For The Daily News
CARNEY - The Carney-Nadeau Wolves still had a lot of fight left after a 28-minute uphill battle Thursday night.
Tom Kaeser/EagleHerald Photo
North Dickinson’s Matt Schultz splits two Carney-Nadeau defenders on his way to the basket Thursday.
The Wolves wiped out an early 15-2 deficit and outscored North Dickinson 24-9 down the stretch for a 66-53 win in their season opener.
"It felt like we were almost too pumped up for the game," coach Jake Polfus said. "We started so slow. We were hitting the backboard and missing layups."
Dionte Blahnik's spin-and-drive move gave the Wolves a 48-46 lead with 6:40 left in the game and sparked a 9-2 run.
Manuel Duran knocked down a triple and Keenan Lampinen dished to Blahnik for a hoop while falling down. Blahnik added a fadeaway jumper and then zipped a pass to Duran for a layup that gave the Wolves a 57-48 lead with 2:33 remaining.
"It think they just wore us down," Nordics' coach Chris Mattson said. "They were the more aggressive team at the end. We played more like we were playing not to lose."
Lampinen's 3-ball from the wing stretched the margin to 63-53 with 1:17 left.
After attacking the iron through the first three quarters, North Dickinson connected on just 4 of 14 shots in the fourth period.
"They did a nice job of attacking off the dribble," said Polfus. "They have quick guards. We had trouble with that tonight but the kids did a nice job of adjusting to that in the fourth quarter."
Carney-Nadeau sank just one of its first eight shots and the Nordics hammered the middle for their 15-2 lead.
"The defense was slow in rotating in the first quarter," said Polfus.
Caine Knaus was a lifeline off the bench as the senior pumped in three bombs from 3-point arc to help trim the deficit to 15-13.
"Knaus gave us a huge lift off the bench," said Polfus. "He hit three threes when we weren't hitting anything."
Derek Wagner drained a three to ignite a 22-8 North Dickinson flurry as the Nordics stretched their lead to 37-21 with three minutes left in the half.
Jason Dupont twirled in a wrap-around layup and Lucas Forgette buried a 3-pointer before Lampinen drilled a 3-bomb from the top of the key at the buzzer to pull the Wolves within 37-29 at halftime.
"They just kept fighting and fighting," said Mattson of the Wolves. "They were getting all the loose balls at the end."
Lampinen and Blahnik each had 16 points for the Wolves and Knaus finished with 12 points. Lampinen added five rebounds and seven steals and Blahnik had eight rebounds and five assists.
Noah Berg led the Nordics with 21 points.
"He played a whale of a game," Mattson said.
Wagner had 13 points, and Matt Schultz added eight points and 10 rebounds.
""We handled their pressure right off the bat," Mattson said. "That's nice to see in the first game. It was nice to see the kids attacking the rim."
North Dickinson's jayvees lost 55-52.
North Dickinson (0-1, 0-1) plays at Iron Mountain Monday.
N. Dickinson 17 20 7 9 - 53
Carney-Nadeau 15 14 13 24 - 66
NORTH DICKINSON (53) - Berg 21, O'Neil 4, Wagner 13, Johnson 2, Clark 4, Schultz 8. Totals - FG: 24 FT: 3-9
CARNEY-NADEAU (66) - Duran 2, Lampinen 16, Dupont 7, Blahnik 16, Johnson 6, Knaus 12, Lu. Forgette 2, Marsicek 2, Log. Forgette 3. Totals - FG: 24 FT: 10-16.