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Seniors Tucker Taylor, Austin Forbes lead Gwinn boys to end of losing skid

GWINN — Seniors Tucker Taylor and Austin Forbes combined for 45 points as Gwinn snapped a five-game losing skid with a 53-45 boys basketball victory over Hancock on Tuesday night.

The Modeltowners (5-9) never lost the lead, holding the Bulldogs (2-14) to single-digit scoring in each of the first two quarters and taking a 26-13 lead at halftime.

Hancock cut the lead to 10 after three quarters, outscoring Gwinn 12-9 to cut the deficit 35-25.

The Bulldogs also won the scoring battle in the fourth, but not enough to deny the Modeltowners their victory.

“We started off well in the first quarter,” Gwinn head coach Jim Finkbeiner said. “They had a good zone defense all night long, and the game slows down when we do that. We got to the free throw line by being aggressive.

“We weren’t as good in the third and (Hancock) hit some 3s in the fourth to tighten the score, but we never let go of the lead. It wasn’t a pretty game, but we’ll take a win any way we can get it.”

Gwinn shot 20 of 44 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free throw line, collecting 24 rebounds with Taylor getting 11.

Taylor finished with 28 points while Forbes had 17. Hancock was led by Peyton Anderson with 15 points while J.D. Sebbas had 12.

Gwinn goes to Upper Peninsula Divisions 1-3 No. 1 Iron Mountain (13-0) on Friday.

Gwinn also won the JV contest 35-33.

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Lake Linden-Hubbell 54, Republic-Michigamme 39

At Republic, Eli Luokkala led the Hawks (3-10) with 18 points while Jake Carlson had nine. Carter Crouch finished with 21 for the Lakes.

LL-H took a 9-4 lead after one quarter and never looked back, going up 19-10 at halftime.

Republic-Michigamme went 8 of 10 from the free throw line while Lake Linden-Hubbell was 7 of 13. Other stats weren’t available.

Republic visits Jeffers tonight while Lake Linden-Hubbell goes to L’Anse on Friday.

The Lakes won the JV game 41-40.

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Rapid River 48, Superior Central 40

At Eben, a 20-6 advantage in the second quarter proved to be the difference for the Rockets in this Skyline Central Conference game.

“We were getting out in transition a little more in the second quarter,” Rockets coach Rich Poma said. “I got a little fire under them to get on the boards more to get second-chance points. I don’t think we started slowly, we were just missing some shots we normally made.”

The Cougars (4-9, 3-7 SC) did a lot of their damage on the offensive glass.

“I thought Superior did a heck of a job on the offensive boards,” Poma said. “They killed us with second-chance points.”

Cougars’ coach Branson Richard echoed those comments.

“I am pretty happy with the way we played,” Richard said. “To only lose to them by eight is pretty good. Both teams looked a little flat after four days off in a row — our team hasn’t touched a ball since last Tuesday.”

Tyler Sundling led the Rockets with 14 points, while Braydon Moss tied a season-high with 11.

Lucas Kanerva led the Cougars with 11 points.

The Rockets, who won the JV game 60-54 in overtime, host Escanaba Friday. The Cougars host Mid Peninsula tonight.

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