Overtime pays well
ISHPEMING – Senior forward Luke Kuliu capped off a big second-half comeback by Ishpeming when he hit a jump shot from near the free-throw line at the buzzer to lift the Hematites to a 59-57 overtime victory over Marquette in high school boys basketball action on Tuesday.
The Redmen raced to a 19-9 lead after one quarter, extending it to 31-20 at halftime and further upping it to a 15-point advantage during the third.
“For 2 1/2 quarters, they couldn’t miss; they kept hitting 3 after 3,” IHS coach Jeff Olson said about Marquette. “But starting partway through the third quarter and for all the fourth quarter, we played some pretty inspired defense.
“The guys dug in, bent their knees and put pressure on Marquette.
“We had been playing tough defense, but we still weren’t putting enough pressure on Marquette’s shooters.”
The Hematites (10-4), who still trailed 42-34 entering the fourth, capped off their comeback by tying the score 52-52 with just a few seconds left in regulation.
Then Kuliu scored six of his team’s seven points in OT, including the game winner at the buzzer.
He finished with 10 points as senior teammate Thomas Finegan scored a game-high 19 points and another Ishpeming senior, Ozzy Corp, added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Three juniors scored in double figures for Marquette (6-6) – Garrett Finkbeiner had 17 points, Ian Ogea 15 and Alex DuVall 12.
The Redmen return to action at home on Thursday against Negaunee, while the Hematites play at Manistique on Friday.
MSHS also won the JV game, but no score was available.
Munising 60, Rapid River 55 (OT)
At Munising, the Mustangs had to fight back for the rest of regulation after falling behind in the first quarter of this East Division game in the Skyline Central Conference.
“We didn’t have the lead for very much of the game, but we kept them within 10 points,” MHS coach Al Graves said. “Finally, we forced a couple of turnovers and made our free throws down the stretch. That was the difference.”
Munising (9-6 overall, 5-5 Skyline) made 25 of 39 free throws overall, including 9 of 12 in the fourth quarter and 7 of 10 in overtime.
In fact, that was how the Mustangs scored all seven of their points in the extra period.
Munising’s Mike Graves led all scorers with 22 points, while teammate Alec Blank added 15. Rapid River (7-9, 3-9) was led by Mason Berglund with 14 points and Brody Schroeder with 13. Corey Cotey led Mustangs rebounders with seven, while the Rockets’ Logan Hardwick had 16.
Graves said there were opportunities for both teams to end it in regulation, including a final four- or five-footer by Rapid River that fell short as regulation ended.
“Mike (Graves) fouled out during the overtime, but a couple of our young guys stepped forward for us,” Al Graves said. “We built a little bit of a lead in OT and then they had to foul us. That sent us to the line and four different guys made them.”
Munising plays at Superior Central on Friday in the second half of a girls-boys varsity doubleheader.
Rapid River won the JV game, but no score was available.
Westwood 58, Gwinn 51
At Ishpeming, the Patriots made coach Chad Hewitt happy by getting off to a fast start and holding off a Gwinn comeback attempt in the fourth quarter.
“We started a little faster tonight after all the problems we’ve had with slow starts this season,” Hewitt said.
The Patriots (6-7, 3-6 Mid-Peninsula Conference) jumped out to a 17-12 lead after one quarter, extending it to 29-18 by halftime.
Gwinn (2-14, 0-11) got its deficit back into single digits during the final period, but didn’t get closer than the seven-point final score, according to Hewitt.
“Their freshman, (Austin) Forbes, hit three 3’s in a row and he ended up with 11 points in the fourth quarter,” Hewitt said.
Forbes finished with 17 points for Gwinn while senior teammate Theo Redlon shared game-scoring honors with 19.
Senior guard Luke Gray also scored 19 for Westwood, which had four other players record seven to nine points, including junior guard Brett Fredrickson with seven.
“We had great balance with our scoring because our guys were very unselfish with the basketball,” Hewitt said. “Brett gave us a great effort coming off the bench. I think he made all three shots he took.”
The Patriots, who also won the JV game 48-26, travel to Norway on Thursday, while the Modeltowners host Escanaba on Tuesday.
Negaunee 71, Gladstone 41
At Negaunee, Trent Bell scored 19 points and Jay Lori 18 to lead the Upper Peninsula Class A-B-C top-ranked Miners in a nonconference game.
Dylan Tasson added 10 points as Negaunee, also No. 1 in the state in Class C, remain undefeated at 16-0.
“We shared the ball well offensively, set some good screens and got some open looks,” Miners’ head coach Dan Waterman said. “But our defense was outstanding. We applied pressure and it paid dividends.
“Trent had a breakout game as well. He took the ball to the basket and took control early.”
Ben Schwalbach tossed in 15 points for Gladstone (8-7).
The Braves won the JV game, 71-63 in overtime.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee and Senior Sports Writer Craig Remsburg. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.