WIC overcomes unknown to upend Model Towners

West Iron senior guard Caden Pellizzer takes the ball strong to the basket during the Wykons’ 63-38 season-opening victory over Gwinn on Nov. 30. Pellizzer scored 18 points in the win.

IRON RIVER—Most prep basketball coaches are a bit uneasy about the opening game of any season. With new players to incorporate and new roles to define, predicting how a team will perform in its first game is problematic.
    Throw in an opponent that is a complete mystery and that’s the situation the West Iron County Wykon boys faced as they embarked on their 2018-19 campaign on Nov. 30.
    After a sluggish start, the Wykons shook off the rust, became more comfortable on the court together and proceeded to rout Gwinn 63-38 in a West Pac Conference contest at Charles Greenlund Gymnasium. It was the first matchup between the two teams since the Modeltowners joined the West Pac from the former Mid-Peninsula Conference.
    “It was an interesting game because nobody’s ever seen them before,” WIC coach Dan Schive said. “You hear some things, you see a couple of highlights on TV, but I was really apprehensive as to how we were going to perform against a team we never saw before.
    “But I thought we came out and played hard. Real stagnant offensively at the beginning, but I thought it got better in the second half, so I was pleased.”
    West Iron’s top two returning scorers led the way in the victory. James Swanson and Caden Pellizzer both equaled career-highs with 19 and 18 points respectively as the Wykons secured their first win of the season.
    “I have to step up and be a leader now,” said Swanson, who connected on 9 of 16 from the field. “It’s mine and Caden’s senior years and we just have to be leaders.”
    Make no mistake about it, as Swanson and Pellizzer go, so goes the West Iron offense. And Schive knows it.

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