Boys basketball: Nelson, West Iron dismantle Houghton

HOUGHTON — West Iron County had a little too much of everything for Houghton on Monday night.

The Wykons (2-1, 2-0) used a sizable advantage in height to power to a 60-42 West-PAC victory.

“West Iron has a nice team,” Gremlins’ coach Jared Lawson said. “They use their size to intimidate you, and I thought they did that tonight. We made a couple of good drives to the hoop in the first quarter, then got away from it. You have to attack their big guy and try to draw some fouls.”

The “big guy” referred to the 6-foot-8 WIC senior center Steve Nelson, who had 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Wykons’ coach Dane Schive said his big center has added something to his game.

“Steve (Nelson) is getting there. He’s been a little reluctant to be offense-minded,” Schive said. “He was looking for his shot. We’re pretty happy with his play.”

West Iron also had to survive an early onslaught from Houghton’s Brad Sirard, who drilled in three 3s on the way to 12 points. That output paced his team to a 14-11 lead after one quarter.

“Brad Sirard is capable of hitting hot spurts,” Lawson said. “He had a good start in this game, and then they (Wykons) changed up things.”

The Wykons, fueled by three baskets by Nelson, used an 18-5 second-quarter margin to grab a 29-19 halftime lead.

They also put more pressure on Sirard, limiting him to a single basket in the quarter.

“We knew he (Sirard) was going to score,” Schive said. “We just wanted to make it as hard as possible for him to score.”

West Iron maintained a safe lead in the second half, using good balance to hold off and the Orange and Black.

George Butvilas gave Houghton a spark in the final quarter with seven of his 14 points, but it was too little and too late.

Sirard paced the Gremlins, (2-2) with 20 points. He also grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Butvilas was next with his 14 points.

“We just didn’t shoot very well tonight,” Lawson of his team that shot 13 of 43 from the field. “We’re working on getting more guys involved.”

James Swanson led the Wykons with 15 points. Brad Nelson and Steve Nelson added 12 points apiece, while Neil Tomasoski collected 10 points

West Iron plays at Kingsford on Thursday.

West Iron 11 18 15 16 — 60

Houghton 14 5 5 18 — 42 

WEST IRON (60): Pellizer 6, Swanson 15, B. Nelson 12, Tomasoski 10, S. Nelson 12, Forte 3, Henschel 1, Schram 1. FT: 9-16. Rebounds: 33 (S. Nelson 14). Fouls: 12. 3PT: Tomasoski 2, Swanson 1, B. Nelson 1.

HOUGHTON (42): Butvilas 14, Keskimaki 2, Sirard 20, Majlessi 2, Cleary 3, Cooper 1. FT: 10-13. Rebounds: 22 (Sirard 6). Fouls: 13. 3PT: Sirard 4, Butvilas 1, Cleary 1.

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