IRON RIVER—A new year saw West Iron’s boys basketball team deal with the same old scoring struggles when the Wykons visited North Dickinson on Jan. 2.
The Wykons never got their offense working all night and got beat by the Nordics 59-44. They are now 1-5 overall, 0-2 in the West Pac.
The game was close in the first quarter, when the teams battled to a 12-12 tie. Adam Newby scored six points, and Ryan Rogers added four.
Things started going downhill when ND’s Reggie Johnson hit a three-pointer at the first quarter buzzer, tying the score.
In the second frame, ND smothered the Wykon offense 17-2 and built up 29-14 lead. West Iron went scoreless until Newby hit a late basket.
“In a nutshell,” Coach Dan Schive said, “we just didn’t run our offense with the same crispness” as in the first quarter.
“I don’t know if they got hot or we got lazy. They went on a run, and that’s been the story of our year: We can’t give up runs. We didn’t answer.
“It’s a microcosm of the season. We’ve got to play harder.”
Leading the breakaway was Johnson, who came off the bench to hit the three that ended the first quarter. He followed that with nine in the second quarter, including two more 3-pointers.
In the second half, West Iron got a boost from Colton Pangrazzi and Brandon Olson. “They gave us some energy, and we tried to make a run.” But after cutting into the Nordics’ lead, ND would strike back and shut down West Iron’s offense again.
West Iron held all of ND’s starters to single digits. But Johnson ran roughshod over the visitors, finishing with 26 points, including five 3-pointers. “We knew who we had to slow down,” Schive said. “But he just kind of surprised us. He just got really, really hot.”
Newby provided most of the Wykons’ offense, with 20 points, including a pair of threes. He scored eight in the fourth quarter. Rogers scored eight for the night, and Brock Hopkins, back from a family trip over the holidays, scored six.
“We’ve got to dig down deeper and find some more passion,” the coach said. “We’re going to practice every day, and we’re going to bust our rear ends.” One clue: Expect a faster team.
Another problem is giving up triples to opponents. “We’ve just got to cover up the 3-point line better. That comes from flying around and playing harder.”
Wykons 12 2 11 19 -- 44
Nordics 12 17 16 14 -- 59
• The Wykons’ Jan. 6 home game with Florence was postponed by subzero weather, and the same fate may await the Jan. 7 contest with district tourney rival Norway.
Three more home games follow: vs. Calumet on Jan. 10; Houghton on Jan. 13; and Forest Park on Jan. 16.
“This is a big stretch.”