Knights clamp down
By BURT ANGELI
FELCH – Norway extended North Dickinson’s offensive woes Monday.
The Knights limited the Nordics to one field goal over the final seven minutes and emerged with a 40-33 non-conference boys basketball decision at Carl F. Lemin Gymnasium.
“It’s been a struggle at times scoring the basketball,” North Dickinson Coach Chris Mattson said. “Part of that is a good Norway team coming out and ‘D-ing’ us up and part of it is due to not playing team basketball on offense.
“It’s not just one person. We have to find a way to get more people involved offensively or we’re going to be stuck in the mud.”
North Dickinson held a 13-6 lead after the first quarter and 19-13 into the second until a Norway man defense took hold.
“We started in a zone and we just weren’t moving,” Norway Coach Ben Leiker said. “We switched to a man in the second quarter and I thought we played a little better after that.”
Norway forced turnovers and wrapped up the second quarter with an 8-0 spurt. The Knights launched the second half with the first five points.
North Dickinson moved to within four points (29-25) late in the third quarter but that was the closest.
“The second half we spread them out a little bit more and we’re able to get to the lane,” Leiker said.
Austin Grayvold nailed all three of his triple attempts and paced Norway with 16 points. Randy Mueller pulled down 11 rebounds and Dan Bal posted three steals.
“We’re not a great outside shooting team so we need some of that stuff (defensive pressure) to help us out,” said Leiker, whose Knights went scoreless for the final 3:29. “We kept them to one shot mostly and Randy had his best game rebounding all year.”
North Dickinson began the fourth quarter with a Tim Hruska field goal. The Nordics didn’t hit another bucket until Justin Clark dropped one with 30 seconds to go.
“They can play as a team because they proved it on the defensive end,” Mattson said. “They help out and they’re aware of where they should be on the floor most times. But offensively we’re really struggling right now.”
Ken Pekarek led the Nordics with nine points. Tim Berg added six points, seven rebounds and four steals.
“I told the kids it will get better but it’s going to take hard work and practice,” Mattson said.
On Thursday, Norway (4-4) visits Negaunee and North Dickinson (2-5) entertains Kingsford.
Norway defeated North Dickinson in the junior varsity contest.
Norway 6 15 12 7 – 40
North Dickinson 13 6 6 8 – 33
NORWAY: A. Grayvold 16, Mueller 6, D. Bal 4, Bray 6, J. Grayvold 8. FT: 3-6. F: 14.
NORTH DICKINSON: Hruska 2, Pekarek 9, Christian 1, O’Neil 5, Wagner 3, Berg 6, Clark 2, Schultz 5. FT: 7-12. F: 9.
3-point FG: Pekarek, O’Neil, Wagner, Berg, A. Grayvold 3. FG shooting: North Dickinson 11-51, Norway 17-39. Rebounding: North Dickinson 18 (Berg 7), Norway 24 (Mueller 11, J. Grayvold 8).