Wykons rebound after first loss of season

IRON RIVER—The first bit of adversity hit the West Iron County boys basketball team in its initial game back from the holiday break.
    The Wykons endured a humbling 66-36 loss at Escanaba on Jan. 3 for their first loss of the season, but rebounded to defeat North Dickinson 54-50 two nights later at Charles Greenlund Gymnasium.
    In the win, West Iron (5-1) fought off a spirited effort from the Nordics, who despite entering the game with a 1-4 record played well from the start. The Wykons led by four after the first quarter, but fell behind 23-16 midway through the second quarter when their visitors went on a 13-2 run. West Iron fought back to regain a lead by halftime, but had to sweat it out until the final buzzer.
    The victory, which matched West Iron’s victory total from last year, was a fine bounce-back from the loss to the Eskymos earlier in the week.
    “It was nice to see them respond to a really bad second half in Escanaba, because that was horrendously bad,” said West Iron coach Dan Schive, referring to Escanaba outscoring his team 41-13 in the final two quarters.
    “We were cold (against Escanaba), and somehow tonight we found out shot(s),” said sophomore Caden Pellizzer.
    He certainly did. The 6-foot guard broke out of a shooting slump with his top varsity offensive performance to date. Pellizzer buried four 3-pointers in the first half to keep West Iron in the fight and finished with a team-high 17 points.
    Pellizzer scored eight straight points early on to help his team take a 10-8 lead. He later knocked down two consecutive triples to spark a 9-0 run in the second quarter to help his team erase North Dickinson’s second-quarter surge.
    “I was not very confident at all (heading into the game),” Pellizzer said. “And tonight, it just kind of came on.”
    Schive said a little extra work earlier on game day might have helped.

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