Prep boys basketball: Munising defense too much for Gwinn

GWINN – When Munising High School boys basketball coach Dan Waterman looked up at the scoreboard at the end of the first half in Gwinn and saw his Mustangs trailing 27-25, he was a little concerned.

“I doubled their score in my head and thought ‘we’re not very good when we give up points in the 50s,'” Waterman said.

“I thought if we could keep them under 50, we’d have a shot (to win).”

His Mustangs succeeded on both accounts, allowing just 16 points in the second half – four in the third quarter – to beat the host Modeltowners 50-43 in a non-conference game.

Colin Immel scored 12 points and Garrett Blank 10 as Munising improved to 8-1 on the season.

“I’m thrilled with how the kids played defensively,” Waterman said. “It was never more than a two-possession game.

“Gwinn is athletic and strong. They play hard and we had to match their intensity.

“It was a great game for us,” he added.

The Modeltowners (5-5), who have now lost four of their last five games by a total of 15 points, held a 24-19 lead with 2:35 left in the second quarter after a bucket by Justin Nyquist.

But after a buzzer-beating 3-point bucket by Alex Morse sent the Modeltowners into the locker room with that two-point lead, the Mustangs clamped down and largely kept Gwinn at bay.

“We had some good looks (at the basket), but just couldn’t finish,” Gwinn head coach Darren Sinnaeve said. “Free throws were a killer. They sank 15 and we hit just five. We were 2 of 8 in the first half.”

Gwinn led 38-36 with 5:30 remaining, but the Mustangs went on a 9-0 run behind four points by Immel and a triple by Blank to go up 45-38.

“We played hard and the team came together,” said Munising center Ben Stasewich, who scored nine points and grabbed 10 boards. “We also try to shut other teams down (defensively) all the time.”

The Modeltowners trailed just 47-43 with 45.3 seconds left, but Alex Hill, who shared a steal with teammate Austin Kelto in the final 30 seconds, hit three free throws down the stretch to ice the game for Munising.

Munising won the JV game, 50-43.