IRON RIVER—For a team led by seniors, what should West Iron boys Coach Dan Schive think when his team has a collective “senior moment”?
After their deliberate play worked very well in the first quarter and a half against Forest Park Dec. 16, the Wykons suddenly forgot all about it. Before they remembered, the Trojans remembered how much they like to run and took charge.
The result: a 53-29 Wykon loss that dropped their record to 1-1 overall. How was the game, coach?
“Really bad basketball for 12 minutes,” Schive said. “A really good defensive effort for 14 minutes, and then we decided we were just going to run all over the place and do stupid stuff.
“And that was the game. Then it’s going to steamroll, and when you’re on the road, it’s going to steamroll some more.
“I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed. We should never play that way.”
The reality: It was only West Iron’s second game of the young season. Eighteen more on the schedule, including their entire home schedule, which started last Friday.
Schive: “I told them in the locker room, If this effort makes you come back to practice tomorrow and Wednesday and Thursday and work harder so we don’t do this again on Friday, good! That’s what we’re looking for.”
Things seemed to go well early—the Wykons led 6-4 after the first quarter and led 10-4 about three minutes into the second.
But once the Trojans strapped rockets to their feet and launched their fast-break game, the Wykons were left behind, coughing in the smoke. By halftime, West Iron was trailing 19-11, wondering what happened. “It’s like somebody hit a switch, and we stopped playing,” Schive said.
The teams seemed to mark time early in the second half, but then Forest Park lit the afterburners again and blasted off on a 22-0 run that took them into the fourth quarter with a 43-13 lead.
Joe Pisoni’s early basket kept them from being shut out in the third. “You’re not going to beat anybody scoring two points in the third quarter.”
Credit Brock Hopkins for finally turning the ship around. Hopkins’ free throws ended WIC’s long dry spell, and he hit a three and a two in the next few minutes. Hopkins led West Iron with eight points, all of them in the fourth quarter, before fouling out with four minutes left.
Otherwise, the scorebook was pretty bare. Andy Ridolphi was next highest with five points, and he was blanked in the second half. Nobody else had more than four points. Adam Newby was held to a single free throw.
No shooting stats were available or figures on turnovers. That’s probably just as well. “We shot the ball atrociously bad,” Schive said. “They played pretty good D, but it was nothing we haven’t seen before and not as good as we’re going to see this year.”
So what are the Wykons going to do about it? “I’ve got to do a better job getting them better,” Schive said, “and they’ve got to do a better job listening so they can get better.
“You’ve got to stand up, find some heart and be better. Simple as that.”
Wykons 6 5 2 16 -- 29
Trojans 4 15 19 15 -- 53
• The Wykons played L’Anse at home on Dec. 20 (after this issue’s early deadline) and visited Houghton on Dec. 23. Next up: Escanaba’s visit this Friday, Dec. 27.