Boys basketball: Broncos hold off Norway, 58-53

Norway’s Connor Ortman chases down the ball against Bark River-Harris on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Norway, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

NORWAY — Bark River-Harris opened up a wide lead in the third quarter and held off Norway’s comeback in a 58-53 win on Wednesday.

The Broncos (6-4) came out shooting hot in the third quarter and expanded a 13-point lead to 19 points. A mix of inside and outside shooting spurred BR-H to a 40-21 lead just two minutes into the quarter.

The complexion of the game changed with 31.6 seconds left in the third quarter when Logan Heim came off the floor with an injury after a hard collision with Micah Wilson. Wilson stood his ground in the paint as Heim drove hard for a layup. Heim was whistled for a charge. The Broncos had an eight-point lead at the time and for as much as Norway pressured with their offense, didn’t cut the deficit lower than six.

“I’d much rather cruise to a victory instead of it coming down to a few points,” Bark River-Harris coach Jim VanEnkevort said. “They’re a good team. It’s hard, each team had their runs. I really like what we did. We’re playing much better than we were or have been.”

VanEnkevort said he thought about calling a timeout as Norway chipped at the lead, but never did.

Bark River-Harris’ Logan Heim (45) goes for a layup as Norway’s Micah Wilson (2) defends on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Norway, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

“I should have probably called timeout once or twice – once anyway – and I didn’t. They’re right there and it’s like I hesitated. I know better than that,” he said. “I think the other thing is I changed the offense a little bit too and we weren’t attacking as much. We weren’t getting the looks like we were when he was in the game.”

Norway point guard Josh Plante fouled out with about four minutes left in the game and Heim returned less than a minute after that.

Ryan Arndt led the Broncos with 15 points. Hunter Debelak had 11 points.

Connor Ortman paced Norway with 17 points while Plante had 15.

“Josh got into foul trouble there a little bit so we kind of backed off,” Norway head coach Jeff Gallino said. “We never really got into the flow of things offensively. I thought we could’ve did a better job in our halfcourt offense. I don’t think we did a very good job of that.”

Bark River-Harris’ Hunter Debelak (35) celebrates after hitting a buzzer-beater to end the third quarter against Norway on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Norway, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

Ortman sank a 3-pointer to end the first half that cut the Knights’ lead to 32-19. Norway never found a way to spark more magic. The Broncos’ shooting put a damper on Norway’s efforts to retake the lead. The roles were almost exactly switched after Norway’s convincing win over the Broncos on Jan. 12. Norway had shot well while Bark River struggled to establish a rhythm.

“It seemed like they were making everything. When we went down there, we were on fire,” Gallino said. “They came down here and they were on fire. I guess that’s basketball — that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Norway JV won 57-47.

Bark River-Harris hosts North Central on Friday, while Norway hosts West Iron County.

Bark River-Harris 19 13 15 13 — 58

Norway’s Kody Hendricks puts up a shot against Bark River-Harris on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Norway, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

Norway 10 9 15 19 — 53

BARK RIVER-HARRIS (58): Arndt 15, Debelak 11, Mustafa 10, Groos 8, Richer 7, Schultz 2. F: 14. FT: 8-15.

NORWAY (53): Ortman 17, Plante 15, Wilson 10, Faull 5, Hendricks 4, Boulden 2. F: 17 (Plante fouled out). FT: 9-9.

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