West Iron’s Tyler Stafford gets open for a close-in shot during the Wykons’ recent win over Houghton.
IRON RIVER—After playing well and winning its first three games this season, West Iron’s boys team left town for its first road game on Dec. 27—and promptly went into the ditch.
Escanaba greeted their visitors by scoring the first 17 points of their nonconference game on the way to an 86-56 thumping.
It leaves West Iron with a 3-1 record entering the new year, and it left Coach Dan Schive thinking about a stretch of five straight road games that starts next week.
He was also wondering about his seniors. “My seniors need to play better than that.”
Quick strike: The opening minutes told the story: The Eskymos came out on fire, while the Wykons were stone cold. Esky popped in four three-pointers in the first quarter, two by Jamie Hiltunen, and also got six points from Brandon Robinette during their 17-0 breakaway.
West Iron finally got on the board with an Austin Waara jumper midway through the quarter, but by then the Wykons were in a deep, deep hole. Esky led 24-10 after one.
Getting away: West Iron tried to make a game of it in the second quarter. Two free throws and a basket from Andy Ridolphi and a Waara bucket cut the gap to 12 points (28-16) midway through the second quarter, but Escanaba wasn’t concerned and launched a 16-4 run, which included eight straight free throws.
Escanaba led 45-22 at halftime and never led by less than 20 in the second half. West Iron simply couldn’t turn off the Eskymos’ scoring—they scored 20 or more points each quarter.
Idle hours: The season is four weeks old, and the Wykons have only played four times. “We haven’t played enough,” Schive said. “We’ve had 30 practices and four games.”
Escanaba was led by Brandon Robinette, who struck for 26 points. “They shot very well,” said Schive. “But if you have guards who can pressure, you should be pressuring instead of standing three feet back.”
Waara led the Wykons with 18 points, and Adam Newby backed him with 13. Andy Ridolphi scored 11 but left after turning an ankle late in the game.
Numbers: WIC 10-19 FTs. Escanaba 20-31 FTs.
WIC scoring: Austin Waara, 18; Adam Newby, 13; Andy Ridolphi, 11. Escanaba scoring: Brandon Robinette, 26; Sam Molnar, 13; Dan Lapalm, 10.
Wykons 10 12 19 15 -- 56
Eskymos 24 21 20 21 -- 86
Coming up: The Wykons will host North Dickinson on Jan. 3, and that’s their final home game until Jan. 22. In between: road trips to Florence, Calumet, Houghton, Forest Park and L’Anse.