New coach, new season for Ishpeming High School boys basketball team

Ishpeming’s Chase Jensen, right, blocks a shot by Bark River-Harris’ Dylon Lippens with the help of the Hematites’ Jayce Kipling, left, during their high school boys basketball game played Feb. 10, 2020, at Bark River. (Escanaba Daily Press photo)

Editor’s note: With the start-and-stop of winter sports seasons this year, The Mining Journal is publishing high school basketball team previews from Marquette and Alger counties over a number of days. This story was written two weeks ago.


ISHPEMING — Some people would be wary of taking over a high school basketball program in the middle of the pandemic.

But new Ishpeming boys coach Chris Magnuson said he always wanted to “go up” a level after serving as the JV girls coach the past seven years. So when he got the chance to fulfill that aspiration, he jumped at the chance.

Magnuson inherits a young roster that has no seniors, but he said that his team is “eager” and that it has some players that could make an impact.

“We have a couple people I think that are gonna be pretty decent,” he said on Feb. 10. “Griffin Argall is going to be really good. He played with the varsity last year as a freshman. I think he came up around the 13th or 14th game and he made an impact.

“Jayce Kipling played on the varsity last year as a sophomore. He did a lot of good things. He’s kind of a long, lanky player with a good outside shot and can be disruptive as a defender.

“I feel that I would say that we have some players with some offensive skills. We did a lot of skill work prior to the restrictions being lifted and a lot of shooting. So I think we have a chance to be very good offensively from a skill standpoint.”

Depth may be an issue this year, but Magnuson said the Hematites will be able to fight through it. After all, they’ve done the best they can in handling the season delays.

“I feel we’ve handled it pretty well, as well as we can,” he said. “They’re getting familiar with me, I’m getting familiar with them. We did a lot of Zoom calls in the fall, we had some open gyms in the fall also before the Nov. 16 shutdown.

“Right now, it’s a familiarity thing, adapting to systems, adapting to personnel. Without a summer last year, and not really having scrimmaged or anything, tonight is going to be kind of interesting. We’ll see what happens.

“We’re appreciative that we have the chance to play…. Face live competition and we’ll take a look at how we did tonight and try to improve and get better each day. That’s the process right now is just appreciate what we have an opportunity to do, and hopefully things stay consistent with as far as our numbers and we can finish the season.”

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.


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