IRON RIVER—Kylee Erickson and Shannon Koski combined for 43 points Jan. 10, as short-handed West Iron took control of a tight game in the second half to defeat North Dickinson 71-41.
It was the Wykons’ only game last week. The Wykons’ record goes to 7-1 overall and remains 2-1 in the West Pac Conference.
West Iron had only nine girls suited up for the game, with Jaclyn Waara shelved due to her recent surgery and two other girls out because of a code violation. Megan Miatech was in uniform but stayed on the bench to rest a sore ankle. “I only dressed Megan for an emergency,” Coach Mike Dallavalle said, “and we didn’t need her.”
The first half was close. West Iron led 12-7 after one, but the Nordics got a break when Alexis Heimerl, one of the Wykons’ top players in the post, got into foul trouble and had to sit out most of the second quarter,
Without Heimerl, Miatech and the other Wykons, West Iron’s defense struggled in the second quarter. North Dickinson shot 44% from the floor in the first half and rallied to within a basket, 26-24, at halftime.
Dallavalle said North Dickinson’s zone gave the Wykons problems during the first half, so at intermission he outlined a new game plan: faster transitions when the Wykons got the ball.
It worked wonders, and soon the Wykons had a lot of momentum. “Shannon and Kylee, in particular, were finding open people—and each other—on our fast break.” By getting downcourt before the Nordics could set up a half-court defense, the Wykons got the upper hand.
The girls upgraded their defense, too. “We didn’t do a good job contesting shots in the first half,” Dallavalle reported. “We picked up our full-court pressure a little and forced them into turnovers.”
Erickson led the Wykons with 23 points (nine in the fourth quarter), and Koski connected for 20. They were backed up by Pellizzer with 12 (all in the second half) and Heimerl with nine. West Iron shot 36% overall to ND’s 27% and took 20 more shots than the Nordics.
The Wykons had a big advantage in rebounds, 61-37, with Koski and Heimerl both credited with 15 boards and Pellizzer with 12. West Iron’s rebounding was so strong that the Nordics usually got only one shot—before the ball was going the other way.
Heimerl blocked 12 Nordic shots, while Pellizzer had five steals.
Erickson was top playmaker with eight assists. “She had an amazing passing game,” Dallavalle noted. “She made some great bounce passes driving to the lane and finding open people against their zone. When she penetrated, she always found somebody open.”
For ND, Stroud led with 13 points, and Jacobson scored 10.
West Iron got strong help off the bench from Mallory Tomasoski, who had three points and several assists and rebounds. “Some very much needed help off the bench, with the battered lineup that we have.”
• The Wykons visited Florence on Jan. 16, their final tune-up before meeting West Pac powerhouse Houghton at home on Jan. 20.
It’s the first of three straight at home. District 95 rival Norway visits on Jan. 23, and the Wykons host North Dickinson on Jan. 26. Good news for West Iron: Waara may be back in action this week, and Miatech may also be ready.
Wykons 12 14 20 25 -- 71
Nordics 7 17 9 8 -- 41