Iron Mountain Mountaineers advance to state championship game in Division 3 boys basketball

Iron Mountain’s Foster Wonders, left, shoots over Detroit Edison defender Raynard Williams during their MHSAA Division 3 state semifinal on Thursday in East Lansing. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo by Adam Niemi)

EAST LANSING — Iron Mountain is playing for a state championship.

The Mountaineers (27-0) defeated Detroit Edison PSA 60-57 on Thursday for a MHSAA Division 3 state finals berth.

The Mountaineers face Pewamo-Westphalia at 4:30 p.m. Saturday for the state title. P-W beat Erie-Mason in the other semifinal, 60-45.

Saturday will be Iron Mountain’s first state finals appearance since winning it all in 1939.

As they have all year, Foster Wonders and Marcus Johnson led the Mountaineers with big shots and free throws in key moments Thursday, finishing with 28 and 23 points, respectively.

Wonders received a pass and immediately knocked down a 3-pointer to give Iron Mountain a 52-44 lead with 1:55 left.

“I’ve got faith in my guys. I honestly wasn’t really expecting it,” Iron Mountain head coach Harvey “Bucky” Johnson said of Wonders’ trey. “But shooters shoot and makers make. I’ve got some guys on this team that at crunch time are makers. That was a big one, that was awesome. It went down.”

Detroit PSA (19-8), noted for its rebounding prowess, outrebounded Iron Mountain 36-28, but foul trouble for Bryce George kept the Pioneers from hitting a higher gear.

George was whistled for charges on IM’s Charlie Gerhard in the first quarter. George came out of the game with 2:33 left in the first quarter and didn’t return until the start of the second half.

The Mountaineers essentially won the game from the free-throw line. Wonders went 6 for 6 and Johnson 4 for 4 from the line in the final three minutes to keep the lead at six points until the final few seconds.