30-30 club: Johnson, Wonders do it all
Iron Mountain pair each net 30 points in 94-58 triumph over rival Flivvers
IRON MOUNTAIN – Behind 30-point performances by both senior Marcus Johnson and junior Foster Wonders, undefeated Iron Mountain coasted to a 94-58 victory over Kingsford in the season’s first installment of the twin city boys basketball rivalry.
The state’s Division 3, No. 2 ranked Mountaineers improved to 8-0, as Johnson and Wonders combined for 10 triples in the non-conference contest.
Cole Bracket led the Flivvers with 16 points, while Caleb Boone chipped in 12 and Nick Nora added 10 in front of a packed house with animated student sections.
Nora, Kingsford’s freshman point guard, hit a 3-pointer at the 6:29 mark to give the Flivvers a 3-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, the Mountaineers led 8-5. The fast-paced and energy-filled quarter ended with IM leading 16-11.
“That first quarter was fun,” Iron Mountain head coach Harvey “Bucky” Johnson said. “Both teams were up and down the court going at it in transition games.”
“For us to come out and be prepared for what we wanted to do tonight, against a team like that, I though my kids did a great job,” said Kingsford head coach Dan Olkkonen. “We know the talent they have. It’s no secret. Plus, Bucky scouts harder than any coach in the U.P in my opinion. So we knew we’d have a tough road tonight.
“Iron Mountain is a strong physical, team. We have a bunch of 6-foot and under guys, so they had a huge advantage underneath the basket. We play hard every night, but obviously Foster (Wonders) and Marcus (Johnson) are two of the best players in the U.P. They shot the ball so well, and share it so well with each other. Getting to play this team will help us be a better team for our district. I am proud of the way we played tonight.”
As the second quarter began, the Mountaineers went on a 8-2 scoring run in the first 2:11, which began a 31-point scoring surge for the home team. Wonders, who had three points in the first stanza, scored 17 of the Mountaineers’ 31 second-quarter points.
“We like to play fast, Kingsford came out and they were ready to play,” Johnson said. “Our kids had to get to the speed of what the game was going to be. Kingsford has got some young, skilled players and they brought it tonight.”
With a 47-28 lead at halftime, the Mountaineers kept their feet on the gas in the third quarter, extending the lead to 68-42 as the final quarter began. Throughout the game, the Mountaineers’ strong offensive rebounding created many second chance scoring opportunities, and they capitalized.
“What I liked to see tonight, was that even after the outcome of the game was clearly decided, the kids that were in the game on both teams were flying around all over the place,” said Johnson. “It was nice to see everyone in the gym into the game right until the end.”
Olkkonen, in his 20th season at the Flivvers helm, also noted that the fans and the atmosphere was great for both teams and communities.
Both teams return to action Thursday with home games. The Flivvers (2-6) will face county foe North Dickinson, with the Flivver frosh taking on the Crivitz JV2 team at Woodland Elementary. Iron Mountain welcomes Mid Peninsula Conference opponent Manistique to the Mountaineer gymnasium.
In the JV contest, Kingsford defeated IM 62-37 behind a game-high 17 points from Trestan Larson. Cade Counter added 16 points for the Flivvers, while the Mountaineers’ Joey Colavecchi also netted 16 points.
The Flivver freshmen traveled to Florence, Wis., to take on the Bobcats’ JV team. With Cole Myllyla netting a game high 20 points, Kingsford defeated Florence 45-34.
Monday night, the Flivver frosh traveled to Crivitz, Wis to take on the Wolverines JV2 team, falling 44-33. Myllyla led the Flivvers in that game as well, canning 16 points.
Kingsford 11 17 14 14 — 58
Iron Mtn 16 31 21 26 — 94
KINGSFORD: Meneguzzo 3, Nora 10, Boone 12, Bracket 16, Paupore 3, Carollo 4, Lavarnway 6, Bilgreen 2, Staedt 2. FT: 12-16. F: 20. 3-point FG: Paupore, Nora (2), Brackett (2), Lavarnway (2). Fouled Out: None.
IRON MOUNTAIN: Julian 2, Bellamy 2, Wonders 30, Johnson 30, G. Basanese 3, Evosevich-Hynes 5, Brown 3, Pietrantonio 8, Visintainer 3, Jake Dumais 6, Feira 2. FT: 15-23. F: 13. 3-point FG: Johnson (6), Wonders (4). Evosevich-Hynes, Visintainer, Brown. Fouled Out: None. Rebounds: 38 (Wonders 6, Johnson 5).