IRON MOUNTAIN - Ben Olsen had particular reason to smile Thursday night.
The first-year Gwinn High School girls basketball coach not only picked up his first varsity victory, but he did it on the floor he played on as a prep.
GHS topped host Iron Mountain, 49-47, in Mid-Peninsula Conference action.
Marquette’s Morgan Seibert drives down the lane as Westwood’s Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren defends during the second half at Marquette Senior High School on Thursday. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
"I'm an Iron Mountain (High School) alum," Olsen said. "I graduated in 2000."
Lydia Asplund sank a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal the win for the Modeltowners (1-3 overall, 1-1 M-PC). She also snared a team-high eight rebounds.
Teammate Ellie Olsen (no relation to the coach) led the offense with 13 points. Jordyn Hutchens added 11.
Abby Gerhard paced IM (0-4, 0-2) with 15 points and 16 boards.
"We didn't match her energy," Ben Olsen said, "but we just continued to scrap and play hard. We also handled the ball better."
The Mountaineers won the JV contest, 51-48.
At Marquette, the host Redettes got 16 points, four rebounds and three steals from Hunter Viitala in this nonconference game.
Teammate Liana Storm added 11 points and four assists as coach Ben Smith's squad improved to 2-2.
Marquette led at the half, 21-20, but used a 15-10 advantage in the third quarter to gain the win.
Katie Rankinen and Kara Harrington scored 10 points apiece for Westwood (1-2).
"We played hard," first-year Patriots' head coach Kurt Corcoran said. "We were outrebounded - (the Redettes) were strong on the offensive boards.
"Viitala is an outstanding shooter, too."
MSHS won the JV contest, 56-25.
At Ishpeming, the Hematites couldn't solve Gladstone's zone defense, losing a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and being forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.
"(Gladstone) switched to a zone in the second half and we struggled to score points against it," Ishpeming coach Mark Dellangelo said, adding that it was a problem the Hematites had in their previous game, too.
"It's something we're going to have to work on, and we'll get better at it."
Senior Alesha O'Brien led Ishpeming (1-2) with 12 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore Alexis St. Cyr and junior Anna Wulf each scored 11 for the Braves (2-2).
Gladstone also won the JV game, 53-30.
NORWAY - Heather Evosevich and Rachel Conery each scored 11 second-half points as Norway downed Manistique in Mid-Peninsula Conference girls basketball Thursday.
Evosevich registered a game-high 20 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists.
"Heath Evosevich played pretty good in the first quarter and picked it up in the second half," Knights coach Carli Kelly said.
Bailey Grayvold and Leah Mattson each tacked on eight points for the Knights, who went to a full-court pressure defense in the second half that provided a spark.
Kyra Lauzon's 13 points paced the Emeralds.
The Knights claimed a 22-17 halftime lead and seven-point margin after three quarters. Norway led by as much as 13 points midway through the fourth quarter.
The Knights (2-1 overall, 2-0 MPC) visit West Iron County on Monday.
Manistique won the junior varsity game.