By BURT ANGELI
IRON RIVER - Iron Mountain and West Iron County are a month away from meeting in a Class C district boys basketball tournament.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
West Iron County’s Adan Newby (22) draws the attention of Iron Mountain’s CJ Qualley (12) in Wednesday’s game at Charles Greenlund Gymnasium. Mountaineers’ Brock Grenier (42), Mark Beauchamp and Jacob Thomann (00) along with the Wykons’ Ryan Rogers are also pictured.
The Mountaineers look ready. The Wykons have some work to do.
"I don't really have an answer," said WIC Coach Dan Schive after a 51-33 setback at Charles Greenlund Gymnasium Wednesday. "I'm searching. We have five weeks to figure it out and it better start in a big hurry."
West Iron, stuck on one victory after beating Westwood in the season opener, trailed by 12 points at halftime. That margin was no closer than nine in the second half.
"We want to play well because West Iron is a district opponent," Iron Mountain Coach Bucky Johnson told his Mountaineers prior to the game. "Does playing well equate to winning the game? Not really but you want to go out and play well because I believe that one game goes to the next.
"I know it's a ways off but you want to play well and the kids played well tonight."
Mark Beauchamp bagged a game-high 13 points and 6-foot-5 Jacob Thomann tallied 10 points and nine rebounds. Zach Caudell, another 6-5 Mountaineer, collected eight points and seven rebounds.
"They (IM) moved the ball real well against the zone," Schive said. "They're bigger than I thought they were. They shot the ball surprisingly well from the outside."
The Mountaineers shot 47 percent from the floor.
"We'll have to tighten the rims (for the district)," quipped Schive, whose Adam Newby's 11 points topped the Wykons, who hit 34 percent of their field goals.
West Iron County will host Iron Mountain in the district opener, with the winner taking on Norway for the title.
Thomann and Caudell gave WIC trouble in the paint.
"We got the ball inside against that zone where we needed to get it," Johnson said.
West Iron shot, and missed, just one free throw in the game. Iron Mountain snared 14 more rebounds, 28-14.
"We have to be more aggressive offensively," Schive said. "We have to be more aggressive defensively."
Brock Grenier dished out five of the Mountaineers' 13 assists while seven players made the scoring column.
"We had good balance and that's what we need," Johnson said. "Our kids played good defense (man and zone). The kids played hard. They played pretty well together.
"West Iron is a dangerous team. We're going to see them again and I know they're going to be better prepared the next time.
"They will be chomping at the bit as every team in March will be."
West Iron County (1-11) hosts Florence tonight and Iron Mountain (7-4) entertains Ishpeming Friday.
Iron Mountain's junior varsity, behind 18 points from Carson Wonders and 12 from Tanner Huotari, downed WIC 58-23.
Iron Mountain 11 15 10 15 - 51
West Iron 6 8 13 6 - 33
IRON MOUNTAIN: Merrill 8, Beauchamp 13, Caudell 8, Thomann 10, Rossato 6, Ducharme 3, Klarich 3. FT: 8-12. F: 9.
WEST IRON COUNTY: Olson 4, Pisoni 2, Adam Newby 11, Rogers 2, Capadagli 4, Hopkins 4, Ridolphi 6. FT: 0-1. F: 13.
3-point FG: Newby, Merrill 2, Beauchamp 2, Ducharme. FG shooting: IM 19-40, WIC 15-46. Rebounding: IM 28 (Thomann 9, Caudell 7), WIC 14.