Esky overwhelms Flivvs
KINGSFORD — In a game that was a tale of two entirely different halves, the Kingsford Flivvers boys basketball team opened up its campaign with a 83-48 loss to Great Northern Conference rival Escanaba.
The first quarter was very seesaw with the lead going back and forth. Both teams were in transition offense for the first three to four minutes of the quarter, then slowed down and went into offensive half-court sets. Andrew Poupore hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to make the score 18-17.
As the second quarter began, 6-foot-7 Escanaba junior center Carter Hudson took over with his size and athleticism. With several offensive rebounds, Hudson turned them into second chance points. The young Flivvers squad had no answer for him on either end of the court throughout the game.
Kingsford kept themselves in the game early on, with Escanaba leading 38-31 going into the half. As the third quarter began, Kingsford turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions.
Coach Dan Olkkonen’s young and inexperienced Flivvers struggled with turnovers throughout the game.
“It was our first game of the season,” Olkkonen said. “We have literally a whole new team. Only one kid on the roster played a few games on the varsity last season.
“For the boys to come out and play with the effort they did, and keep ourselves in the game for two and a half quarters, I am very pleased with that.”
Escanaba head coach Tracy Hudson also noted that despite his team’s large margin of victory, he was impressed with what he saw from the very inexperienced Kingsford team.
“I would say they have something to build off of,” Hudson said.
Kingsford forced some shots in the third quarter, which Escanaba capitalized on and by the time the third quarter ended, the Eskymos extended their lead to 60-44. Escanaba’s offense was smooth in the second half and its ball movement was great as well.
“The final score was irrelevant and no indication of as to how we played tonight,” said Olkkonen. “Our freshman point guard (Nick Nora) got introduced tonight as to how fast the game is at the varsity level. Our boys will learn how to play together more and more as we get closer to the end of February.”
“Kingsford came out with a-lot of aggression, they were pressing us and shot well to begin the game,” Hudson said. “Both teams showed a-lot of potential for the first conference game. I was happy with our overall performance on the night.”
Hudson noted that several of his players stepped up at different times of the game, and also noting that all of his players were able to play and all contributed in one way or another.
The Eskymos outrebounded Kingsford 41-28, and also committed less turnovers than the young Flivvers 19-16.
Peyton Fedell led all scores with 18 points for the Eskymos, while Hudson chipped in 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Bryant Maki added 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks.
Sophomore Michael Meneguzzo led the Flivvers with 16 points.
The Flivvers are off until Friday when they host non-conference foe Westwood. Escanaba (1-1, 1-0) hosts Houghton on Tuesday.
The JV contest was also won by Escanaba 60-44. Cade Counter netted 11 points to lead the Flivvers.
In the freshman contest, behind 25 points from Cole Myllyla, Kingsford defeated the Eskymos 50-30. Ben Trevillian chipped in 10 points.
Escanaba 18 20 22 23 — 83
Kingsford 17 14 13 4 — 48
ESCANABA: Frazer 15, Kuchenberg 4, Fedell 18, M. Seymour 8, Smale 5, Hudson 17, Marenger 3, Maki 10, Johnson 3. FT: 14-19. F: 18. 3-point FG: Frazer, Fedell (2), Seymour, Smale, Hudson, Marenger. Rebounds 41 (Hudson 10, Maki 6). Fouled Out: None
KINGSFORD: Meneguzzo 16, Nora 5, Boone 6, Bracket 6, Paupore 3, Carollo 4, Slingsby 2, Bilgreen 6. FT: 8-17. F: 20 3-point FG: Meneguzzo (2), Nora, Paupore. Rebounds: 29. Fouled Out: None