Munising boys jump all over Cougars; Hematites pull away from Manistique

EBEN – Munising High School built a big early lead, then shut down Superior Central’s offense in the final stretch to take a 60-28 boys basketball victory on Friday night.

The Mustangs improved to 10-6 overall and 6-5 in the East Division of the Skyline Central Conference, while the Cougars slipped to 2-12 and 0-9.

Munising raced to a 22-6 lead after one quarter, extending it to 42-19 at halftime. Then the Mustangs held SC off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.

“The kids really came ready to play,” MHS coach Al Graves said. “They did a nice job defensively. We were very effective against their offense with both our man and zone.”

Senior Mike Graves led Munising with 18 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Alec Blank scored 12 points and senior Brett Johnson 11.

Desmond Wandahsega and Luke Leppanen paced SC with seven points apiece.

Munising, who won the JV game on Thursday, plays at North Central on Tuesday, the same day that the Cougars play at Engadine.

Ishpeming 60,

Manistique 39

At Manistique, the Upper Peninsula’s Class A-B-C fifth-ranked Hematites surged in the fourth quarter to break open a close game.

Manistique was within 42-36 early in the fourth quarter, but was outscored 18-3 through the remainder of this Mid-Peninsula Conference contest.

The Emeralds played without Jordan Turan and Jake Arnold, both out with the flu.

“We switched defenses and slowed them down a little,” Emeralds’ coach Ed Marietti said. “We were playing halfway decent, then we started throwing the ball away a little and they got their fast break going.

“We were crashing the boards and couldn’t get back (on defense) fast enough. It multiplies quick. With our short bench we were getting a little tired. They kind of wore us down.

“They have good size and they handle the ball well.”

Darien Nichols hit a career-high 24 points for the Emeralds, who hit 14 of 46 field goals and committed 21 turnovers. The Hematites were 24 of 61 from the field and had 10 miscues.

“Darien came off screens and was aggressive,” said Marietti. “He got hot in the third quarter and hit three 3s, but could have used a little scoring help.”

Nick Comment led the Hematites (11-4 overall, 7-3 M-PC) with 14 points. Jaren Kipling added 11 and Thomas Finegan had 10.

The Emeralds (6-9, 2-8), who held a 30-26 rebounding edge, visit Escanaba Monday.

Ishpeming, which won the JV game 59-14, hosts U.P. second-ranked Iron Mountain Monday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee with contributions from the Escanaba Daily Press. Brownlee’s email address is