees won 67-15. The Mountaineers (4-3, 3-2) host Kingsford Tuesday.
Gwinn 12 14 10 19 - 55
Iron Mountain 8 6 9 15 - 38
GWINN: Nyquist 22, Mottes 4, DeVooght 10, Skinner 8, Morse 2, Beauchamp 5, Stein 2, Redlon 2. FT: 9-15. F: 11.
IRON MOUNTAIN: Thomann 10, Grenier 2, Beauchamp 9, Caudell 14, Rossato 3. FT: 7-14. F: 16.
FG shooting - G: 23-50 (3-pt: 0-6); IM: 15-38 (3-pt: 1-9). 3-pt FGs - G: None; IM: Beauchamp. Rebounding - G: 29 (Nyquist 11); IM: 29 (Thomann 7).