Wykons end with loss and hope
West Iron’s Steven Nelson gets his hand up to block a shot by Westwood’s Ryan Antilla during the Wykons’ district game at Iron Mountain March 10.
IRON MOUNTAIN—Tournament losses often produce a mixture of emotions, and the West Iron County boys basketball team’s 56-43 loss to Westwood in the Class C Iron Mountain District 95 was no different.
Even though this year’s team finished with just two wins in 21 games, the loss on March 11 still brought some tears and sadness from the team and its coach, Dan Schive. But looking forward, the fact that underclassmen played such a pivotal role in playing competitively with the Patriots, a team that had beaten West Iron by 27 points in the season-opener, was a reason for optimism.
Freshman Steven Nelson led all scorers with 17 points to go with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in his second varsity game. In his initial varsity action, fellow freshman Neil Tomasoski added five points and three assists and flashed promise as a future point guard by aiding West Iron’s attempt to break strong ball pressure from Westwood’s guards.
With senior Brandon Olson scoring 12 points in his final game, the Wykons stayed neck-and-neck with Westwood through three quarters. The Patriots (13-10) finally wore down West Iron and closed the game with the double-digit win.
“It’s heartbreaking to end like this, being a senior and being done, but it was a great group of guys to play the season with,” Olson said through tears.
“It’s no fun losing at the end of the year, but that’s as hard as we can play,” Schive said. “When we were holding court with (Westwood), we did that with two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior.”
Both teams started slowly, with Westwood taking a 6-2 lead into the second quarter. But junior Phil King and sophomore A.J. Weisnicht knocked down jumpers early in