IRON RIVER—West Iron’s young girls team felt pretty good after its 57-28 win against an understaffed Ewen-Trout Creek squad Jan. 14, but if there’s any team that can bring a young team back to earth, it’s Houghton.
That’s just what the Gremlins did Jan. 17, scoring the first 20 points and cruising to a 72-51 victory.
The Wykons enter this week at 2-7 overall and 0.4 in the West Pac standings.
The week started at Ewen-Trout Creek against a Panthers team with only six girls dressed.
Serbentas called for an up-tempo game to wear ETC down. “We wore them out. They had a hard time shooting” for most of the game.
Miatech scored 13 points in the first half and 20 overall. “She did a good job running the break,” Serbentas said. “She’s really been working hard at practice, getting up and down the floor faster,” as has the entire team.
Miatech was backed by three girls with six points each—Alexis Golfis, Lizzi Pellizzer and Erin Angeli—and Tori Harris with five. Ten of the 11 Wykons dressed for the game scored.
The Wykons shot 54% from the floor, with many fast-break shots. Miatech led with 14 rebounds and two blocked shots, Angeli had eight boards, and Kiki Piwarski had seven. Cassilyn Pellizzer and Angeli both had four assists.
Wykons 18 13 13 13 -- 57
Panthers 9 5 6 8 -- 28
• Take out the first 5 minutes, 20 seconds of the Houghton game and the Wykons scored just one point less than the powerhouse Gremlins.
But that first 5:20 was as one-sided as a game could be. The Wykons made mistake after mistake against Houghton’s pressing defense and aggressive attack. Most WIC possessions ended with turnovers—bad passes, steals, balls lost out of bounds.
At the other end, it was open season on the West Iron net, and Houghton had its shooting clothes on. The Gremlins hit six 3-pointers in the first quarter. Kelsie Richards hit two treys and scored 10 in the opening explosion. Elisa Jurmu had five points.
“They were draining threes left and right, all over the court,” the coach noted.
Golfis finally got WIC on the board with a three from the left corner. Moments later, Lizzi Pellizzer also hit one. Houghton kept scoring, though, and led 31-9 after the first quarter.
It was a different game after that. The Wykons finally regained their equilibrium while Houghton backed off its pressure and seemed content with its big lead.
The Wykons didn’t get closer than 18 until the fourth quarter on a 9-2 rally that cut the gap to 65-50, helped by baskets from Golfis, Miatech, Sydnie Mazurek and Lexy Gasperini.
Serbentas said his girls had been excited about the game as a measuring stick to see how they have improved. Despite the early collapse, he feels they did. “Throw out the first five minutes, and they settled down and started playing better ball.”
Golfis scored six in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points, including two triples. Miatech and Mazurek both scored 12. For Houghton, Jurmu led with 19 points, Richards had 15 and Sydney Dillinger scored 14.
The Wykons shot 32% from the floor. Miatech had six rebounds, Cassi Pellizzer had five and Angeli had four. Golfis and Angeli had three assists.
As usual, Serbentas kept rotating his players on the court, giving everyone experience against a tough opponent. Of course, the Wykons see plenty of tough opponents.
Three West Pac teams (Houghton, Calumet, L’Anse) are listed on last week’s U.P. Class ABC top five poll, and Forest Park is a unanimous No. 1 in Class D.
The Wykons play each of them twice during the season—eight of their 20 games. That’s a tough row to hoe.
Gremlins 30 12 14 16 -- 72
Wykons 9 12 11 19 -- 51
• This week, the Wykons hosted Norway on Jan. 20 and have a home date against North Dickinson on Jan. 23. Two away games early next week: at Kingsford Jan. 27 and at Stephenson Jan. 28.