Wykons capture third straight district title
West Iron senior Colbi Laturi holds aloft the District 65 championship trophy as her teammates join in the celebration after WIC’s victory over Calumet.
IRON MOUNTAIN/CALUMET—At the start of this season, the West Iron County girls basketball team was heavily favored to win the District 65 championship. After all, the Wykons returned all six of their primary rotation players from a team that had won the last two district titles.
Along the way, the Calumet Copper Kings stepped forward to challenge that prediction, both by beating the Wykons early in the season and by being the host school, a significant fact because, while West Iron’s current players have experienced a ton of success in the last two seasons, none of them had ever won a game on the Calumet hardwood.
So after the Wykons defeated Iron Mountain 48-34 and the Copper Kings routed Ironwood 72-48 in the semis, the teams finally squared off against each other with a chance to see who would in fact win the district and advance to the regional round.
In the end, West Iron accomplished exactly what was expected of them, defeating Calumet 55-41 to win their third straight district trophy and push their current winning streak to 18 games.
The second-ranked Wykons (19-2) advanced to play top-ranked Westwood (22-1) in a regional semifinal at Escanaba on Monday. The victor moves on to the regional final to face the winner of Charlevoix (18-2) and Elk Rapids (17-5) on Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie.
Despite not having lost since mid-December, the Wykons knew that the pesky Copper Kings would be a difficult and tenacious challenger as they proved in the regular-season rematch on Feb. 14 when they almost came back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit in West Iron’s 45-41 win in Iron River.
So, when the Wykons took the floor against Calumet, they were ready to go.