IRON MOUNTAIN - Taylor Huotari, Iron Mountain's only scorer for the first 16 minutes, totaled a game-best 22 points, but Negaunee pulled away at the foul line in the fourth quarter to earn a 60-36 Mid-Peninsula boys basketball win on Monday in Iron Mountain.
"It was a battle for sure," Iron Mountain head coach Harvey Johnson said. "I don't think the score is an indicator of what the game was like."
Negaunee, led by Tyler Jandron's 18 points, held a 34-26 advantage after three quarters. But the Miners entered the fourth in the bonus and collected 16 points at the line in the final frame, shooting 22-of-27 at the stripe for the night.
Negaunee’s Tanner Uren (23) takes the ball from Iron Mountain’s Luke Zambon in Monday’s Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball game in Iron Mountain. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo by Burt Angeli)
"We definitely played better in the second half," Negaunee coach Mike O'Donnell said. "It was a grind-it-out victory, a very physical game both ways.
"We did a nice job in the second half of creating separation, forcing Iron Mountain to foul, and then making our free throws."
Jandron scored eight of his 18 with a perfect effort at the line. Tanner Uren, who had 10 points, was 6-of-6 on free throws. Eric Lori also scored in doubles for Negaunee (11-1 overall, 6-0 in M-PC) with 11 points.
Considering the physical toll of the game - which included a combined 41 fouls - O'Donnell was even more impressed with his team's ability to come through at the line late, hitting 11 of 11 free throws.
"It's an excellent percentage," he said. "Shooting that many of them makes it even more impressive. It's a credit to the conditioning to still be able to step up there and knock them down.
"That's what you need to do to put away a team on the road."