GWINN - Junior Andy Nyquist and senior A.J. Grazluis each scored 18 points to lead Marquette to a 68-50 victory at Gwinn Tuesday night in a matchup of two of the best high school boys basketball teams in the Upper Peninsula.
The Class ABC No. 2-ranked Redmen (16-2) limited the No. 4 Modeltowners (14-6) to just nine points total in the middle two quarters to take a 48-30 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
"We gave them 21 points in the first quarter, then our guys responded well and took them out of what they wanted to do," MSHS coach Brad Nelson said. "Nyquist was aggressive with the ball and looked to score."
Gwinn coach Darren Sinnaeve was disappointed his team couldn't sustain a fast start.
"We had a great first quarter," Sinnaeve said. "Our kids played with a lot of emotion, then Grazulis hit a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to put us down three.
"In the second quarter, we started settling for 3-point shots instead of attacking the basket, plus we only made 1 of 6 free throws then."
Senior Mark Pap added 13 points to the winning effort, while the Modeltowners were led by junior Justin Nyquist with 11 points and sophomore Justin Beauchamp with 10. Junior teammate Owen DeVooght led Gwinn rebounders with five.
Marquette also won the JV game, 68-56.
Ishpeming 92, West Iron County 43
At Iron River, the visiting Hematites won't have to convince the Wykons they're playing a better brand of basketball late in the regular season.
Entering the game with a 13-5 record, WIC only trailed 40-28 at halftime before Ishpeming (8-10) went wild with a 52-15 advantage in the second half, going on runs of 15-0, 14-0 and 12-0.
The Hematites had lost four of their last six games, but each of those losses came against top U.P. teams - Central U.P. Conference leader Munising plus Class ABC top-five foes Marquette, Negaunee and Iron Mountain.
"This is the most points we scored since I came (to Ishpeming) four years ago," IHS coach John Tiziani said as his players made 58 percent from the field (39 of 67).
The scoring barrage was led by junior guard Bobby Zhulkie, who scored 33 points and made four steals a night after sinking a trio of 3-pointers in the first period and scoring 17 points in a win at Westwood.
Junior teammate Alex Briones added 14 points, senior Dylan Mackey 13 and earlier-in-the-day callup freshman Ozzy Corp 10 to go with a game-high 11 rebounds. Junior teammate Mitch Laurin had 10 rebounds and eight points.
"We were able to get out in transition, then mix in both man-to-man and zone defenses to keep them off balance," Tiziani said of game where the Hematites made 13 steals. "It was just one of those games where everything clicked."
Austin Waara paced the Wykons with 14 points.
Ishpeming also won the JV game, but no score was available.
Negaunee 67, Iron Mountain 51
At Negaunee Tuesday night, the host Miners raced to a 21-10 first quarter lead en route to a Mid-Peninsula Conference win over Iron Mountain.
The M-PC champion Miners (19-1, 12-0) put four players in double figures, led by Tyler Jandron with 17 points. Eric Lori (15), Tanner Uren (13) and Brock Weaver (13) also hit double digits.
"It was a game of runs, but our balance (in scoring) was pretty good," Negaunee head coach Mike O'Donnell said. "(IM) focused on Jandron, which opened it up for others.
"Our defense won it for us (though). We made stops when we needed to."
Luke Zambon (24) and Taylor Huotari (20) combined for 44 points for the Mountaineers (14-6, 9-3).
Brimley 64, Newberry 41
At Brimley, the 17-3 Bays jumped out to a 41-21 halftime lead.
For Newberry (3-16), senior forward Kyle Welty scored 10 points while senior guard Jordan Hood added eight points.
Superior Central 64, Big Bay de Noc 47
At Garden Corners, the Cougars got an early jump on the Black Bears by taking a 24-15 lead after the first quarter of the Central U.P. Conference contest.
Matt Verbrigghe and Trevor Maki scored 18 points apiece for the Cougars (12-7 overall, 7-3 CUP), who committed 15 turnovers.
Rapid River 43, Rep.-Michigamme 39
At Rapid River, the Rockets led 12-11 after the first quarter and 24-15 at halftime of the Skyline Conference match-up to score their third win of the season.
Hayden Hardwick led the Rockets (3-16 overall, 2-12 Skyline) with 12 points. Jake Pearson added 11 points and 11 rebounds and Zach Evans had 10.
Jonatan Lygeman hit 22 points for the Hawks, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the contest.