WIC girls can’t overcome size factor
Sydnie Mazurek has her eyes on the basket as she tries to elude an Iron Mountain defender during West Iron’s district tourney game March 2.
ISHPEMING—The one prevalent concern for the West Iron County girls basketball team from preseason forward had been its lack of size. In the end, that spelled the Wykons’ doom.
Matched up against an Iron Mountain squad that sported four players among its top seven taller than anybody West Iron had in its starting lineup, the Wykons were beaten badly on the backboards in a 54-44 loss in the Class C District 95 opener at Westwood High School on March 2.
With the loss, West Iron closed the season with a 4-17 record. Iron Mountain went on to win the district title with a 64-59 triple overtime victory over Norway on March 4.
Against the Mountaineers (12-10), the Wykons were outrebounded 49-27 and gave up 32 points in the lane. As a means to combat Iron Mountain center Katie Brule, who scored 21 points in the Mountaineers’ 55-49 win over West Iron early in the season, Wykon coach Joe Serbentas decided to play a version of a 2-3 zone defense that for all practical purposes was a box-and-one on Brule.
The defense worked in one aspect. Largely through the efforts of 5-foot-5 senior Sydnie Mazurek, the Wykons held the 5-11 Brule to just eight points. But the scheme also created gaps in multiple places, as Serbentas knew it would.
“I’ll live with that decision,” the Wykon coach said. “I wasn’t going to give Brule 21 points again. I went and scouted (Iron Mountain) against Gladstone, and that’s what Gladstone did: played a 2-3 and just sandwiched Brule inside. So I figured we’d try to do the same thing. But we did not rebound very well, and we did not close out on the shooters that well.”
After Wykon senior Alexis Golfis scored the game’s first