L’Anse hangs close for 1 quarter vs. Calumet

L’ANSE — L’Anse hung tough for one-quarter against favored Calumet Monday in a Class C basketball district tournament game.

Then the roof fell in on the Purple Hornet boys in the second quarter as the Copper Kings used a smothering defense to put the game way.

“We talked about staying focused,” Copper Kings coach Mike Ojala said after his team’s 53-25 victory. “And L’Anse has talented kids who can play.”

A 19-0 run by the Calumet to begin the second quarter turned a close 14-10 lead into a 33-10 rout.

“We just couldn’t find the basket after the first quarter,” L’Anse assistant coach Scott Koski said. “And Calumet is too skilled of a team to have a cold night against. They can shoot and penetrate inside. They do a lot of good things.”

For the game, the Hornets managed to make just 8 of 46 shots from the field, a less-than-20 percent success rate.

The Calumet trapping defense, led by guards Wyatt Loukus and Matt Ojala, forced numerous LHS turnovers.

“We kept amping up the pressure and kind of wore on them,” Mike Ojala said. “The defense created some transition stuff in the second quarter.”

Loukus knocked down a pair of 3-point baskets in the first quarter, while Ojala canned a pair of triples in the second.

Calumet, which will host Hancock Wednesday night for the district title, improved to 15-6.

The West PAC champions kept the pressure on in the second half, allowing L’Anse just 12 points.

Matt Ojala paced the winners with 15 points, while Loukus had 12 points and David Kaipio 10.

L’Anse, which closed at 6-15, received eight points from Logan Fish. Brandt Tembreull put in six points and had a game-leading 12 rebounds, drawing Koski’s praise.

“He (Tembreull) was our only senior and he hustled all season,” Koski said. “I can’t say enough about his play.”