NEGAUNEE - After an admittedly poor showing against Marquette last week, the Negaunee High School boys basketball team was looking for a stronger effort Monday night against Gwinn.
Behind Tanner Uren, the Miners got what they wanted.
The 6-3 senior forward poured in a game-high 20 points as NHS beat the Modeltowners, 64-57, in a Mid-Peninsula Conference game at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium.
Gwinn's Derek Reetz drives to the hoop as Negaunee's Tyler Jandron tries to stop him during the first quarter at Negaunee’s Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium on Monday. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Negaunee's Zane Radloff goes up for a layup during the fourth quarter. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
"We had to come out and play hard," Uren said. "We had to have a good bounce back game. We didn't play well against Marquette, so we knew it was important to get a win tonight.
"You have to come out early in the season and prove you're a worthy team. We have some stuff to work on and hopefully, we improve as the season goes on."
The Miners (4-1 overall, 1-0 M-PC) also got 13 points from Tyler Jandron and 12 from Eric Lori in a game Negaunee led 60-36 before Gwinn went on a 21-4 run over the final 5 1/2 minutes against primarily Miner reserves.
"(The rebound) was more for themselves," NHS head coach Mike O'Donnell said of his players. "They felt they could play better than they did against Marquette."
Uren scored 10 points in the first half as Negaunee overcame some early turnovers to eventually lead at intermission, 31-15.
"I was just taking what the (Gwinn) defense gave me," he said.
Added O'Donnell: "He looked more relaxed on the offensive end. He's very fundamentally sound ... and very good at positioning his body."
Gwinn (2-2, 1-2) had trouble getting untracked offensively the first three quarters due to turnovers and a 3-2 Negaunee zone defense.
"Turnovers just killed us," Modeltowners head coach Darren Sinnaeve said. "At the end of the third quarter, we had a bunch of them again.
"Their zone gave us a little bit of trouble, as did their half court zone trap. We held onto the ball too long.
"We also shot only two free throws the first three quarters," he added. "We have to get to the basket in the paint more."
Jandron and Lori each scored six of their points in the first half, while Justin Nyquist notched but three of his team-high 11 points for Gwinn in the first two quarters.
Teammate Derek Reetz netted four of his 10 points in the first 16 minutes.
"We did an excellent defensive job on Reetz and Nyquist," O'Donnell said. "They're both good athletes with nice size\. We had Jandron on Reetz due to (Tyler's) quickness and Uren guarded Nyquist."
With Brock Weaver scoring six points, and both Lori and Uren chipping in five apiece, the Miners outscored Gwinn 18-12 in the third quarter.
"We have to work on our offense, but our defense was strong tonight," Uren said. "Defensively, we turned some (Gwinn) turnovers into offense."
The Miners took the late 60-36 lead before O'Donnell began emptying his bench.
The Modeltowners, with Nyquist notching six straight points at one point, and both Alex Morse and Anthony Bodenus adding four each, made the final score more respectable.
"Our strong point tonight was defense," O'Donnell said. "We changed defensive looks on Gwinn and that kept them guessing. We also got some turnovers."
Negaunee won the junior varsity game, 82-46.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.