Ben Stasewich looms large for Mustangs in boys basketball victory over Hematites
MUNISING – Munising’s Ben Stasewich towered over Monday night’s high school boys basketball game against Ishpeming both on the court and in the scorebook.
The 6-foot-5 sophomore was four inches taller than any other player from either team and put it to good use, scoring 19 points and snaring 17 rebounds in the Mustangs’ 49-46 victory.
And 17 of his points came in the final two quarters when Munising (9-3) overcame a 27-20 halftime deficit, outscoring the Hematites (4-6) 16-7 in the third quarter to go up 36-34.
“He really cleaned up the defensive glass for us,” MHS coach Dan Waterman said. “This might just be the best game he’s played for us.”
While Stasewich had the traditional double-double, he almost had a second type of double-double, too – he had more than double any other player’s rebounds and was a point short of doubling every other player’s points.
As it was, Ishpeming juniors Mitch Laurin and Bobby Zhulkie each scored 10 points, while Laurin nabbed seven rebounds.
Stasewich had just enough to allow the Mustangs to escape with the win after the Hematites put up the potential overtime-forcing 3-pointer with four seconds left, according to Ishpeming coach John Tiziani.
“A key for us was protecting the ball,” Waterman said. “We only had nine turnovers, and any time we have less than 10, we’re doing well. That’s especially true with the kind of defense Ishpeming plays.
“I was pleased with the way our kids responded at halftime after we challenged them. I think maybe Ishpeming caught us by surprise, because they only play one way – that’s hard, from the first minute to the last.”
Ishpeming won the JV game, 45-22.
In a girls game played in Newberry, the Mustangs were OK as long as they weren’t shooting 2-pointers. Munising made 5 of 13 3-pointers (38 percent) and 11 of 13 free throws (85 percent), but a paltry 15 percent on 2s (4 of 26).
“It was an ugly offensive game at both ends, but our defense kept us in the game,” Mustangs coach Matt Mattson said.
Leading 19-15 at halftime, Munising (7-8) pitched a shutout in the third quarter, extending their advantage to 25-15 entering the final period.
Mustangs senior Sheena Sowa scored a game-high 13 points and pulled in 12 rebounds. Tops for the Indians (2-9) was senior Samantha Beaulieu with nine points and 13 rebounds.