IRON RIVER—Nobody said West Iron’s girls basketball team had any kind of a chance when the Wykons hosted Forest Park on Jan. 3.
All the same, Coach Joe Serbentas sounded disappointed in his team after the Lady Trojans’ 66-25 win here. It’s as if the Wykons decided to be welcome mats, and Forest Park just walked all over them.
WIC is now 1-6 overall and 0-3 against West Pac Conference opponents.
The good news: There is only one Forest Park, and only one of the Wykons’ remaining 13 games is against them (on Feb. 6). “They took it to us,” said Coach Serbentas, “and we’ve got to put up a better fight in their gym.”
For the Wykons, it was shock and awe as FP blasted off. The Lady Trojans led 25-4 after one and 42-7 at halftime. When Lexi Gussert hit two 3-pointers in the first minute of the second half, the lead reached 48-7: The final 15 minutes of the game mercifully sped along thanks to the running clock.
So what happened in the first half?
“We just lacked intensity,” Serbentas said. “Our team did not play very good defensively in the first half, at all.”
Gussert, who will play at Michigan State next winter, led the way, crashing for 15 points in the first quarter, 24 in the first half and 36 in the game. In the first quarter, she made three 3-pointers on three attempts, igniting a 19-0 Forest Park run.
Any questions? Any answers? The Wykons are in good company: No other U.P. team has any answers, either.
After West Iron’s late December games against Houghton and Kingsford, Serbentas had talked about how his young team was learning and coming along.
“This is a step backwards from where we were building,” he said. “This performance today wasn’t up to par by any means. And the team knows it.”
Of course, it was Forest Park. “That’s a really, really, really good team,” the Wykons’ coach said. “They are going to be in the hunt for a state title at the end.
“You’ve got the star player in Lexi, and then that supporting cast works really well with her, and she works really well with them. They feed off each other, and you can just see they’re getting better and better.”
A heavy loss like this can get to a team mentally, Serbentas noted. “But I think girls I have are going to be OK.
“We’ll learn from it. I’ve got a good strong group of girls. They believe in themselves, and they’re adamant about working hard at practice. We’ll get after it, and we’ll be fine.”
They just have to remember: 12 of their 13 remaining games are not against Forest Park.
Alexis Golfis led the Wykons with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Sydney Mazurek was second highest scorer with four. Nobody else scored more than two.
Trojans 25 17 12 12 -- 66
Wykons 4 3 7 11 -- 25
• The Wykons are on the road for the next two games. They visit North Dickinson on Jan. 7 and head to Ewen-Trout Creek on Jan. 14. Next home date: Jan. 17 against Houghton.