Boys basketball: Iron Mountain puts Gwinn in foul trouble, wins 72-48

Iron Mountain’s Tony Feira (32) shoots against Gwinn on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Iron Mountain, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Gwinn fell into foul trouble in the second quarter and Iron Mountain took advantage of it in a 72-48 Mid-Peninsula Conference win on Friday.

The Modeltowners (1-9) hung within a few points of the Mountaineers until their leading scorer Tucker Taylor was taken out with three fouls and 6:05 left in the second quarter.

“Big key going into this game was Tucker Taylor,” Iron Mountain head coach Bucky Johnson said. “He’s averaging like 23 points a game. He had four points tonight so that was big. He got foul trouble. I think we took two charges on him. So that was nice to take him out of the game because that’s when we extended our lead.”

When Taylor left the game, Gwinn was down 18-12. At halftime, the Mountaineers had a 32-14 lead.

Taylor finished with four points. Austin Forbes led Gwinn with 26 points.

“I thought that was really good, but in the second quarter we got into serious foul trouble. When I have to take my top player Tucker Taylor off the floor for five minutes, it just changes how we do offense and defense,” Gwinn head coach Jim Finkbeiner said. “Tonight he was struggling. Games are different, games are called different every time so as players they have to adjust to that. Sometimes it’s tougher than others. On the road, you try and get yourself going. He was taking some chances and that was part of what led to the fouls. He was taking some chances trying to get us going.”

Marcus Johnson paced the Mountaineers (7-0, 5-0 MPC) with 21 points and seven assists. Tony Feira grabbed seven of Iron Mountain’s 29 rebounds.

Charlie Gerhard also got into foul trouble for Iron Mountain. He came off the floor soon after Taylor in the second quarter but avoided fouling out and finished with three fouls.

Iron Mountain put the pedal to the medal in a physical third quarter, scoring 27 points including 10 from Jaden Vicenzi. Johnson was given a technical foul with 4:07 in the third quarter.

“Any time you score 27 points in a quarter you’re doing something right,” Johnson said.

The Modeltowners, down 59-28 after three quarters, scored 20 points in the fourth. Finkbeiner said he appreciated the team’s no-quit effort.

“Really tough to play behind from anybody, much less a team like that,” he said.

Finkbeiner said Iron Mountain’s hard to defend because of Marcus’s ability to spread the ball around. He had seven of the Mountaineers’ 14 assists.

“He does a lot for them, more than just scoring too. Makes it really tough because you can’t leave Gerhard or Vicenzi open either,” Finkbeiner said. “He makes a nice drive and kicks it and it’s easy buckets. They’ve got a nice rotation. They got a really nice group of kids that complement each other. Marcus is the one that you worry about — any one of those guys play their roles well.”

Coach Johnson said freshman Foster Wonders will make his long-awaited varsity debut on Tuesday when the Mountaineers host rival Kingsford. Foster, whose brother Carson is a member of the Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team, has been out with a stress fracture in his foot. Carson is Iron Mountain’s all-time leading scorer. Johnson said he’s looking forward to Foster’s debut.

“He’s been practicing for about a week. He’s quite a dynamic to add to our team,” Johnson said. “We’re just all looking forward to his return. I think the training staff and the doctors have done it right. They’ve given him quite a bit of time to heal. Everything looks good.”

Gwinn hosts Gladstone on Tuesday.

Iron Mountain JV won, 50-26.

Gwinn 10 4 14 20 — 48

Iron Mountain 16 16 27 13 — 72

GWINN (48): Forbes 26, Laurich 10, Anderson 6, Taylor 4, Jenson 2. FT: 7-11. F: 23 (Taylor fouled out). Rebounds: 26.

IRON MOUNTAIN (72): Johnson 21, Vicenzi 17, Gerhard 9, Feira 7, Tucker 6, Kulas 5, Celello 5, Erickson 2. FT: 17-28. F: 17. FG: 25-54. 3PT: 5-15 (Johnson 3, Kulas 1, Celello 1). Rebounds: 29 (Feira 7). Assists: 14 (Johnson 7).