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Mountaineers prove clutch

Hit big three-pointers in downing Gwinn

December 8, 2012
By BURT ANGELI - Sports Writer , The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Iron Mountain drained three straight triples in a fourth-quarter surge and rallied past Gwinn 57-50 in a wild-and-wooly Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball game Friday.

After Gwinn pulled ahead midway through the fourth period, Iron Mountain's Luke Zambon, Taylor Huotari and Paul Brooks responded with three-point field goals for a 53-47 lead at the 1:47 mark.

"It was entertaining for the fans but not as a coach," Mountaineers coach Bucky Johnson said. "It was a helter skelter game and they were flying everywhere.

Article Photos

Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo

Iron Mountain’s Taylor Huotari (10) looks to pass while Gwinn’s Derek Reetz (15) defends in Friday’s Mid-Peninsula Conference game.

"Some of the guys hit big shots at crunch time. That was awesome."

Zambon paced the Mountaineers with 16 points while Huotari and Gerry Pirkola each chipped in 14.

"They had three in a row that were just killers," Gwinn Coach Darren Sinnaeve said of the Mountaineer run. "That was tough to recover from.

"Zambon had some big threes in the game. I was disappointed how we rotated to him."

Justin Nyquist notched a team-high 16 points for the Modeltowners, who trailed by 12 in the second quarter and 25-17 at halftime.

Derek Reetz, with 10 points and 10 rebounds, nailed a three with 3:31 left in the game to put Gwinn in front 47-44.

"We had a slow start shooting again," said Sinnaeve, referring to the season opener with Munising. "But the kids battled.

"We settled for too many outside perimeter shots and didn't attack the basket enough throughout the game."

Kylor Skinner added 12 points for Gwinn.

"Skinner had a real good game n the second half," Sinnaeve said.

Iron Mountain survived a rash of fouls, with Pirkola picking up his fifth with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

"We got into serious foul trouble and that changed our game plan quite a bit," Johnson said. "The kids were trying to make plays and trying to be aggressive but you have to balance that out."

Gwinn, despite starting forward Owen DeVooght being unavailable for the game, held a rebound advantage.

"We struggled rebounding and that's going to be our Achilles' heel," Johnson said. "We're not real big and Gwinn is long and athletic."

Iron Mountain outscored Gwinn 13-3 over the final three minutes.

"Give our kids credit," Johnson said. "I thought all of the kids played hard.

"We're young in regard to playing experience.

"It was a tough, tough win. It wasn't a pretty game but they hung in there."

Gwinn's pressure forced 20 Mountaineer turnovers.

"I thought Iron Mountain played well in the biggest part of the game," Sinnaeve said. "Credit Bucky and his group for playing well. Iron Mountain moved the ball well and got good looks.

"This is a tough place to play. Hopefully, we can get them at our place and give a little better performance."

Iron Mountain (2-0 overall and MPC) travels to North Dickinson on Monday. Gwinn (1-1, 1-1) hosts Manistique on Friday.

Brock Grenier's 16 points lifted Iron Mountain's junior varsity past Gwinn 47-36.

Gwinn 8 9 19 14 - 50

Iron Mountain 13 12 15 17 - 57

GWINN: Sinnaeve 2, Reetz 10, Nyquist 16, Boettcher 9, Beauchamp 3, Skinner 12. FT: 7-15. F: 21. Fouled out: Reetz (:27, 4th).

IRON MOUNTAIN: Huotari 14, Pirkola 14, Brooks 6, Zambon 16, Merrill 2, Caudell 5. FT: 16-26. F: 19. Fouled out: Pirkola (3:38, 4th).

3-point FG: Huotari 3, Pirkola 2, Brooks 2, Zambon 2, Reetz, Nyquist 4, Boettcher 2. FG shooting: Iron Mountain 16-40, Gwinn 18-61. Rebounding: Iron Mountain 30 (Merrill 6, Zambon 5), Gwinn 31 (Reetz 10).



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