Mustangs deny Knights
NORWAY — Despite Norway having four players in double figures in scoring Tuesday night, Munising got past the host Knights 62-51 in a Skyline Central Conference boys basketball game.
Munising sophomores Kane Nebel and Simon Brown combined for 38 points, with Nebel draining a game-high 20. The Mustangs duo combined for eight made three-pointers in the game.
Freshman Alex Ortman led the Knights with 13 points off the bench, with junior Nolan Amundson chipping in 12 points.
The game started out fast-paced on both ends of the floor, with the Knights working the ball inside for their first two baskets of the game. Munising relied on their outside shooting accuracy and it continued throughout most of the night.
“The 3-pont shooting, that’s part of our game every game,” said Mustangs head coach Terry Kienitz. “I like to give our two or three good long-range shooters free reign, and tonight they were making them.”
Nebel netted half of point total in the first quarter for Munising.
“We knew coming in that they had some good shooters,” said Norway head coach Jeff Gallino. “Then Simon Brown came in after having played part of the JV game, and he hurt us in the second quarter hitting three 3-pointers.”
With the Mustangs’ lead starting to increase, Norway started rushing on offense, not getting good looks before pulling the trigger. Gallino called a time out.
“I wanted us to get into some of our half-court offensive sets, and some of the time, I thought we were effective with that tonight,” Gallino said.
Munising’s lead stayed near or at double digits throughout the second quarter, taking a 10-point lead into the intermission.
The Knights pecked away, getting the Munising lead under 10 points at the 4:44 mark of the third quarter after a successful “and 1” from Logan Parolini, for three of his 11 points in the game.
Kienitz pointed out that the Knights’ quickness and speed, especially on defense, gave his team trouble in the paint. “That’s why we relied so much on our outside shooting tonight,” he added.
Exactly 2:22 later, the Mustangs led by 16 points, after going on a 7-0 run, with more outside shoots falling. Norway trailed 50-38 as the final quarter began.
In the final quarter, Munising slowed the pace of the game but continued to get and take good shots, closing out the game in the process.
“The kids played hard, all the way throughout the game and didn’t quit. I am proud of them for that,” Gallino stated.
Gannon Bray chipped in 10 points for the Knights.
Munising, who is the No. 4 ranked team in Division 4 of the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters U.P. Basketball poll, improves to 8-1 on the season.
“Tonight was a tough game, Norway always plays us well at here and they have a strong program and are coached well,” Kienitz said. “They took a game from us late in the season at our place last year, so this one feels good tonight.”
The Knights, who slip to 7-3 (7-2 SCC) on the season, travel to Rapid River on Thursday for a SCC rematch with the Rockets. Norway travels to undefeated Bark River-Harris on Monday.
Michael Peterson scored a game high 14 points, as Norway won the JV contest 50-30. Wyatt Spade chipped in nine points for the Knights.
Munising 16 18 16 12 — 62
Norway 9 15 14 13 — 51
MUNISING: S. Brown 2, Duran 12, Simon Brown 18, Nebel 20, Kienitz 4, Lakosky 6; FT: 10-11; F: 20; Fouled Out: Simon Brown; 3-point FG: Nebel 4, Simon Brown 4.
NORWAY: Amundson 12, Seat 3, Bray 10, VanHolla 2, Ortman 13, Parolini 11; FT: 17-26; F: 11; Fouled Out: None; 3-point FG: Bray, Ortman.