Munising edges Norway, 55-54
MUNISING — Alec Blank made a free throw in the final seconds and Munising survived a last-second shot by Norway to post a 55-54 Skyline Central Conference win on Tuesday night.
It was a game Norway head coach Jeff Gallino said felt like Norway gave away with late turnovers.
“We played hard enough but just didn’t take care of the ball late in the game,” Gallino said. “Had some turnovers at crucial times and came up short. We turned the ball over way too much. Lack of execution.”
The Mustangs’ Cade Contreras, who led his team in scoring with 23 points, hit a 3-pointer with about a minute or a bit more to go to tie the game 54-54, according to his coach Terry Kienitz.
“When we got the ball back, Alec drove the lane and was fouled and made 1 of 2 at the line,” Kienitz said.
Norway (11-8, 5-5) rushed the ball upcourt and was forced into a turnover along the sideline, Kienitz said. Contreras was fouled with 3.7 seconds to go, but missed the front-end of a one-and-one that could’ve insured no worse than overtime.
Instead, the Knights made several passes and got off a shot from just beyond the 3-point arc at the buzzer that came up shy.
“We had a lead with about three minutes left and we didn’t take care of the ball like we should have,” Gallino said.
Norway’s Connor Ortman joined Contreras in scoring 23 points. Each team also had a 14-point scorer — Anthony Mattson for the Mustangs and Micah Wilson for the Knights. Ten of Mattson’s points came in his team’s 12-point first quarter to get Munising off to a good start.
Munising built a 28-23 halftime lead only to see it turn into a 44-38 deficit by the end of the third quarter.
“We had a few turnovers, we played bad on offense, we had a few charges (offensive fouls),” Kienitz said about the third.
Munising also won the JV game 62-53.
Norway completes its regular season with a home game against Rapid River on Thursday.
The Mustangs (16-3, 9-2) conclude the regular season with a showdown against Alger County rival Superior Central at 7 p.m. Monday to open the Class D district being held in Munising.
Norway 10 13 21 10 — 54
Munising 12 16 10 17 — 55
NORWAY (54): Ortman 23, Wilson 14, Hendricks 9, Plante 4, Boulden 2, Doda 2. FT: 17-22. F: 15. 3PT: Ortman 2, Wilson 1.
MUNISING (55): Contreras 23, Mattson 14, Blank 8, Matson 6, Huotari 4. FT: 6-9. F: 17. Technical foul: Huotari. 3PT: Mattson 2, Contreras 2, Blank 1.