Tale of two halves
ISHPEMING – It has become a cliche, but it was truly a tale of two halves for the Ishpeming Hematites Wednesday.
After being down 29-18 at halftime, the Hematites exploded in the third quarter for 25 points and rolled from there to a 57-47 victory over Houghton.
Sophomore forward Hart Holmgren led Ishpeming (12-5) with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Justin Ruotsala had 14 for Houghton in this nonconference game.
“In the first half, they shot the lights out and moved the ball around well, while we made bad passes and missed layups,” Ishpeming head coach Jeff Olson said. “It was just an ugly half for us. We made a late run in the second quarter to cut it to 11 at the break and that carried over into the second half.
“After that, things started to flow for us. We hit a lot of 3s and we played better defense. We forced them to take bad shots and we rebounded well. Maybe we just tired them out.”
Ishpeming also won the JV game, though no score was available. The Hematites travel to Kingsford on Friday.
Negaunee 60, Westwood 38
At Ishpeming, the Patriots kept up with the Upper Peninsula’s No. 1 team in Class A-B-C through the first half before foul trouble after intermission wrecked their upset bid.
Miners junior guard Dre Tuominen led all scorers with 23 points, while Dylan Tasson had 13 and Jay Lori 12. Connor Hanlon led Westwood (7-10) with 16 points and Ryan Stanaway had 14.
The Miners (18-0) only led 25-21 at the half, but outscored the Patriots 20-7 in the third quarter to break it open.
“We were tied after one (quarter) and it was a close first half,” Westwood head coach Chad Hewitt said. “Then (senior point guard) Luke Gray picked up his fourth foul about 30 seconds into the third quarter. That really handcuffed us.
“The rest of the guys stepped up, though. I applaud their effort and they played hard the entire game.”
Westwood won the JV game 44-22 and clinched the Mid-Peninsula Conference title. On Friday, the Patriots play at Houghton, while Negaunee hosts Norway.
Norway 60, Manistique 42
At Manistique, it was a night the Emeralds would rather forget after they built a narrow 18-17 lead after one quarter of this Mid-Peninsula Conference game.
“We had a bigger lead than that in the first quarter, then our offense kind of went stagnant,” Emeralds’ coach Ed Marietti said. “We just didn’t play well the next three quarters. Our turnovers led to fast breaks for them. They’re quick and active.
“For us it was kind of a continuation from Monday (in a 64-33 loss at Escanaba). It was just a bad game all the way around from the second quarter on.”
The Knights grabbed a 28-24 halftime lead before extending it to 49-32 by the end of the third quarter.
Norway only held a 30-29 rebounding edge, but hit on better than half its shots (26 of 50) while committing just seven turnovers. The Emeralds were less than 35 percent from the field (18 of 53) and turned the ball over 17 times.
“We didn’t shoot great,” Marietti said. “We have to take better care of the ball and defensively we have to work better as a team.”
Bryce Broden led the Knights (10-7 overall, 5-5 M-PC) with 21 points. Bryce Grayvold added 16 and Connor Ortman 12.
Jordan Turan scored 15 points and Darien Nichols had 10 for the Emeralds (6-11, 2-9), who host Munising Friday.
Norway also won the JV game 42-19.
Forest Park 69, Superior Central 30
At Eben, the visiting Trojans built a 35-15 halftime lead in this Skyline Central Conference game.
Daniel Nocerini scored 15 points to lead the Trojans (17-1, 10-1 Skyline West Division). The junior added six rebounds and three assists.
Forest Park’s Kameron Krajewski had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Adam Hilberg chipped in 11 points.
Greg Seppanen’s 13 points paced the Cougars (3-13, 0-10 Skyline East).
Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg with contributions from the Escanaba Daily Press and Iron Mountain Daily News. Stieg’s email address is email@example.com.