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Defensive switch spurs Munising boys to comeback victory over Gwinn

By Journal Sports Staff

MUNISING — A switch to a zone defense late in the first half did wonders for Munising in the Mustangs’ 75-61 comeback victory over visiting Gwinn in a high boys basketball game on Friday night.

The Modeltowners jumped out to a 20-9 lead after one quarter and still held a slim 36-34 advantage at halftime.

“They played man-to-man for a lot of the first half and we were able to take it to them,” GHS coach Jim Finkbeiner said. “When they went to the zone in the second (quarter), that really slowed us down, it really affected us.”

He also said three of his big men got into foul trouble, opening up the inside for Munising slashing guards Alec Blank and Cade Contreras.

Those two combined for 50 points — Blank had 26, including 8 of 10 on free throws, while Contreras had 24 — as the Mustangs also scored a total of 50 points in the middle two quarters to make it 59-53 entering the fourth.

“They didn’t have an answer to our zone,” Munising coach Terry Kienitz said. “Starting in the third and for all of the fourth quarter, we really pushed our transition game when we got some turnovers from the zone (defense).”

Munising’s Anthony Mattson contributed 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds to the cause.

Gwinn got 23 points from Austin Forbes, 12 from Jordan Stein and 11 apiece from Tucker Taylor and Reed Wiedenhoefer. Taylor also led all rebounders with 11.

The Mustangs, who also won the JV game, travel to Bark River-Harris on Tuesday.

Negaunee 69,

Manistique 43

At Negaunee, the Miners were able to break a three-game losing streak, all to top-five Upper Peninsula teams.

Negaunee (8-3, 4-2 Mid-Peninsula Conference) only led 16-11 after one quarter but was able to extend the lead to 39-25 by halftime.

“It’s always good to win and it’s always good to get your bench players some time,” NHS coach Dan Waterman said. “But our energy was a lot better in the second half than the first half.”

Miners senior Trent Bell led all players with 22 points and nine rebounds, while senior teammate Dre Tuominen scored 17 points as nine Negaunee players made a basket.

For Manistique (1-10, 0-7), Darien Nichols scored 14 points while fellow senior Nolan Armock added 12.

The Miners also won the JV game, but no score was available.

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday, Negaunee in a makeup game at Calumet and Manistique hosting Gwinn.

Republic-Michigamme 46, Baraga 26

At Baraga, the Hawks used two big quarters to earn their fourth victory this season and third in the Copper Mountain Conference.

R-M had 17-point first and third quarters, keeping the Vikings in single digits every quarter.

The Hawks jumped out to a 17-8 lead after one quarter, led by Dylan Hanninen’s nine points.

Leading 25-14 at halftime, another R-M offensive outburst made it 42-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Hanninen scored 13 points while teammate A.J. Ball had a game-high 15.

Joey Francois paced Baraga with nine points.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.