Prep boys basketball roundup: Ishpeming’s Briones scores 30 points in M-PC win over Iron Mountain

ISHPEMING – He wasn’t happy with his team’s defense in the first half against visiting Iron Mountain on Monday night, so Jeff Olson had a few words with his players in the locker room.

“I yelled a little,” the Ishpeming High School boys basketball coach admitted after his team’s 59-44 Mid-Peninsula Conference victory. “We came out inspired in the second half.”

The Hematites (13-4, 8-2 M-PC) and the Mountaineers (9-8, 6-5) were tied 28-28 at intermission.

“We played lackluster defense the first half,” Olson said, “so we pressed Iron Mountain the second half. It’s the first time all season we’ve used a full court press.”

The IHS coach said his team’s defensive intensity led to a “big third quarter” as the Hematites gradually pulled away.

“Our defense generated better offensive opportunities,” Olson said.

Alex Briones, who sparked the third quarter offensive surge with two early 3-pointers, poured in 30 points on the night. He also grabbed five rebounds.

“Alex scored from all over, especially in the second half,” Olson said.

Bobby Zhulkie and Ozzy Corp added 11 points each for IHS.

Iron Mountain won the junior varsity game 41-39.


Gladstone 63,

Westwood 44

GLADSTONE – The Braves presented themselves with plenty of extra scoring chances Monday, collecting 21 offensive rebounds for a 44-26 advantage on the boards in the nonconference game.

The Braves (7-9) grabbed 17 offensive boards and committed just two turnovers in the first half, gaining a 32-19 advantage at the intermission.

“We played little bit of selfish ball tonight,” said Westwood coach Ryan Reichel. “Our game plan was to take the ball to the hole and draw fouls, and for whatever reason the kids decided to become more of a perimeter shooting team tonight. Although, (Braves’ coach Dale Hongisto) always gets his kids to play hard. They packed it in the paint, and we didn’t move the ball as well as we liked. That forced us to shoot from outside, which is not our style of basketball.”

The Braves scored 12 points on offensive boards in the first half, including a putback by senior center Jared Hunter which gave them their 14-point cushion with 52 seconds left in the second quarter.

Gladstone, which substituted freely after the intermission, led by as much as 55-30 on a lay-in by senior forward Christian Groleau with six seconds left in the third frame.

Hunter finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior back-up center Max Mahoney added 11 points and seven boards in a reserve role. Junior forward Tyler Wells also had 11 points.

Senior guard Justin Luke paced Westwood (5-9) with 15 points. Classmate Luke Duquette led in rebounding with 10.

Westwood was 14-of-55 from the field and 10-of-12 from the line and had 19 miscues.

“We usually take better care of the ball,” said Reichel. “We’ve been averaging about 10 turnovers a game. I thought we had a good fourth quarter. We finally started attacking the basket. Our reserves give us a lot of effort in practice, and we got quality minutes from them tonight.”


North Central 45,

Munising 41

POWERS – In a battle of the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked Class D teams in the Upper Peninsula, the Jets kept their perfect 17-0 record intact with a late rally.

Ben Stasewich, who used every bit of his 6-foot-6 frame, kept the Mustangs close. He drew the point after the foul on a handful of his buckets and led Munising with 20 points.

“You can’t run with those guys,” Waterman said of the Jets. “They have too many weapons over there. We have guys that can play, but every one of their guys is a great shooter and ball-handler.”

It was 23-23 entering the fourth and Munising struck first with a big triple from Colin Immel. But the Jets responded with a 10-0 run that effectively decided the game. Travis Vincent scored his first field goal of the game, followed by a putback from Caleb Martin, a 3-pointer from Vincent and a 3-point play from Rob Granquist, and North Central led 33-26.

Granquist and Whitens led the Jets with 13 points apiece.

“We did a good job controlling the tempo in the first half and holding them to limited shot attempts,”?Waterman said.

“Predictably, it loosened up a bit in the second half, but our kids hung in there. We hit a shot in the fourth quarter to take the lead, and they came down and matched it.”