Boys basketball: Kingsford rallies past Houghton

Kingsford's Tyler Beauchamp (30) flips up a shot over Houghton's Wes Hyslop (14) in Tuesday's non-conference basketball game. (Burt Angeli/The Daily News)

KINGSFORD — Kingsford rolled past Houghton 59-42 in a Division 2 boys basketball district matchup Tuesday.

The Flivvers (2-0) and Gremlins meet three times this season. The next regular season meeting is Feb. 14 at Houghton and clash again Feb. 25 in a district opener at Kingsford.

“They’re going to get better like everybody else,” said coach Dan Olkkonen after his Flivvers held the Gremlins to without a field goal for a nine-minute stretch of second half. “We did a really good job of just playing better in the second half.”

Kingsford gained a 30-29 halftime edge and extended the gap to 42-37 after three quarters. The Flivvers ran off 13 unanswered points to start the final period.

Coach Jared Lawson said the scoring drought came at bad time for his Gremlins, who were still very much in the game.

“Kingsford had a hot-shooting night,” Lawson said. “That kind of set us back a little bit, kind of changed what we wanted to do game-plan wise. On top of that, we got good shots but we just couldn’t get anything to fall in.”

Tyler Beauchamp’s 18 points led the Flivvers while Luke Terrian and Andrew Mann each added 16. Beauchamp grabbed eight of Kingsford’s 26 rebounds.

“Not only did Kingsford shoot well, they did a great job passing the ball,” Lawson said.

George Butvilas topped the Gremlins with 20 points and 6-foot-6 Bradley Sirard added 14 — 12 in the first half. Sam Keskimaki had nine rebounds and Sirard had eight.

“Butvilas and Sirard are two great offensive scorers,” Olkkonen said. “We didn’t do a good enough job of helping in the first half.

“Cole Galeazzi, Andrew Mann and Nate Rutter did a great job in the second half of limiting them to good looks, stopping and forcing ugly shots.”

Beauchamp and Terrian also contributed defensively in the man defense.

“What I liked is we were still able to score (while playing good defense),” Olkkonen said. “We had pretty even scoring through each quarter. We didn’t have that lull like we did a lot of times last year.”

Beauchamp had eight of the Flivvers’ 13 straight points to start the fourth period.

“I thought we were patient looking for good shot opportunities,” Olkkonen said. “I bet we left eight or 10 lay-ups on the floor. We take care of that stuff we will be OK.”

Houghton trailed 55-37 before Butvilas hit back-to-back buckets with two minutes to go in the game.

“Kingsford did a great job tonight,” Lawson said. “Hats off to Dan and his staff.”

The Flivvers travel to Escanaba on Friday for the Great Northern Conference opener.

Kingsford won the junior varsity and freshman games with Houghton.

Houghton 16 13 8 5 — 42

Kingsford 16 14 12 17 — 59

HOUGHTON (42): Butvilas 20, Sirard 14, Keskimaki 8. FT: 3-4. F: 12. 3PT: Butvilas, Sirard 2.

KINGSFORD (59): Beauchamp 18, Terrian 16, Rutter 3, Mann 16, Galeazzi 4, Kopp 2. FT: 4-7. F: 7. 3PT: Beauchamp 4, Terrian 2, Rutter.