Good choice in covering Jets-Knights


ScuttleBu(r)t …

I had three options for covering high school boys basketball last week.

With sports editor Adam Niemi off to watch Kingsford-Marquette hockey, I had to choose among Niagara vs. Goodman-Pembine, Kingsford vs. West Iron County or Norway vs. North Central.

I went with the Knights and Jets where the game was decided in overtime by a last-second Austin Poupore shot.

Even though the three-time defending state champion Jets have lost Dawson Bilski, Jason Whitens, Marcus Krachinski, Bobby Kleiman and Seth Polfus to graduation, once-beaten North Central still presents a formidable lineup. The new crew didn’t bat an eyelash when trailing by 10 in the first half and seven in overtime.

I got a laugh out of one Norway fan who spotted Bilski, now a Michigan Tech freshman, taking a seat in the stands: “Good, you’re not playing.”

This may be very obvious but Adam Mercier is a really, really good coach. The new Jets are playing at a high level and clicking on the game-winning three-point play with no timeouts didn’t happen by accident.

After talking to new Norway coach Jeff Gallino a couple times this season after a big win and tough loss, I’ve got no doubt he’s off to a bright future. His Knights experienced some problems against North Central — turnovers, dumb shots — that are quite fixable.

Jeff is very much into the game like his grandfather, North Dickinson coaching great Don Benzie. Still treasure those battles where Don Benzie and Forest Park’s Stuart J. Smith would start yelling at each other while the game was going on. Even better with refs Ducky Perrin and Dave St. Onge overseeing the excitement

Jets fan let out a deafening roar after Poupore hit the game-winner. The long overdue game, the first in 22 years, was played before a well-filled gym. Just might be a couple folks watching the rematch Friday, Feb. 16, in Powers …

From a Norway Packer backer who sat through single-digit temperatures Saturday night at Lambeau Field: “Sounded like a good idea in September.”

Former Florence High School star Kari (Flunker) Hoffman saw her Cedarville University three-point field goal record duplicated.

Baylee Bennett nailed eight triples in WBCA Division II No. 22 Cedarville’s double overtime loss to Findlay.

Hoffman, who also hit eight three-pointers during her Cedarville days, now coaches the Yellowjackets (8-2 overall, 3-1 G-MAC). Brittany Smart, Cedarville’s all-time leading scorer, also hit eight three-pointers in one game …

Burt Angeli is a Daily News columnist and sports writer. He can be reached at or 906-774-2772, ex. 25. Follow him on Twitter @ScuttleBurt