IRON RIVER—Coaches like to make basketball sound really complex, but success often hinges on one simple question: whether a team can score consistently.
West Iron’s girls (0-3, 0-2) struggled with their shooting in both their games last week, losing 38-30 to Iron Mountain Dec. 10 and then falling 62-38 to Calumet Dec. 12.
In both games, the Wykons shot just over 20% from the field. That’s not how to win games.
Against Iron Mountain, Alexis Golfis scored eight points in the first quarter, including a pair of threes, helping WIC to an 8-8 first quarter.
But the offense went dry in the second quarter, as IM outscored West Iron 13-5 for a 21-13 halftime lead. Ellie McCole led IM with 17 points, and Alyssa Khor hit three 3-pointers.
“They played a 2-3 zone the whole game,” Coach Joe Serbentas said. “We had a lot of good open looks and just didn’t knock any of them down.”
The Wykons were careful with the ball, though, turning over the ball just six times all night while getting 12 steals.
Golfis led WIC with 14 points, with Cassilyn Pellizzer scoring seven and Megan Miatech adding five.
M’tneers 8 13 8 9 -- 38
Wykons 8 5 5 12 -- 30
Against Calumet, the Wykons played fairly well against the Copper Kings for three quarters. But the second quarter was a disaster. Calumet shredded West Iron’s defense for 24 points (including a 19-4 stretch) and led 34-16 at the half.
“We had some mental lapses, quite a few miscommunications that allowed them to get some easy put-backs and layups.” Serbentas said. The Copper Kings’ Lexie Rowe scored eight of her nine points in that stretch. “She was able to capitalize on quite a few touches.”
Rowe and Clara Loukus scored 11 each for Calumet, and four other girls scored from six to nine points. West Iron couldn’t compete with that balanced attack. Calumet also had the edge in size. “Across the board, we are giving up inches at every position,” Serbentas noted.
The Wykons lost starting center Megan Miatech for most of the game due to fouls—she picked up her third foul late in the first quarter, sat out the rest of the half, then was called for her fourth a minute into the second half.
“At this stage, it’s not about winning or losing as much as it is getting better,” the coach said. “Especially offensively. We’ve been struggling to score points the last two games, and it happened again today.”
Until the shots start falling, West Iron will struggle. But Serbentas has been getting the reserves on his young team into the game. “Everyone is getting some experience.” And that will be good for West Iron in the long run. “Right now, it’s all about building.”
Golfis led the Wykons with 16 points, while Lizzie Pellizzer and Sydney Mazurek scored six each.
It was a physical game and a free throw festival, with the refs calling a total of 49 fouls and the teams attempting 51 free throws. Calumet was 10 of 18 at the line, West Iron 16 of 33.
C.Kings 10 24 12 16 -- 62
Wykons 5 11 11 11 -- 38
• This week, the Wykons visited Norway Dec. 16 and make the trek to Houghton on Dec. 20. After a home game with Kingsford Dec. 23, the team gets a break until Forest Park’s visit on Jan. 3.