Wonders by the Dozen: Iron Mountain’s Wonders sinks 12 3-pointers in 72-43 rout of Gwinn

Iron Mountain’s Carson Wonders was named to the Associated Press Class C all-state first team on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Wonders, above, is shown shooting a three-pointer against Gwinn on Friday in Iron Mountain. He made 12 triples in a 72-43 win, tying him for third place in the MHSAA record book for three-pointers made in one game. (Adam Niemi/The Daily News)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Carson Wonders was unstoppable on Friday night against Gwinn in Mid-Peninsula Conference action.

Wonders shot 12 of 13 on 3-pointers and piled 43 points to lead Iron Mountain in a 72-43 win over the Modeltowners.

“I just tried to shoot when I was open and look for good shots. I was a little ticked off at how I played in the previous game, so I definitely wanted to make up for that,” Wonders said of his 0 for 6 3-point performance against Manistique. “I heard it from my coach and I heard it from my parents, so that kinda pushed me, but I wasn’t really thinking about that on the court. I was just trying to stay loose and keep playing my game.”

Wonders’ 12 3-pointers ties him for third in the MHSAA record book for 3-pointers made in a game. Matt Kitchen was 15 of 22 in a game between Mayville and Bay City All Saints in 2001.

Even Iron Mountain coach Bucky Johnson was impressed with Wonders, whom he’s coached since his freshman year.

“I think he was mad at himself because he spends a lot of time in the gym. He was 12 for 13 from the three-point line. Wow, that’s impressive. That’s more than impressive. I’ve never seen anything like that 12 for 13. Some were guarded, some were wide open, some were transition and someone got him the ball, some were deep. It was a good night.”

Iron Mountain (2-0, 2-0 MPC) found offense from younger players as well.

Junior Jaden Vicenzi chipped in 10 points and while Marcus Johnson scored five. Sophomore Charlie Gerhard scored four points.

Johnson also tallied 12 of the Mountaineers’ 18 assists. Coach Johnson said he was pleased with the team’s ability to pass the ball and find the open shot.

The Mountaineers staked a 52-18 halftime lead.

“The kids ran the floor. I know (Wonders) had 43 points but Jaden, Charlie, Tuck (Josh Tucker), they were running the floor and got him the ball,” coach Johnson said. “We had 18 assists. When you got a guy hot like that, Marcus knows to get the ball to Carson. I don’t even have to tell him, they just do it. Carson had three assists himself. It was just a really good game. Defensively, I thought we stopped what they wanted to do — dribble drive and their big guy, you know, they weren’t too effective in there. In the second half they got some baskets on us. Any time you score 52 points in a half, I mean, wow.”

First-year Gwinn coach Jim Finkbeiner said it was simply Wonders’ night, noting the various places on the court that Wonders sunk a triple, including a couple from NBA range, straight on and from the sides, with all degrees of defense either covering him tight or sneaking for an open shot.

“How many players his size can not just play in the post but step outside and score a three anywhere on the floor?,” he said. “Guys usually have one spot they like — he can pick any spot on the floor it seems like. He was a couple of steps off the line a couple times. How do you tell kids to go out and guard that far away from the basket, but with him, obviously you have to.”

Tucker Taylor led Gwinn (0-2) with 18 points. Reed Wiedenhoefer scored 15 points. Austin Forbes led the team with five assists and five rebounds.

Finkbeiner said the Modeltowners are still seeking a balance with players getting to know their roles and gaining experience.

“The one thing with our team is you look at our roster, we have a lot of seniors,” Finkbeiner said. “The thing is, most of them weren’t even here last year. I only got three returning seniors with any experience and two sophomores which were freshmen last year. You’re talking about experience, yeah they’ve got some games under their belt, but they’re still young.”

Iron Mountain rolled to an 18-3 lead in the first quarter. Wonders accounted for 14 of the Mountaineers’ points. Iron Mountain pushed the lead to 24-5 with two minutes left in the quarter.

Finkbeiner said he was proud of his team for sticking it out in the fourth quarter.

“To their credit, we came out and played harder,” Finkbeiner said. “That’s the biggest thing, is I talk about effort and attitude. We came out with a better attitude and we gave it more effort.”

The Mountaineers play at North Dickinson on Monday.

Iron Mountain JV won 59-36.

Gwinn 11 7 12 13 — 43

Iron Mountain 26 26 15 5 — 72

GWINN: Taylor 18, Wiedenhoefer 15, Forbes 5, Stein 3, Wixtrom 2. FT: 9-15. Rebounds: 10 (Forbes 5). Assists: 10 (Forbes 5).

IRON MOUNTAIN: Wonders 43, Vicenzi 10, Johnson 5, Forstrom 5, Gerhard 4, Tucker 3, Caudell 2. FT: 8-20. FG: 27-49. 3PT: Wonders 12, Forstrom 1. F: 17.