Wykons fight off IM, win second straight district

West Iron’s girls team members show who’s No. 1 as coach Eric Shamion holds aloft the Class C District 94 trophy they won March 2 by defeating Iron Mountain 56-47.

IRON MOUNTAIN/IRON RIVER—To become a champion, a basketball team needs talent, toughness and togetherness. And this year’s West Iron County girls basketball team has proven during the season to have those three traits in spades.
    But a champion also needs a sheer will to win, an indomitable spirit that refuses to give in during trying times, plus players who step forward at crucial moments. And the Wykons showed they clearly possess those as well, as they fought off a determined challenge from an Iron Mountain team playing on its home court to beat the Mountaineers 56-47 for their second consecutive district championship.
    After hoisting the trophy with his players and celebrating with a large West Iron fan contingent, Wykons coach Eric Shamion reflected on his team’s ability to fend off numerous challenges by an upset-minded Iron Mountain squad.
    “They refuse to lose, and I don’t know where that comes from,” said Shamion, who won the district in his first year as varsity girls coach. “But they just have a way when times are tough. They never yell at each other, they never get down on each other, it’s always positive. They just reach within themselves and I’m in awe of it sometimes.”
    With the victory, West Iron (18-4) earned its place in a loaded Escanaba Regional, where they will face Ishpeming (19-3) in the first semifinal on Tuesday. The other pits St. Ignace (21-1) against Houghton (15-7), with the winners vying for the regional title on Thursday.    


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