Mountaineers pound Gwinn
Build 34-point lead by half; win 70-20
IRON MOUNTAIN — Talent and athleticism. When one team has more than the other, the one without is usually at a disadvantage.
Behind a combined 49 points for Foster Wonders and Marcus Johnson, Iron Mountain cruised past Gwinn 70-20 Friday night.
Wonders’ 28 points led all scorers, with Johnson adding 21 for the undefeated Mountaineers (7-0) in what was a dual conference win in the West PAC and Mid-Peninsula Conferences.
“We got off to a good start tonight,” IM head coach Harvey “Bucky” Johnson said. “We haven’t played at home in over 30 days. The schedule thus far hasn’t been to kind to us in that regard, but we got through it.
“Tonight we came out and we were ready right away. Our defense was good and it opened things up for us offensively.”
The Mountaineers came out in a three-quarter press, which rattled the Modeltowners right from the start. IM got several easy early baskets off of the press, and after one quarter, the Mountaineers led 23-9.
“I thought our defensive pressure was good all night. We also wanted to extend their defense like we did and it gave them all sorts of trouble,” coach Johnson said.
The frustrated Modeltowners also turned the ball over often, which IM also capitalized on.
Coach Johnson also noted that his team’s rebounding was good all throughout the game.
“We had 22 steals. Most of the time, when you have that many steals in a basketball game, the result is usually in your favor. It bodes well for the offense too, getting extra fast break opportunities,” said Johnson.
IM outrebounded Gwinn by probably a two to one margin.
Coming out of the locker room after halftime with a 46-12 lead, IM began to slowly substitute their bench players at different points of the second half.
“Everyone got to play, which helps when there’s a given night when we may have to go into our bench for one reason or another,” said Johnson.
To be on the losing side of a game like that isn’t easy, but the Gwinn kids didn’t stop playing, or weren’t simply going through the motions.
Head coach Jim Finkbeiner made the best of the situation after the game by saying, “You hope that the kids do learn something from tonight. IM is the No. 1 team in the U.P. for a reason, and they have two tremendous players. But they have other players that can play well and contribute.”
Finkbeiner added, “It’s certainly not ideal to have games like this too often, but it can be used as a learning experience going forward.”
Gwinn (1-7) returns home to face Mid-Pen conference foe Gladstone on Tuesday.
Iron Mountain remains home for the next two games, when they entertain their Twin City rival Kingsford on Tuesday night, before the Manistique Emeralds come to town on Thursday night.
A couple minutes prior to tip-off, IM Athletic Director Don Bianco came to center court and made an announcement pointing out the new scoreboards in the gym, thanking the donors and the individuals involved in getting them. Marcus Johnson scored the first varsity points on the scoreboards.
In the JV game, Gwinn defeated the Mountaineers 42-34. Carl Peterson led all scorers with 15 points.
Gwinn 9 3 6 2 — 20
Iron Mtn 23 23 13 11 — 70
GWINN: Hernick 2, Lightford 9, Anderson 6, Hill 1, Jancsi 2. FT: 3-6. F: 18. 3-point FG: Lightford. Fouled Out: Anderson
IRON MOUNTAIN: Wonders 28, Johnson 21, Feira 2, Visintainer 2, Jake Dumias 1, Pietrantonio 6, Brown 3, Evosevich-Hynes 2, D. Basanese 3, Rolon-Delgado 2. FT: 14-26. F: 11. Fouled Out: None. 3-point FG: Johnson (3), Wonders (4), Brown. Rebounds 31 (Wonders 7) Steals 22 (Johnson 6).