Marquette turns back Flivvs
Lotterman nets 21 in 50-35 victory at Kingsford; Bracket leads hosts with 12
KINGSFORD — Speed and athleticism, Marquette had plenty of it Friday night as they defeated Kingsford, 50-35 in a Great Northern Conference boys basketball game at the Kingsford Middle School Gymnasium.
The game pitted two teams ranked in the first Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association U.P. basketball poll. Marquette came in at No. 3 and Kingsford in a tie for No. 4 with undefeated Bark River-Harris.
Ty Lotterman led all scorers with 21 points for Marquette, with Cole Bracket pacing Kingsford with 12 points.
“Lotterman is a great post player, he gave us a tough matchup tonight,” said Kingsford head coach Dan Olkkonen. “Their guards are quick and the game was faster paced than I’d have hoped for.”
Both teams got off to slow starts, with the Flivvers turning the ball over multiple times. Early in the first stanza, Kingsford sophomore point guard Nick Nora sprained his ankle, right at the feet of coach Olkkonen in front of the Flivvers bench.
Nora, who is a cog in the Flivvers’ fast-paced, up-tempo offense, never returned to the game.
Marquette began using a 3/4 court press. With Kameron Karp and Lincoln Sager putting strong pressure on the ball, it was very disruptive to the Flivvers, as they continued turning the ball over.
“I think Kam (Karp) is the best player I have ever seen in the open court, so we wanted to push the tempo and get a lead,” said Marquette head coach Brad Nelson. “Once their point guard (Nora) went down, we knew their offense would slow down, so getting a cushion was a key for us. He changes their whole offense, and you hate to see that happen,” he added.
Marquette went on 14-4 run in the first 2:40 of the second quarter.
The visiting team continued to use their quick ball movement and speed throughout the second quarter, to build a 13-point halftime lead.
In the third and fourth quarters, it was much of the same for Marquette, steady defense and fast-paced offensive sets. Despite that, Nelson wasn’t happy with his team in certain aspects.
He added that this season is different than any other he’s coached, because of the compressed schedule. “I don’t want to work the boys too hard, and I make sure I remind myself of that,” he said. “But if we play like we did tonight in our Division 1 district, we don’t stand a chance.”
Olkkonen noted that the Flivvers were tired in the second half, having played Thursday night at Gladstone. “Tonight was our fifth game in 11 days,” he said. “But I guess everyone is in the same boat with the amount of games we have to play this season, in a shorter time. That’s why I knew a fast-paced game with their quick guards would hurt us tonight.”
Kingsford, who slips to 5-3 (2-2 GNC) travels to non-conference foe Carney-Nadeau on Tuesday, before returning home to face non-conference opponent North Dickinson on Thursday.
In the JV contest, Kingsford avoided the three game sweep by defeating Marquette 30-28.
The freshmen contest went to Marquette 58-28. Cardel Morton led Kingsford with 14 points.
Marquette 7 23 14 6 — 50
Kingsford 2 15 12 6 — 35
MARQUETTE: Karp 8, Sager 8, Lotterman 21, Weber 3, Johnson 2, Demay 8; FT: 4-4; F: 15; 3-point FG Weber, Lotterman; Fouled Out: None.
KINGSFORD: Meneguzzo 5, Neuens 2, Kopp 7, Weber 2, Bracket 12, Bilgreen 7; FT: 7-10; F: 10; Fouled Out: None. 3-point FG: Meneguzzo, Bilgreen.