Calumet Copper Kings’ boys basketball team avenges early-season loss to L’Anse Purple Hornets

CALUMET — L’Anse Purple Hornets boys basketball coach Kyle Koski was still shaking his head in frustration and disbelief 10 minutes after the game. His team had just lost an ugly one to the Calumet Copper Kings 71-50.

“I’m still trying to figure it out,” he said. “Maybe it was the change of the game time or the ride up, or this is our first game in 11 days due to all the cancellations.

“Whatever it was, it was bad.”

The West PAC battle between these two was rescheduled to 4 p.m. Tuesday due to stormy weather predicted to arrive later in the day.

It was particularly frustrating for Koski because his Purple Hornets beat the Copper Kings in early January 60-57 at home. L’Anse is one of only three teams to defeat Calumet (12-3) so far this season.

Koski knew his crew had to play hard to sweep the series, and they did for the first quarter, though Calumet jumped out to a 6-0 lead with baskets from Trevor Torola and Eli McParlan.

It took more than 3 1/2 minutes for the Purple Hornets (9-6) to find the net. It did happen, though, with 4:23 left when Louie Bogda put in a short jumper as Calumet’s lead was trimmed to 12-9 by the end of the quarter.

Calumet took off with a 14-0 run to start the second. Brandon Antilla sunk two 3-pointers and Travis Ojala had five points in the spurt.

The Copper Kings were getting second and third chances to score as the Purple Hornets had no rebounding.

“We were flat and didn’t attack the basket,” Koski said. “And we definitely didn’t box out.”

At halftime, the Copper Kings led 34-14.

“I thought we had some good energy,” Calumet coach Mike Ojala said. “We see so many zones now that we have been really working on scoring from the perimeter. Some of that came out today with Eli and the Antilla brothers.”

Matt Ojala led Calumet with 17 points, while McParlan had 15 and Travis Ojala 11. For the Purple Hornets, Bogda scored 10.