Rapid River Rockets get in last big run to hold off Munising boys basketball team, 59-45

Munising’s Alec Blank, left, pulls up for a shot over Rapid River’s Daren Landis during the second half on Tuesday at Rapid River. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Avery Bundgaard)

RAPID RIVER — The Rapid River boys basketball team ended on a huge run as it held off a second-half comeback from Munising to survive 59-45 Tuesday night.

The Rockets led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter before the Mustangs closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run, eventually tying the game 45-45 early in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer from Eli Werner.

“It started on the defensive end,” Munising coach Terry Kienitz said. “We were getting some stops and getting some turnovers. That kind of sparked them on the other end of the court.”

The Rockets then took control and responded with a 14-0 run to end the game.

“They’re good kids,” Rapid River coach Rich Poma said of his crew. “When things get tough they really buckle down and really focus on what needs to be done.

“It’s unfortunate that it took something like that to get that attention from them but when they have to they really buckle down.”

In the first quarter, Rapid River jumped out to a 15-7 lead after shooting 7 for 9 from the floor.

The Mustangs then outscored the Rockets 11-7 to end the period and cut the deficit to 22-18 heading to the second quarter.

“I think they’re in really good shape so they can push the ball up the court all game,” Kienitz said about his team. “They may start slow in the quarters but they’re able to finish all the way through.”

Much like the first quarter, the beginning of the second was controlled by Rapid River as it started the period on a 9-0 run to build a big lead.

The Rockets’ energy level was high in the first half as they played at a fast pace that allowed them to establish a 36-27 halftime lead.

“It was just something we talked about last week because I was disappointed how we came out intensity-wise last game,” Poma said. “We just can’t do that, especially against a team like this.”

Alec Blank led the Mustangs with 15 and Cade Contreras scored 12.

Munising hosts Big Bay de Noc on Friday.