Wykons look to replace top scorers
The 2019-20 West Iron County boys basketball team consists of, in front, from left, Cole Alexa, Elijah Turbessi, Blake Lindberg and Connor Hamilton; in back are Mitch Ballenger, Nathan Thomson, Peyton Williams, Robbie Quayle, Brayden Nelson, Dolan Dobson, Mario Fidalgo, Justin Nelson, Nolan Anderson and Alex Wickstrom.
IRON RIVER — The last time the West Iron County Wykons stepped on the basketball court, they put a serious scare into eventual Division 3 state runner-up Iron Mountain in the district semifinals.
But the two main scorers from that team, Caden Pellizzer and James Swanson, have graduated and have taken their combined 27.3 points per game with them. So one of the main tasks of the new Wykon team right from the start is to find a way to replace 54 percent of its scoring from last year’s 10-9 team.
“Well, we better be really solid defensively until we figure out how we’re going to run this stuff offensively,” WIC coach Dan Schive said after watching his team struggle to execute against the harassing defense of Carney-Nadeau in a scrimmage on Nov. 25. “And what we have and where we’re going to put it and how we can best utilize what we have.”
What West Iron has to start with are three returning starters – seniors Peyton Williams (6.4 ppg.) and Brayden Nelson (4.9) and junior Nathan Thomson (7.9) However, Thomson will miss the opening of the season because of a fractured ankle suffered in the football playoffs.
Schive said Thomson was expected to be in a walking boot the day after the scrimmage.
“I’m guessing unless he recovers really fast from the walking boot (stage) that he won’t be on the floor until after the (holiday) break.”
Which is a problem for West Iron because Thomson is the best ball-handling guard on the team and his absence was clearly felt in the scrimmage against C-N. But even when the junior returns, other players will need to step forward, not just in ball-handling duties but in all phases of the game.