IRON RIVER—When West Iron’s Jan. 21 game with Norway was shifted to Jan. 25 by last week’s subzero spell, it meant the Wykon girls would play four games in only six days.
Halfway through, though, they are doing fine. West Iron rolled past North Dickinson 68-37 on Jan. 24 and then won a defensive battle at Norway 37-23 on Jan. 25.
The two road wins get the Wykons to .500 for the season at 6-6. They are still 1-3 in West Pac Conference action.
At ND: Solid defense, especially in the first half, paved the Wykons’ path to victory against North Dickinson. West Iron was in charge throughout the first half and led 29-8 at halftime.
“We had a lot of pressure on their ball-handlers and made it difficult to get the ball inside,” Coach Mike Dallavalle said.
On offense, West Iron made the most of its size advantage. The guards worked the ball around patiently and eventually found Sierra Rasmussen and the other post players.
Second half: Up by 21 at the break, the Wykons relaxed a bit too much in the third quarter, and the Nordics’ Miranda Jacobson took advantage, scoring 10 of her game-high 19 points. Dallavalle called time, and the Wykons got refocused.
Kylee Erickson’s shooting was off, with just eight points, but her passes inside set up teammates for nine baskets. WIC’s scoring was balanced: Rasmussen led with 15 (her best this season), Megan Miatech had 12 and four girls scored from 10 to 8, including Alexis Ivey, in her first game back from suspension. “She’s pretty quick, so we add another quick guard there. Nice to have her back.”
Numbers: WIC team: 27-72 FG (37%), 0-9 3’s, 14-22 FT (64%). ND team: 12-50 FG (24%), 13-19 FT (68%).
WIC stats: Sierra Rasmussen, 15 points; Megan Miatech, 12 pts, 12 rebs; Alexis Ivey, 10 pts, 7 rebs; Cassilyn Pellizzer, 9 pts; Kylee Erickson, 8 pts, 9 assists; Sydnie Mazurek, 8 pts, 5 steals. ND scoring: Miranda Jacobson, 19 pts, 8 rebs; Elizabeth Charlevoix, 7 pts; Gina Rotter, 6 asts.
Wykons 12 17 19 20 -- 68
Nordics 4 4 17 12 -- 37
At Norway: West Iron’s visit to Norway Jan. 25 included a rare goose-egg in the second quarter—but the Wykons more than made up for it with a 21-5 third quarter on their way to a 37-23 win.
After beating the Wykons in double overtime early this season, the Knights lulled the Wykons into a slow-down game.
After WIC led 9-8 after the first quarter, Norway shut them out in the second quarter and led 15-9 at the half. “Nobody could hit a shot,” said Dallavalle. “We were getting second and third chances—Megan and Emmy [Christensen] and Sierra were posting up well, but we could not get the ball in the basket.”
Norway set a deliberate (i.e.: poky) pace for the game in the first half. At halftime, Dallavalle switched WIC’s offense, putting Alexis Golfis at point guard while moving Erickson to a wing, where she could take advantage of screens.
Breaking it open: “That opened a lot of things for both guards. Kylee hit two threes in the third quarter, and Golfis scored eight points. She did a great job of getting to the rim, and driving to the basket.” The Wykons also kicked the game into gear and moved the ball quickly downcourt.
On defense, Erickson held Bailey Grayvold to nine points, while Christensen, Rasmussen and Miatech limited Norway’s inside players and rebounded well. Cassi Pellizzer defended Megan Conery, who scored 10 points in overtime of the first game, and held her to just three.
Golfis led the Wykons with 14 points, and Erickson and Christensen scored eight each.
“Defensively, we were solid the whole game,” the coach added. “We picked up the tempo and moved the ball better in the second half, but the key was they played such good defense, and that’s what kept us in the game.”
Numbers: WIC team: 14-54 FG (26%), 5-12 FT (42%), 54 rebs. Norway team: 9-49 FG (18%), 13-19 FT (68%), 32 rebs.
WIC stats: Alexis Golfis, 14 pts; Kylee Erickson, 8 pts, 2x3, 11 rebs, 5 asts; Emilie Christensen, 8 pts, 12 rebs. Norway stats: Bailey Grayvold, 9 pts; Shelby Matonich, 6 pts.
Wykons 9 0 21 7 -- 37
Knights 8 7 5 3 -- 23
Coming up: The Wykons complete their four-games-in-six-nights gauntlet early this week, hosting Kingsford Jan. 28 and Stephenson Jan. 29. Then they are off until a Feb. 4 visit to L’Anse.