4Q heartbreak for Wykon boys
RON RIVER—As losses go, this one was especially painful.
The West Iron County boys basketball team’s 50-45 defeat to the Westwood Patriots in the Class C district semifinal at Charles Greenlund Gymnasium on March 8 is going to linger. To have an eight-point lead with 4½ minutes to play and then watch that lead dissipate while never scoring another point, well, that’s a tough one to swallow or forget.
A difficult loss?
“That’s an understatement,” WIC coach Dan Schive said.
“We tried to fight all the way to the end, and it was just, uh, it didn’t work out,” said senior AJ Weisnicht. “We had a couple of turnovers that really cost us at the end of the game. And if we didn’t have those, I think we could have won.”
Two nights later, Westwood’s season came to an end with a 53-36 setback to Iron Mountain. The Mountaineers nipped Norway 53-49 in the first semifinal game on March 8.
In the second game of the opening night of the district, West Iron (11-9) built a 40-29 lead after three quarters and led 45-37 before the Patriots (6-15) made their push. The sequence that sparked the run was a seemingly innocuous out of bounds play under the Wykon basket, when senior guard Austin Pierpont cut to the basket, drew a foul from Wykon guard Caden Pellizzer and added the ensuing free throw.
Not only did Pierpont’s effort slice the deficit to five, but Pellizzer fouled out on the play. It would prove to be a crushing blow to the Wykons because Pellizzer had scored 15 of the team’s 24 points in the second half and was badly needed as a ballhandler down the stretch.