Esky boys race past Manistique

ESCANABA – It didn’t take very long for the Escanaba boys to gain the upper hand Monday night as they rolled to their third straight basketball victory in a 64-33 conquest of Manistique.

Esky (7-9) led 15-4 after the first quarter and extended its lead to 24-6 on a 21-foot jump shot from the left wing by sophomore guard Ryan Robinette midway through the second.

“I didn’t know how this game would go, but we got off to a real good start which made everything easier for us,” Esky coach Tracy Hudson said. “I thought we did a good job getting the ball down low. We did a good job taking care of the basketball and our inside game was a real strength for us.”

Manistique trimmed its deficit to 26-13 on a pair of free throws by junior Jake Arnold with 1:26 left in the second stanza of this nonconference matchup, though Esky re-established a 30-13 halftime lead.

“We didn’t shoot well and didn’t get many second shots in the first half,” Emeralds’ coach Ed Marietti said. “Our defense wasn’t too bad, but they’re aggressive and they have a size advantage on us. They’re also very athletic. They nearly doubled up on us on the offensive boards.

“In the second quarter, we started getting some second chances. But we weren’t finishing our shots and they were finishing theirs.”

The Emeralds (6-10) were within 43-29 early in the fourth quarter when senior Tyler Tobin drained a jumper from top of the key.

Esky took off from there, outscoring Manistique 21-4 through the remainder of the game.

“The final score is kind of deceiving,” Hudson said. “We saw Manistique a couple times this season and felt they were a quality team. Their kids hung in there for three quarters.”

Robinette finished with 15 points and Turan paced the Emeralds with eight.

The Eskymos held a 38-26 rebounding advantage, hit 27 of 59 field goals and committed 11 turnovers.

Manistique converted 12 of 51 shots and also had 11 miscues.

“We settled for too many long shots,” Marietti said. “We weren’t patient enough on offense.”

Esky, which also won the JV game 72-30, visits Gwinn tonight. Manistique hosts Norway on Wednesday.