Ishpeming boys use balanced attack to defeat Gwinn

Ishpeming’s Hart Holmgren performs a layup against Gwinn Wednesday night, Dec. 13, 2017, at Gwinn High School. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

GWINN — Gavin Sundberg, Hart Holmgren and Jaden Tucker all reached double digits to help the Ishpeming boys’ basketball team defeat Gwinn 67-39 Wednesday night.

Ishpeming improved to 2-1 on the season while Gwinn dropped to 0-3.

Ishpeming head coach Anthony Katona said ball movement was the key to victory in the contest.

“We did a really good job pushing the ball,” he said. “A really good job working the ball around and trying to find the open man. That kick should be there and hitting our open shots, we did that and executed really well.”

Katona added his team’s ability to shoot the three-ball was key as the Hematites sunk six shots from beyond the arc in the contest.

“Other than Hart (Holmgren), the rest of the team shot really well for me beyond the arc,” he said. “I think we can do that as a team as the season goes. One through five, any of us can really shoot the three so that really spreads the floor for us.”

Gwinn head coach Jim Finkbeiner, on the other hand, said his team needs to work on playing their own game.

“We have to come in and play hard from the start,” he said. “We can’t come in and play Ishpeming’s game, we can’t come in and play Iron Mountain’s or Munising’s game. I thought against Iron Mountain we did a really good job playing our game and tonight we didn’t. We let them dictate tempo and if you let a team come into your home court and dictate tempo, you’re going to be in trouble.”

Finkbeiner added that other players need to step up rather than relying on star power all the time.

“Tucker (Taylor) is a man on the floor that nobody can handle right now,” he said. “The hard part for us is sometimes we rely on him too much and other guys need to step up. We don’t necessarily have the experience at this level but I’m not going to use that as an excuse three games in. We’re a month into the season and guys need to start to step up and play varsity basketball.”

The Modeltowners opened the scoring with a 2-point shot before the Hematites proceeded to score the next eight points to pull ahead to an early 8-2 lead with Holmgren scoring four of those points, forcing Gwinn to call an early timeout.

The closest the Modeltowners came was on a shot from Taylor to cut the lead to six at 18-12. Right after that, the Hematites sunk two consecutive 3-pointers from Tucker and Sundberg sending the Modeltowners into another timeout.

Gwinn scored four more points to end the second quarter and the score was 29-16 in favor of the Hematites at the half.

Ishpeming didn’t let off the gas, coming out of the break to score the first eight points of the third quarter before another Taylor bucket stopped the run.

Anytime the Modeltowners showed any signs of inching closer, the Hematites kept pace and responded to pull away.

Dondre Yohe and Andrew Engler added eight points for the Hematites. Taylor led the way for the Modeltowners with 25 points while Austin Forbes added seven points and six assists.

Gwinn travels to Manistique on Friday. Ishpeming is off until Jan. 2 for a game with Kingsford at home.

Ishpeming won the JV contest 64-33.