West Iron’s Cassilyn Pellizzer dribbles downcourt during last week’s game against Hancock, with teammates (from left) Emmy Kinner, Beth Angeli and Monica Eagloski hurrying to join her
IRON RIVER—The end of the girls basketball season is here, and it’s all passing by in a blur.
It certainly is for West Iron’s girls, who had to play three games in four nights last week (five in eight nights, counting the week before).
The Wykons lost all three contests: 44-25 to Hancock at home Feb. 10; 46-41 to Westwood at home Feb. 11; and 44-39 at Calumet on Feb. 13.
Coach Joe Serbentas, though, liked the fact that his team’s improving defense held all three opponents in the 40s. “At the very end of the season, we’re in games against teams that probably would have beaten us pretty handily at the beginning of the year.”
West Iron is 5-12 overall and 0-7 in West Pac Conference games as the final week of the season begins.
Against Hancock, the Wykons played well in the first quarter and trailed 12-8 after one. But the team lost its way in the second quarter, as Hancock dominated 16-2 and led 28-10 at halftime.
“We got really lazy on the box-outs,” Serbentas explained. “They got some put-backs on us, second and third chance opportunities, to close out that half.”
The Wykons made it hard on themselves by only scoring eight baskets the entire game. “We struggled to make shots. We had some good looks, but we did not make shots. Not one of our best performances.” Turnover made life worse.
For the most part, the Wykons played good defense, holding Hancock in the 40s. “That’s a winnable game,” Serbentas said. “We’ve just got to put points on the board.”
Emmy Kinner led West Iron with seven points, and Alexis Golfis and Meg Miatech each had five.
Bulldogs 3 13 11 15 -- 42
Wykons 7 2 10 8 -- 27
Against Westwood, the officials justifiably drew a lot of heat from the Wykon fans. For the game, they called 31 fouls on West Iron, seven on Westwood. The Patriots were 16 of 38 at the free throw line; West Iron, 4 of 6. A 12-point difference in a five-point game.
But that’s not why they lost. West Iron led most of the night and took a 33-25 lead after three—but the Patriots rolled 12-2 in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter and never looked back. Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren had three baskets in that rally and scored 11 of her game-high 18 in the fourth.
As for the fouls, Serbentas conceded that his team was committing fouls. “But man, they [the Patriots] were doing a lot of bumping, too.”
Serbentas said a defense West Iron has been working on caused trouble for Westwood in the first half, limiting their scoring. “It fits the type of players we have.” West Iron led 22-18 at halftime.
But Miatech had been whistled for three fouls already and her fourth came seconds into the third quarter. “When she touched the ball inside, she was doing a real good job of taking two or three dribbles and getting to the basket.
“She was getting roughed up a little bit, but she didn’t get any calls.”
Golfis led West Iron with 17 points (with two triples) and scored 13 of WIC’s 22 points in the second and third quarters. Miatech scored eight, and Beth Angeli and Cassi Pellizzer had five apiece.
Serbentas said he liked Sydney Mazurek’s defensive work off the bench. Monica Eagloski and Brittany Barry worked hard on defense while Miatech was out.
Patriots 8 8 9 21 -- 46
Wykons 10 12 11 8 -- 41
At Calumet, West Iron’s defense had another strong night, but the Wykon offense couldn’t get going—except for Miatech, who scored 20 of her team’s 39 points.
Golfis and Erin Angeli combined for 17 points, but the rest of the team only scored two. WIC also made five 3-pointers—Miatech had three of them.
After an 8-8 first quarter, Calumet got nine from Clara Loukus and six from Lexi Rowe for a 23-16 halftime lead. But Miatech struck for nine in the third, cutting the lead to 31-27 as the fourth quarter began.
The Wykons led by three with a minute and a half left. But under pressure from a backcourt press, they turned over the ball several times and lost a loose ball scramble in the final minutes. Meanwhile, Calumet hit a three, and Rowe added eight points at the free throw line.
A disappointing end, but Serbentas didn’t lose sight of the improvement his team showed over an opponent that beat them 62-38 on Dec. 12—on the road, in his team’s third game in four nights.
“That was the best half-court offensive game we’ve played,” Serbentas said. “We were very patient, we ran a lot of time off the clock—and at the same time played really good defense and was able to cause problems for them shooting.”
Wykons 8 8 11 12 -- 39
C.Kings 8 15 8 13 -- 44
• Two tough customers wrap up the Wykons’ regular season this week: they visited L’Anse on Feb. 17 and head to Stephenson on Feb. 20 (postponed from Jan. 28).
A change in the dates of the Class C District 95 tournament at Norway High School was announced early this week. The Wykons will take on Iron Mountain at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26, and the winner moves on to the district title game against Norway at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28. Both games in the three-team district were moved back two days.