Munising can’t keep up with Jets

POWERS – Last season, the Munising Mustangs were one team that was a thorn in North Central’s side as they were about the only team they met in the tournament that put their championship dreams in jeopardy.

This season, however, the Upper Peninsula’s No. 5-ranked Mustangs lost many of the guys that saw the floor against the top-ranked Jets last season.

As a result, the Jets (17-0, 10-0 Skyline Central Conference West Division) were able to put two big middle quarters together for an easy 75-42 victory.

“We knew it was going to be a physical test tonight,” Jets head coach Adam Mercier said. “We talked about having mental toughness and our guys responded very well.

“They (Munising) are playing with nothing to lose.”

Despite having played in an emotionally taxing game at Carney-Nadeau on Monday night, the Jets big 26-point second and 20-point third quarters propelled them when Munising had a 14-10 advantage after one.

Five Jets reached double figures in scoring in the game. They were led by Dawson Bilski with 17 and Bobby Kleiman with 15.

The Mustangs (10-8, 6-7 SCC East) were led by Mike Graves with 16. Brett Johnson added nine.

North Dickinson 59, Republic-Michigamme 41

At Republic, the Nordics used a good third quarter to take down the Hawks on the road.

AJ Ball led Republic-Michigamme with 14 points, while Dylan Hanninen had 11. Noah Berg led North Dickinson with 14 and Devin Wagner had 11.

Republic-Michigamme (2-15) was down only three points at the end of the first quarter, but North Dickinson (5-12) started to catch fire in the second quarter, moving its advantage to 31-18 by halftime.

In the third quarter, the Nordics outscored the Hawks 15-6 to build up a comfortable lead.

“In the third quarter, they got loose on us and got some transition buckets,” R-M head coach Rob Carlson said. “I was missing one of my starters tonight because he was ineligible, so we only had three scoring options, but I thought Hanninen really stepped up well for us.”

North Dickinson also won the JV game. Republic-Michigamme hosts Jeffers tonight.

Escanaba 56, Gwinn 42

At Escanaba, the Eskymos came out with a 17-11 first quarter advantage and were up 32-25 at half.

“Both teams mixed their defenses,” said Esky head coach Tracy Hudson. “They pressed us almost the entire game…. We did a good job being patient and attacking it.”

Tyler Willette led the Eskymos (8-9) with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Gavin Peacock scored 14 points.

Gwinn (2-15) was led by freshmen teammates Austin Forbes and Tucker Taylor, who each had 10 points.

Escanaba won the JV game 62-31. Hudson also said a previously postponed game against Marquette will likely not be played since it shouldn’t affect the champion of the Great Northern Conference.

Superior Central 47, Engadine 41

At Engadine, two JV call-ups helped the Cougars as Joe Heinonen and Beau Rondeau contributed eight and seven points, respectively. Greg Seppanen scored 17 to lead the Cougars (3-12), who had just 10 turnovers.

“The JV kids are coming along,” SC head coach Matt Rondeau said. “We’re really looking to get more offensive input. Neither of them are starting, but they had 15 points between the two of them tonight in limited time. The more they get used to playing with the older kids, the more that should pay dividends.”

The game was tied 19-19 at the half, as Engadine rallied from a 14-6 first-quarter deficit. SC pulled away in the fourth on the strength of free throw shooting, where they were 18 of 30.

Nick Price led Engadine (1-16) with 10 points.

SC also won the JV game 39-28.

Superior Central hosts Forest Park tonight.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg with contributions from the Escanaba Daily Press. Email Stieg at rstieg@miningjournal.net.