IRON RIVER—After icy winds straight out of the arctic blew away the first two games of a three-game week, West Iron’s boys team tried to get back on track Jan. 10 when Calumet came to town.
It was close at halftime, and the Wykons took the lead early in the second half—but a five-minute lull allowed the Copper Kings to take over, outscore West Iron 22-11 in the third quarter and move on to a 61-40 win.
“We can play with anybody,” Coach Dan Schive said emphatically later. “We just don’t seem to play with everybody for 32 minutes.” Ah, those four-minute lulls!
The Wykons’ record now is 1-6 overall, 0-3 in West Pac games.
It was a close first half, which ended with the Copper Kings narrowly ahead 25-21. WIC’s Adam Newby scored 11 by halftime, and Andy Ridolphi had seven. Paul Torala powered the Copper Kings with 10 in the first half, and Kurt Keranen had seven.
The coach said Newby scored well and also kept Torala in control during the first half. “A good player’s going to score irregardless, cause they’re going to run through a ton of picks.”
West Iron scored the first seven points of the second half, grabbing a 28-25 lead, with Brock Hopkins scoring six in that quarter. Then the wheels came off.
“We went on a streak of seven turnovers in nine possessions,” Schive explained. “We just got sloppy with the ball. That was basically the ballgame.”
While West Iron struggled, Calumet caught fire, getting six points each from Totala and Jake Pieti and five from Jack Hrkas. The Copper Kings led 47-32 after three and put the win away at the free throw line, making seven points in the fourth quarter.
Torala was 6 of 8 at the line in the fourth and 10 of 13 overall. He led both teams with 27 points. Keranen and Pieti both scored nine.
The Wykons were playing without Joe Pisoni, who rolled his ankle the day before in practice. When Hopkins exited the game early due to fouls, the Wykons were hurting.
Newby finished with 17 for the night. Andy Ridolphi scored 10, and Hopkins scored six before exiting.
Overall, Schive said his team played better and harder than in recent games. “We up-tempoed a little bit. We pressed a little bit. We just had that one lull.
“It’s not like we don’t make shots. We don’t get shots. We’ve got to get away from that.” He said he told his team to stay positive. “It will work out somehow.”
It’s a learning process, after all. “I would like our growing steps to be a little bigger. But right now they’re little steps. They’ve got to get bigger—we’ve got two a week now for the rest of the season.”
C.Kings 12 13 22 14 -- 62
Wykons 9 12 11 8 -- 40
• The Wykons’ shortened home stand continues this week. They played Houghton at home Jan. 13 and then take on Forest Park on Jan. 16. The team heads to Hancock on Jan. 21.