Boys basketball: Run spurs Broncos past Knights

Norway’s Jeff VanHolla drives to the basket as Bark River-Harris’ Carter Zawacki defends on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Norway, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

NORWAY — Bark River-Harris used a run in the third quarter to beat Norway 54-34 on Friday.

The Broncos (5-3) rallied with a 15-3 run to open the second half for a commanding lead over the Knights, who struggled offensively throughout the night.

“You have those non-shooting nights,” Norway head coach Jeff Gallino said. “When you have those nights you really have to be focused defensively and tonight it seemed like we got lost several times.”

The Broncos found points from inside and out, with 17 points from Hunter Debelak and 13 from Gage DeGrave.

“I think for both teams, for the first half, it was a defensive struggle,” Bark River-Harris coach Marc Zawacki said. “We were able to settle down in the second half and do some things that we wanted to do. Being up we were able to take care of the ball and get some good sets and get some good looks.”

Kody Hendricks led Norway with 13 points and Trey Doda had seven.

Norway (2-5) led the first quarter before the Broncos offense slowly awoke over the second quarter to garner a 20-16 halftime lead.

The Broncos took advantage of Norway’s offensive miscues to open up the tempo to start the third. BR-H held a 10-point lead just four minutes into the third.

“We seen in the first half we had some opportunities for some good open looks and just didn’t get the guys the ball where we wanted to,” Zawacki said. “We talked about that at halftime. Gage DeGrave came out there and stepped up and had some good looks and and knocked down some shots. That kind of sparked us there. Hunter came out and did just a bang-up job. He did a heck of a job. I thought all the guys — Broc (Stenberg) running the point — did a good job.”

The Knights fell into a rut with a couple turnovers to start the game and were plagued by a lack of focus throughout.

“We didn’t seem real focused,” Gallino said. “I’m not sure why that was.

“They knocked down some shots. I thought our defense was really poor and that’s been one of our high points this year. We really struggled on the defensive end.”

Zawacki said the team came into Friday’s game with special focus on Norway’s 6-foot-4 Hendricks, a physical force in the paint with an ability to knock down shots from behind the arc. The Broncos made Hendricks earn his points battling through a double-team and more help defense when he had the ball near the rim.

“That was one thing we wanted to do. (Hendricks) is a very skilled ballplayer for them in the paint and in the post,” Zawacki said. “We knew that coming into it that was something we wanted to try to do was neutralize him and limit the opportunities there.”

Norway JV won 67-58. Logan Parolini led the Knights with 18 points and Zach Seat had 16.

The Knights host North Dickinson on Monday.

Bark River-Harris 10 10 18 16 — 54

Norway 12 4 11 7 — 34

BARK RIVER-HARRIS (54): Debelak 17, DeGrave 13, Schmitt 8, Zawacki 8, Javurek 4, Stenberg 3, Bower 1. FT: 10-18. F: 12. 3PT: DeGrave 2, Debelak 2, Stenberg 1.

NORWAY (34): Hendricks 13, Doda 7, Lasater 4, VanHolla 3, LeGrave 3, Benjamin 2, Paulitch 2. FT: 6-11. F: 18. 3PT: Doda 1, Hendricks 1.