West Iron boys meet their demise at Calumet
CALUMET—The West Iron County boys basketball team’s nearly season-long difficulties on the road and tendency to go into long empty stretches offensively proved to be its final undoing as the Wykons lost to Calumet 46-40 in a Division 3 district opener on March 9 in Calumet.
West Iron took a 35-33 lead on a layup by Peyton Williams off a feed from Mitch Ballinger with 6:43 left in the game. But from there, the Wykons were all missed shots, including free throws, and turnovers as they scored two points in the next 6½ minutes before Elijah Turbessi sank a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds remaining with his team down seven.
And just like that, a season in which the Wykons showed promise with a 7-3 start ended before they could reach their goal of making the district final.
“This is an extremely disappointing way to finish the season because I had full expectations of going to L’Anse on Wednesday (for the semifinal) and trying to win there and then going to Iron Mountain on Friday and seeing what we could do because that was the goal all year ... and we just didn’t do the job.” WIC coach Dan Schive said.
“It was tough, none of us wanted to go out, especially that way, close game,” Williams said. “We all wanted to at least make it to Iron Mountain but couldn’t do it.”
West Iron (11-10) got off to a decent start, taking a 9-4 lead at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter on the strength of seven points from Dolan Dobson. But the offensive doldrums began to pop up as the Wykons scored just seven points in the next 11½ minutes to go into halftime down 17-16.
After shooting 4 of 9 from the field in the opening period, West Iron sank only 1 of 11 in the second quarter.
A big part of the problem was West Iron’s two top scorers – Williams and Justin Nelson– could never get untracked. Nelson, West Iron’s top scorer who entered the game at almost 17 points per game, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with six. Williams, who came into the game averaging 11.6 ppg., scored only two points in each half to finish with four.