Kane Nebel, defense lead Munising Mustangs to 52-35 boys basketball victory at Mid Peninsula

Munising’s Kane Nebel, center, shoots a layup between Mid Peninsula defenders, from left, Ben Lehtikangas, Sam O’Neal and Zach Englund on Friday in St. Nicholas. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Justin St. Ours)

ST. NICHOLAS — A dominant second quarter where they allowed just two points combined with 23 points from freshman Kane Nebel allowed the Munising Mustangs to secure a 52-35 victory over the Mid Peninsula boys basketball team here Friday in Skyline Central Conference action.

The Mustangs (16-1, 8-1 SCC) led 13-10 entering the second quarter. Nebel then started a 15-0 Munising run 18 seconds into the second with a layup that lasted until Mid Pen’s Sam O’Neil scored with 4:21 left in the half to make it 28-12. Those were the only points the Wolverines (6-8, 4-8 SCC) managed in the second quarter as the Mustangs built a 34-12 halftime advantage.

“I’m very happy with our defense,” Mustangs coach Terry Kienitz said. “It’s been getting better and better every game. We’ve been holding some good opponents to low scoring. We have the team to do it though. We have quick guards, and we have size. We have the total package when it comes to the defensive end. We usually find the match-ups that help us to do that, too. I’m very happy with it.”

Nebel got the Mustangs started again after halftime with a triple just over 30 seconds in, and Josh Huotari went 1 of 2 from the free throw line to make it 38-12 just over a minute into the third.

“Our defense was leading to offense,” Kienitz said. “We got some steals, turnovers and long rebounds, and we were off and running. Offensively, I think we moved the ball well. Kane had five 3s, so that really helps to keep them honest and not pack the paint. It was definitely a team effort though, and it was nice to see.”

Mid Pen showed a little life 30 seconds later when Zach Englund cut his way to the basket for a layup and assisted Dylan Trudell for another layup on the next possession.

“(We were) deer in the headlights,” Wolverines coach Mark Branstrom said. “Munising executed as we expected them to, but we could’ve played 50 times better in the first half.

“They had to readjust at halftime. I was very proud of them with how they came back out after halftime.”

The Wolverines reduced their deficit to 46-23 at the end of the third, but they never truly threatened the rest of the way.

Munising, which won the JV game 53-36, hosts Rapid River Tuesday.


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