Prep boys basketball: Mackey scores 30 first-half points in Ironwood’s win over Norway in Class C regional

MARQUETTE – The Norway High School boys’ basketball team didn’t have an answer for Ironwood senior Adam Mackey, whose 30 first-half points led the Red Devils to a 67-34 victory in a Class C regional semifinal on Monday night in Marquette.

“We played good defense, plus we had an offensive explosion from Adam Mackey,” Ironwood coach Pete Lewinski said. “We just stepped it up and we’re happy with the win.”

Mackey, a four-year starter for the Red Devils, finished the night with a career-high 32 points, sinking 72.2 percent from the field. He leads Ironwood in career points with more than 1,600.

“Mackey makes his teammates better,” Lewinski said. “We don’t have to have him score exclusively.

“He’s a great assist man, he’s a great ball handler, he can do it all; just a tremendous player.”

Ironwood (20-3) outscored the Knights 19-7 in the first quarter, which proved to be too large of a deficit for Norway to recover from.

Entering halftime down 40-21, the Knights had single-figure third and fourth quarters, securing the Red Devils’ triumph.

The Knights made just 22 percent from the field and Ironwood outrebounded them, 46-31, with 20 offensive boards.

“We didn’t really expect to be here,” Norway coach Ben Leiker said about his team that finished with a modest 7-14 record. “We played a heck of a hard battle against Iron Mountain, but they’re not nearly as balanced as this team, so the matchup against Ironwood just wasn’t in our favor.”

Senior Nick Pearman led the Knights with 10 points, followed by senior Austin Grayvold with nine.

For the Red Devils, junior Jacob DiGiorgio came in behind Mackey with 10 points and led Ironwood in rebounds with 17.

Ironwood had 14 deflections and seven steals, highlighting their scrappy defensive play. Lewinski said the Devils will need to rely on their strong defense and efficient offense to give itself a chance to advance.

Ironwood plays for the Class C regional championship on Wednesday against Negaunee, which defeated St. Ignace on Monday, 84-61.

“At this point when you make the regional final you’re playing against quality opponents,” Lewinski said. “What it’s going to take is a sound basketball performance on both ends of the court by us.”