WIC holds off Florence for 2nd win
Play gets physical as West Iron’s AJ Weisnicht fires a shot against a Florence defender. Teammate Cole Westphal is nearby.
FLORENCE—As Florence guard Nathan Manincor rose to fire a potential game-tying 3-pointer with the clock approaching zero and with the crowd noise rising to a crescendo, one could sense the trepidation arising within the West Iron County boys basketball team and its gathering of fans.
Three nights after suffering an inglorious 39-point loss to Iron Mountain, the Wykons had played their most complete game of the season against the Bobcats. With 90 seconds to play, West Iron led 59-51 and stood poised to secure its second victory of the year.
But a flurry of turnovers and rash decisions against a desperate Florence team that was flying around the court in a manic pressing mode threatened to undo all the Wykons had done in the previous 30 minutes of game time.
So with Manincor’s shot from the right wing heading toward the hoop, fate posed the question: Would the shot go down and potentially send the Wykons to a crushing overtime loss? Or would it miss and leave West Iron with an exhilarating victory that could potentially kick-start the team’s confidence?
Manincor’s shot looked like it had a chance to go in all the way, but the ball caught a piece of the hoop and rimmed out as time expired, leaving West Iron with a 59-56 victory and a cauldron of emotions afterward.
“We played our hearts out, and it means a lot because we haven’t won a lot of games,” said sophomore A.J. Weisnicht, who paced West Iron with a career-best 23 points.
“When you don’t win much, and we haven’t this year, you’ve got to relearn how to win,” a smiling but relieved Wykons coach Dan Schive said. “And if you’re going to learn how to win, you’ve got to finish the win.“
Prior to the hectic final moments,