Wonders nets 36 in Iron Mountain victory over Wykons
IRON MOUNTAIN — Those in attendance saw a fast start to the game and plentiful scoring for the home team as Iron Mountain overwhelmed shorthanded West Iron County 83-41 in West PAC Conference boys basketball here Monday night.
Foster Wonders, who led all scorers with 36 points for the Mountaineers, worked his way into the paint for many of his points.
The Wykons were led in scoring by senior center Justin Nelson, who drained five treys in the first half, on his way to 26 points.
Early in the first quarter, IM was working the ball inside to Jurgen Kleiman and Bryce Pietrantonio. West Iron did keep Kleiman in check on the night, but couldn’t do the same with Pietrantonio, who chipped in a season-high 15 points.
Iron Mountain improves to 7-0 on the season.
Less than four minutes into the contest, the Mountaineers led 12-0. The hosts extended their lead to 20 points by the end of the first quarter, essentially putting the game out of reach.
“I thought we were ready at the beginning of the game, and then I looked up and it was 12-0,” said Iron Mountain head coach Harvey “Bucky” Johnson. “Obviously when you start a game off like that it’s a good sign. The kids were certainly ready to play.”
“Foster continues to impress with his offensive skills. Also, Bryce Pietrantonio around the basket was real crafty and had a real nice game for us,” Johnson added. “I am very happy with our overall team effort and a conference win.”
The Wykons had no answer defensively for Wonders or any of the Mountaineers in the basketball game.
Nelson drained a long 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, however the Mountaineers led 44-19 at the break. WIC head coach Dan Schive noted that Nelson draws lots of double-team or triple-team defenses throughout the season.
“Nelson was draining contested shots, long three’s. I gotta give him credit, he had a nice game,” Johnson exclaimed. “He’s a great player.”
In the third quarter, the Mountaineers strong rebounding and defense continued, as they slowed down the pace of their offense, and worked out of half court sets.
The Wykons continued playing hard throughout the contest, despite the outcome being determined early in the game. However, they were down two starters in Nathan Lundin, who is lost for the season with a knee injury, and Nathan Thomson, who as per the WIC coaching staff, will be ready to return from an ankle injury Thursday at Ironwood.
“Tonight was a tough uphill battle. I hope we’re a better team after tonight, from playing against a team this skilled,” said Schive. “Hopefully it shows up somewhere down the road in the season.”
West Iron, who falls to 2-5 (2-1 West PAC) travels to non-conference foe Ironwood on Thursday, before traveling to face West PAC opponent Hancock on Friday.
The Mountaineers head to the Copper Country themselves on Thursday, to take on West PAC foe Houghton.
Iron Mountain also won the JV contest.
West Iron 3 16 14 8 — 41
Iron Mtn 2 3 21 16 23 — 83
WEST IRON COUNTY: Stapleton 3, Isaacson 4, Ballinger 6, Nelson 26, Wickstrom 2; FT: 4-7; F: 8; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: Stapleton. Ballinger, Nelson 5.
IRON MOUNTAIN: Pietrantonio 15, Brown 6, Decker 2, Colavecchi 7, Dumais 5, Basanese 2, Kleiman 5, Evosevich-Hynes 5, Wonders 36; FT: 10-13; F: 10; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: Colavecchi, Brown 2, Wonders 3, Evosevich-Hynes; Rebounds: 28, Wonders 9; Assists: 14, Wonders 5; Steals: 11, Wonders, Pietrantonio 4.