Gwinn comeback proves not to be enough

IRON MOUNTAIN – A third-quarter comeback was nearly enough for Gwinn against Iron Mountain on Tuesday.

The Mountaineers prevailed, however, in a 48-36 Mid-Peninsula Conference girls high school basketball game.

Even with the end of the regular season nearing, Gwinn is looking to retool.

“A couple weeks ago, we lost our best player, Tori Lauren (to injury), so we’re looking for a new identity,” Gwinn coach Ben Olsen said. “Each game we’ve been getting better. Negaunee beat us pretty bad and put a running clock on us. Tonight, we were within six (points) with four minutes to go. I feel like we’re getting our identity back and it’s getting a little bit better.”

For the night, Tierra Taylor paced the Modeltowners with 13 points, while Katie Brule led Iron Mountain with 18.

Gwinn fell behind 14-3 after one quarter.

“Tonight, I felt like we played well in spurts,” Olsen said. “We just had a tough time putting the ball in the basket in certain stretches.”

The Mountaineers built some of their lead by producing 10 points off Gwinn’s 22 turnovers.

“That’s 22 possessions that you don’t get to get a shot up, so that hurts a little bit,” Olsen said. “Not that you’re going to have zero (turnovers), but we like to have no more than 12, 15 turnovers.”

On the strength of 10 points by Kia Evans, Gwinn pulled to within 26-19 by halftime.

The Modeltowners threatened to take the lead in the third quarter, actually pulling into a 26-26 tie with 5:43 remaining. But IM responded with a bucket as the teams went back and forth.

Gwinn had a chance to take the lead, trailing 32-31 with two free throw opportunities. They did make one to retie the score 32-32.

But starting late in the third quarter, the scoring drought hit Gwinn again, as the Mountaineers scored the final six points of the third to go up 38-32, then limited Gwinn to just four points for the entire fourth quarter.

Iron Mountain won the JV game, 38-19.