Quick start carries Kingsford


Sports Editor

KINGSFORD – Dalton Allen’s long-distance shooting sprang Kingsford to a first-quarter lead it never lost in a 57-43 victory over rival Iron Mountain here Tuesday night in non-conference boys basketball.

“It’s key when you start a game to try to come out and get a lead, get an advantage and try to figure out a team before they figure you out,” Kingsford coach Dan Olkkonen said. “Dalton Allen came out and just did a great job.”

Allen, one of four Flivvers in double figures with 15 points sank the first three 3-pointers he fired as Kingsford rolled to an eight-point lead by the end of the first frame.

“To come out and nail three threes like that, that’s a big thing,” Olkkonen said.

Aidan Wienke led the Flivvers with 16 points. Cole Michaud added 12 more, and Caleb Harrington scored 10.

Wienke poured in eight in the second quarter, as the Flivvers withstood a 14-point first half by Taylor Huotari to lead by 10 at halftime.

Huotari led all scorers in the game with 20 points, collecting 10 of those at the line. He hit a triple late in the half to bring Iron Mountain within eight, but a putback bucket by Michaud near the end of the half gave Kingsford its double-digit cushion.

“He’s a penetrator,” Olkkonen said of Huotari. “He uses his body so well getting to the free throw line. He had a great game trying to keep his team in there.”

Iron Mountain, unable to mount any sort of run, never got it under 10 the rest of the way.

“They got off to a hot start and we battled hard but just couldn’t overcome that deficit,” Mountaineers coach Harvey Johnson said. “Allen really got them off to a good start.”

Kingsford led 42-24 on the boards.

“Size had something to do with the rebounding advantage there,” Johnson said. “They were well-prepared for us.”

Harrington and Wienke paced Kingsford on the glass with nine rebounds each. Michaud collected eight more.

“It’s kind of been our focus,” Olkkonen said. “We’ve got two really good post players who use their bodies well, and Allen is not a small kid. Caleb really rebounds well.

“It was something we really harped on at halftime, limiting their second chance shots.”

The board work helped Kingsford hold Iron Mountain to just two field goals in the third quarter.

“The kids tried to cut into it, but we couldn’t do it,” Johnson said. “Give Kingsford credit.”

The Mountaineers slipped to 6-3, while Kingsford improved to 6-2.

“This was a good fight for us,” Olkkonen said. “They gave us a battle. They were tough and physical out there.”

With the varsity win, Kingsford pulled off the sweep. The Flivver jayvees rolled 64-39, while the Freshmen pulled off a 37-36 victory.

Kingsford plays at North Dickinson Thursday. Iron Mountain hosts Manistique.

Iron Mountain 13 12 6 12 – 43

Kingsford 21 14 8 14 – 57

IRON MOUNTAIN: Huotari 20, Zambon 8, Pirkola 7, Brooks 4, Merrill 2, Frorenza 2. FT: 13-18. F: 15. FO: Brooks.

KINGSFORD: Wienke 16, Allen 15, Michaud 12, Harrington 10, Jennings 2, Glodowski 2. FT: 8-13. F: 15.

FG shooting – IM: 14-46 (3-pt: 2-17); K: 23-51 (3-pt: 3-11). 3-pt FGs – IM: Huotari (2); K: Allen (3). Rebounding – IM: 24 (Zambon 6); K: 42 (Wienke 9, Harrington 9).