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Wonders scores 42; Iron Mountain takes 2021 rivalry game

(Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photos) Kingsford’s Andrew Paupore (23) is defended by Iron Mountain’s Ricky Brown (10) and Bryce Pietrantonio (22) as Iron Mountain coach Bucky Johnson, left, looks on Tuesday at Iron Mountain High School. The Mountaineers won 83-46.

IRON MOUNTAIN — In what will be the only game between them in this condensed 2021 boys basketball season, Iron Mountain was led by standout senior Foster Wonders with a career-high 42 points in an 83-46 win over Kingsford on Tuesday.

Both teams came out in a man-to-man defense, with Wonders having the hot hand early. Iron Mountain was patient in their half-court offense, while the visiting Flivvers pushed the tempo with mixed results.

IM took an early 12-5 lead and held it throughout. Several second -chance baskets helped the Mountaineers stay in control.

As Wonders got deeper into rhythm offensively, his teammates fed him off of offensive rebounds. Kingsford switched up its half-court defense in an attempt to slow the future Southern Illinois player, but Wonders netted 30 in the first half.

“I thought our defense was pretty good again tonight,” said Iron Mountain head coach Harvey “Bucky” Johnson. “The way Foster was scoring tonight, we obviously fed off of him offensively, but some of our other guys contributed, too.”

Iron Mountain’s Foster Wonders tips in a shot Tuesday against Kingsford. Wonders scored 42 points, including 30 in the first half.

Ricky Brown chipped in 11 points for the Mountaineers, who improve to 4-0 on the season.

“We got off to a good start tonight, we knew Kingsford was coming in to play hard,” Johnson said. “They’re a good team and much improved, but we were up for the challenge. (Nick) Nora is a crafty player, especially for a sophomore, he played tough tonight.”

Nora led the Flivvers with 15 points.

“I looked at our game plan and what we want to do — or try to do — on Foster. Like every other team, we had to switch out different guys guarding him,” said Kingsford head coach Dan Olkkonen. “But he wasn’t missing many shots, plus their second-best offense is the other four guys on their team rebounding, giving Foster the ball back.”

Another factor was turnovers. The Flivvers had 12 in the first half alone and the Mountaineers just two.

“We can’t turn the ball over that many times and be in any game, especially against a team like this,” Olkkonen said. “I am glad it was a fun game, though. All of these kids are friends, and the players on Iron Mountain’s team this year, they’re all really good kids. It’s nice to see them succeed.”

As the third quarter began, Iron Mountain was hustling up and down the floor, playing aggressively on both offense and defense.

With the outcome of the game not in question, early in the final quarter, both coaches subbed in their bench players for the final four to five minutes of play.

“We have eight players that we rotate in and everyone is athletic and can play defense. Plus everyone is fast, even our big guys,” Johnson said.

The Flivvers, who slip to 2-1 on the season, travel to Houghton on Thursday night. On Friday night, Kingsford travels to West Iron.

Iron Mountain remains home as they host non-conference foe Ironwood Thursday night, before traveling to face West PAC Conference opponent Hancock on Friday night.

Despite 23 points from the Flivvers’ Cole Myllyla, Iron Mountain was also victorious in the JV contest, 52-51. Luke Decker led IM with 15 points.

Kingsford’s freshmen traveled to Escanaba and were defeated 62-36. Eli Wallis led the Flivvers with 18 points.

Kingsford 11 13 14 12 — 46

Iron Mtn 21 21 20 21 — 83

KINGSFORD: Larson 3, Person 2, Bracket 8, Weber 2, Kopp 7, Carollo 4, Meneguzzo 5, Nora 15; FT: 7-10; F: 18; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: Nora, Carollo, Kopp.

IRON MTN: Chartier 2, Runsat 1, Colavecchi 4, Wonders 42, Brown 11, Pietrantonio 3, Evosevich-Hynes 7, Kleiman 2, Dumais 7, Basanese 4; FT: 14-18; F: 12; 3-point FG: Brown, Evosevich-Hynes, Wonders 5; Fouled Out: None.

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