Norway’s Heather Evosevich has this rebound, but three Wykons are closing in: from left, Kylee Erickson, Emilie Christensen and Sydnie Mazurek (11) are all on the scene.
IRON RIVER— West Iron’s girls played twice at home last week but homecourt luck was nowhere to be found.
The Wykons battled Norway into double overtime Dec. 10 but ran out of gas and lost 57-50. Four nights later, West Pac Conference power Houghton crushed WIC 57-25.
The two losses drop the Wykons’ overall record to 1-3. They are 0-2 in the West Pac.
“These girls are going to have to step it up,” said Coach Mike Dallavalle after the Houghton loss. “They’ve got to want the ball, they’ve got to want to score, and they have to get to the rim.”
Against Norway, the Wykons and Knights battled for 42 minutes, with eight lead changes and eight ties. But two big Norway shots early in the second OT effectively ended it: Leah Mattson’s two and Rachel Conery’s open three from the right corner moments later.
Meanwhile, West Iron went 0 for 6 from the floor in the final four minutes. “We went dry offensively,” Dallavalle said. “When they hit those two shots, it took the wind out of our sails.”
It was, Dallavalle noted, his first-ever two-overtime game.
West Iron trailed 13-8 after the first quarter but moved in front in the second, with Kylee Erickson scoring seven points and Cassi Pellizzer adding six. An early 7-0 spurt put WIC in front, and the Wykons went on to lead 25-20 at halftime.
WIC had its biggest lead—six—early in the second half, but Norway’s Bailey Grayvold turned the game around with a seven-point burst that put Norway back in front.
WIC rallies: The Knights mostly led after that and were up 42-36 with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter. Erickson’s three and Emilie Christensen’s putback hoop got WIC within one, 42-41. Two Megan Miatech free throws tied it 43-43. In the last minute, Shelby Matonich and Christensen traded baskets. On to overtime at 45-45.
In OT, Conery’s three-point play put Norway ahead, but Miatech and Christensen put WIC in front 49-48. Conery scored again, but Miatech was fouled with 2.4 seconds left. She made the first and missed the second. Off to double OT.
Zoned out: Norway gave West Iron problems with its tough zone in the second half—West Iron had trouble getting the ball inside, as the Knights picked off passes and poked the ball loose. For the game, WIC had 22 turnovers.
“It was a good experience,” said the coach. “It showed our weakness against the zone.
“Defensively, we played well enough to win, but we turned the ball over so much.” Erickson and Pellizzer “did a good job on Greyvold, but their other girls stepped up.”
Numbers: Team stats: WIC, 20-61 FG, 3-13 3’s, 7-11 FT, 10 fouls. Norway 23-63 FG, 4-15 3’s, 7-11 FT, 10 fouls.
Player stats: Kylee Erickson, 19 pts, 4 asts; Megan Miatech, 15 pts, 12 rebs; Emilie Christensen, 8 pts, 13 rebs, 3 stls, 2 blks; Cassilyn Pellizzer, 6 pts. Norway scoring: Megan Conery, 16 pts (10 in OT); Bailey Greyvold, 14 pts; Shelby Matonich, 11 pts.
Knights 13 7 15 10
5 7 -- 57
Wykons 8 17 9 11
5 0 -- 50
Against Houghton: Erickson drained a pair of three-pointers in the first minute. An excellent start—but the Wykons only made seven more buckets in the remaining 31 minutes, as the West Pac powerhouse Gremlins ran away with the win.
“Nine for 60,” said Dallavalle. “You’re not going to win any games shooting 15 percent.”
Dallavalle said his team had trouble matching up with Houghton. “They got down the court a lot quicker than we were. We weren’t seeing the ball.”
While WIC tightened its defense in the second quarter, the team’s execution overall was off.
Gremlin power: A lot of it was because of Houghton. “They play good defense, they help early, and they protect the basket very well.” Dallavalle said West Iron’s girls posted up and rebounded well—and deserved more calls than the officials gave them, “Not that it would have made up 32 points.”
West Iron used a zone in the second half, forcing the Gremlins to shoot from outside. No problem: Houghton canned five of its seven triples after halftime.
To-do list: Dallavalle said it was a good measuring stick “to see where we are offensively as a unit.”
“We’ve got some things to work on. But it’s still early in the season yet and we still have 16 games.”
Numbers: Team stats: WIC, 9-60 FG (15%), 2-7 (29%) 3’s, 5-11 FTs, 21 fouls. Houghton, 16-45 FG (36%), 7-11 (64%) 3’s, 18-25 FT, 15 fouls.
Player stats: Erickson, 9 pts, 2x3, 6 rebs, 3 asts; Miatech, 9 pts, 12 rebs; Pellizzer, 5 rebs`. Houghton scoring: Jurmu, 14 pts; Richards, 13 pts; Datto, 10 pts; Dillinger, 9 pts.
Gremlins 16 8 17 16 -- 57
Wykons 8 4 9 4 -- 25
Coming up: The Wykons visited Kingsford Dec. 17 and finish their pre-holidays schedule at home against Hancock Dec 20.