Megan Miatech fires a close-in shot during West Iron’s Jan. 8 game against North Dickinson. Miatech scored 23 points and had 14 rebounds against Hancock two nights later.
IRON RIVER—After a gauntlet of games against the likes of Houghton, Kingsford and Forest Park, West Iron girls Coach Mike Dallavalle said, “These girls needed a couple wins this week,”
The Wykons got what they needed when they faced North Dickinson and Hancock at home. Presto! Their five-game losing streak is history, and things are looking up.
After defeating ND 65-45 on Jan. 8 and Hancock 68-38 on Jan. 10, the Wykons enter this week 3-5 overall and 1-2 in West Pac Conference play.
Vs. Nordics: After a close first half, the Wykons took command in the third quarter, outscoring ND 21-9 and never looking back.
Kylee Erickson powered the third quarter rally, scoring 15 of her game-high 31 points, including two of her seven three-pointers.
The first half was nip and tuck, with three lead changes and no lead bigger than five--West Iron had a slender 25-24 lead at the break.
Hang in there: Before halftime, the Wykons had to replace several girls who had picked up two fouls and started struggling on offense. “But we hung on,” said Dallavalle. “The girls who were in there played defense that kept us in the game.”
Seconds into the second half, Gina Rotter hit a three that put ND in front, but Erickson’s three took the lead right back. After an ND free throw tied it, West Iron went to work.
Erickson for three, then two free throws. Sierra Rasmussen on a putback. Erickson again, off a pass from Megan Miatech. Time-out, Nordics, with the Wykons ahead 37-28.
WIC kept going. Cassi Pellizzer hit two free throws, Erickson drove in for two and then passed to Pellizzer for two more. The Wykons’ lead was up to 43-28, and North Dickinson didn’t get within 10 the rest of the night.
Solid work: “We picked up the intensity,” said Dallavalle, “got more pressure on the ball, got in the passing lanes better and forced more turnovers.”
Dallavalle liked his team’s rebounding, Miatech’s post play and screens set up by Christensen, Rasmussen and Miatech “Kylee was making good decisions with the ball. If she can hit that first one or two and you leave her open, she’s going to keep knocking them down.”
Numbers: Team stats: WIC: 7x3; 14-22 FTs; 17 fouls. ND: 5x3; 12-15 FTs; 15 fouls.
WIC scoring: Kylee Erickson, 31 pts, 7x3; Cassilyn Pellizzer, 9 pts; Megan Miatech, 9 pts. ND scoring: Gina Rotter, 11 pts; Miranda Jacobson, 11 pts; Chelsey Stroud, 8 pts; Elizabeth Charlevoix, 7 pts.
Nordics 13 11 9 12 -- 45
Wykons 17 8 21 19 -- 65
Vs. Hancock: The Bulldogs led for just a moment early, but West Iron took charge 13-4 for the rest of the first quarter. The young Hancock squad never really got close after that.
Dallavalle said it was WIC’s best offensive effort so far, because of how the girls executed plays and moved the ball. At times they rushed shots, but most of the time the Wykons shared the ball, found the open player and waited for high percentage shots.
He also liked their defensive effort against an aggressive Hancock squad. “The girls played hard defense—a lot of rebounds. Everybody contributed something tonight.”
Mighty Megan: Miatech scored seven in the first quarter, cooled off for a while but had a big second half and finished with 23 points, plus 14 rebounds. “She was just a force inside,” said her coach, “and they really didn’t have an answer for her.”
Christensen scored eight of her 10 in the third quarter, while Sydnie Mazurek had all nine of hers in the fourth. Erickson hit shots when open and passed to open teammates against Hancock’s zone.
Sydnie Mazurek and Alexis Golfis contributed off the bench. “They play hard defense and are always helping the team out.”
Numbers: WIC team: 22-65 FG, 3-12 3’s, 21-30 FTs. Hancock team: 9-48 FG, 3-17 3’s, 17-25 FTs.
WIC stats: Miatech, 23 pts, 14 rebs (6 off.); Emilie Christensen, 10 pts, 7 rebs; Sydnie Mazurek, 9 pts, 2 stls; Erickson, 8 pts, 2x3; Pellizzer, 7 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asts; Sierra Rasmussen, 6 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts; Golfis, 5 pts. Hancock stats: Molly Berg, 10 pts; Kirsten Berg, 7 pts.
Bulldogs 7 7 7 17 -- 38
Wykons 15 8 18 27 -- 68
Coming up: After playing Ewen-Trout Creek at home Jan. 14, the Wykons head to Houghton on Jan. 18, the start of a three-game road swing. They visit Norway Jan. 21 and North Dickinson Jan. 24.