Big 3rd quarter helps WIC boys earn road win
IRON RIVER—Just after the third quarter started on Jan. 2, the West Iron County boys basketball team found itself on a precipice of sorts. Down nine to Kingsford, the Wykons needed a quick response or they would risk facing the arduous task of fighting back out of a deep hole on the road.
But that response came. West Iron went on a 22-6 run to take a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter and the Wykons held on for a 62-57 nonconference victory over the Flivvers.
Senior Peyton Williams sparked the charge with an three-point play and a 3-pointer in succession, while Dolan Dobson and Brayden Nelson connected on triples of their own as West Iron won its second road game in three tries to begin the season.
In all, the Wykons outscored Kingsford 20-9 in the key third quarter.
“I didn’t really see any panic,” WIC coach Dan Schive of his team, which hadn’t played since Dec. 19. “It just seemed like we were very comfortable once we were into running something. I was surprised that we shot the ball from the outside as well as we did. I’ll take six triples in a game all the time. But they were well-timed, unguarded free looks.”
West Iron built a 56-46 advantage on two free throws by Justin Nelson before the Flivvers (0-3) scored the next seven points to cut the gap to three. Shortly after, the Wykons committed a pair of turnovers and Kingsford had a chance to cut the margin to one with 33 seconds to play but misfired on a bonus free throw. Nelson then put the game on ice emphatically with a dunk to give West Iron a 60-55 lead in the final moments.
While the victory looks good in the win-loss column, the game was sloppy at times. West Iron committed 24 turnovers under full-court harassment from the young, but athletic Flivvers. Schive said his team often broke the initial portion of the press, but then fell victim to the pace.
“It was frantic,” he said. “They were all 6-foot, 6-1 and pretty fast kids with a pretty good understanding of what was going on and what was expected. I thought we handled the breaking of the press OK and then once we get over half court then we just get all out of whack. So, a lot of our issues are not breaking the press, it’s getting into an offense and running something once we do.”