IRON RIVER—Friday the 13th didn’t have anything to do with the end of West Iron’s seven-game winning streak here Jan. 13. Andy Steber did.
Steber connected on six three-pointers and scored 24 points to lead Calumet to a 44-42 win over the Wykons.
On Jan. 9, the Wykons outran Florence 75-55. West Iron is now 7-2 for the season and 3-1 in the West Pac Conference.
For years, Calumet has had a reputation as a strong defensive team, and, sure enough, the Copper Kings held West Iron to its lowest point total of the season. “They play really good defense,” agreed Coach Dan Schive.
But West Iron’s offense started well, particularly Caleb Pellizzer, who scored eight points in the first quarter, boosting West Iron to a 13-8 lead. West Iron’s momentum continued in the second quarter; the Wykons led 20-11 and were on a run.
But then foul trouble struck: Kahree Beaudrie picked up his third foul and had to take a seat.
“Then we had three possessions where we had one pass and shot it—they weren’t bad shots, but a little forced.” In any case, they missed, and Calumet got back into it, rallying to within one point, 22-21, at halftime.
Steber hit a pair of threes in the first quarter and another in the second for the Copper Kings. Schive said the Wykons over-rotated on their zone a few times, giving Steber time to load, aim and fire. “He took advantage and knocked them down.” He also lamented “four easy bunnies” the Wykons missed in the first half.
It was a battle in the second half. Steber made two more threes and a two in the third quarter, while Waara connected on a trey and two free throws. After three: a 35-35 tie.
It stayed close until halfway through the fourth quarter, when Calumet’s Logan Hyrkas made a low trajectory three from the corner, putting the Copper Kings ahead by five. After that, they ran clock. Tyler Stafford scored four of West Iron’s seven points during the fourth, stealing the ball twice and scoring on lay-ups.
In the final seconds, Pellizzer’s shot rolled around the rim but stayed out. Stafford got the rebound, got fouled with seconds left but missed his first free throw, and West Iron didn’t get a final shot after an intentional miss.
Pellizzer scored 15 to lead the Wykons (all but two in the first half), and Waara connected for 12 (including 6 of 6 free throws). Adam Newby (six) was the only other Wykon with more than four.
Beaudrie led with 10 rebounds, while Stafford had six. Both Pellizzer and Waara had five steals.
Steber fimished with 24 of Calumet’s 44 points, and Hyrkas added eight.
“It’s never fun to lose,” Schive said. “But somewhere down the line, this will help us. You learn by winning, and you learn by losing.”
Against Florence, the Wykons’ offense started hot and never really cooled off. Their 75 points was their best total this season, with 23 in the first quarter and 25 in the third.
The Bobcats scored plenty, too, but Schive was OK with that. “If we get the game at our pace, we’re going to take a lot of shots. Of course, that allows the other team to score more points if they get more opportunities.”
West Iron outscored Florence 23-11 in the first quarter—Beaudrie had nine points, Pellizzer added six, and Waara had five. Scoring was fairly even in the second frame, with Waara adding seven for West Iron while Jackson Baumgart scored 11 of Florence’s 17. WIC led 38-28 at halftime.
West Iron hit the gas again in the third period, building up a 63-41 lead. Adam Newby scored seven, Beaudrie had six and Perllizzer and Waara tacked on five each. WIC’s lead grew as high as 27 in the second half.
Beaudrie finished with a game-high 22 points, Pellizzer had 18, and Waara scored 17. Nine for Newby, six for Stafford. “Everybody did their job.” For Florence, Baumgart scored 15 and four other Bobcats scored either 10 or nine points.
Pellizzer and Stafford both had 10 rebounds, and Waara had seven. Plenty of assists, led by Waara’s 11 and Pellizzer’s eight. Pellizzer had five steals, and Beaudrie blocked six Florence shots.
With one player out due to grades, West Iron had only seven players dressed for Florence and went to six when Alex Ralston rolled an ankle in the first half. Ralston missed the Calumet game, so Schive has brought up Aren Newby from the JV team. Like his brother Adam, he’s a sophomore.
• After hosting Houghton Jan. 16, the Wykons will welcome Forest Park to the Greenlund Gym this Thursday, Jan. 19. On Jan. 24, they hit the road and see Hancock for the first time this season.
“We’re getting into the part of the schedule where it gets a little more difficult.”
Bobcats 11 17 13 14 -- 55
Wykons 23 15 25 12 -- 75
C.Kinigs 8 14 13 9 -- 44
Wykons 13 10 12 7 -- 42