Prep boys hoops: Superior Central comes up short in season-opener at Big Bay de Noc

GARDEN CORNERS – Big Bay de Noc used a combination of size and timely 3-point shooting to edge Superior Central, 65-43, Monday at Big Bay de Noc high school.

It was the first game at the helm for Black Bears head coach Angie LaLonde who said she was impressed with her team’s energy.

“They kept their intensity level up and they worked hard tonight,” LaLonde said. “I didn’t see a lot of jitters, I think the boys were ready to play and you get that first win under your belt and it makes practice a little more meaningful.”

The Black Bears led 16-10 after the first quarter and took a 33-21 lead into the half. LaLonde noted that her team played with more control in the first half.

“I thought we were stronger; boxing out, making the safe pass and we got a half way decent lead in there,” she said. “In the second half I thought we came out a little flat boxing out, some turnovers on trying to force some passes. I think once they figure out the fundamental things are going to win you the ball games we’ll be okay.”

Big Bay center Tyler DeMars scored a lay-up to put the Black Bears up 47-23 midway through the third quarter. It appeared Big Bay was going to run away with it but the Cougars kept the press on and rattled off 11 straight points to close out the third quarter and cut Big Bay’s lead to 13.

“They clawed back, our guys were tired,” LaLonde said. “I could see some of them dragging and I can fix that easy in practice.”

Alex Ranguette ended Superior Central’s run early in the fourth quarter. The senior guard drained a 3-pointer to put the Black Bears ahead 50-34.

Brandon Maki answered with a lay-up for Superior Central, but on the next possession Big Bay’s Loren Swayer snagged an offensive rebound and scored to keep the Black Bears ahead by 16 points.

“I think they were a much bigger team, but they exposed us as far as technically being sound,” said Superior Central head coach Herb Jenkins. “We didn’t box out the big guys and they scored a ton on offensive rebounds.”

The Cougars pressed most of the game and Jenkins said he liked the intensity from his young team, but they still have to work on getting to the right spots.

“We had to be able to trap these guys and disrupt them and they were beating us on the backside and once they started beating us on the backside and we weren’t boxing out. It was a recipe for disaster,” Jenkins said.

Big Bay was led by point guard Cole Potvin. The senior poured in 19 points a day after missing practice with flu like symptoms. Center Tyler DeMars added 18 points for the Black Bears, including two second half 3-pointers.

“He’s deceiving, he’s such a big guy but he’s got a beautiful shot from the outside,” LaLonde said.

Superior Central (0-1) is back in action Friday as they host Negaunee. Big Bay (1-0) is also at home next as they host Gladstone on Thursday.