Waara sizzles, Wykons roll
By BURT ANGELI
NORWAY – West Iron County’s basketball IQ nearly went off the charts Monday.
The Wykons, keyed by the sizzling marksmanship of Austin Waara, downed Norway 62-27 in non-conference boys basketball.
“We finally played with some basketball sense,” Wykons coach Dan Schive said. “It wasn’t just fly around and guess. We played like we knew how to play basketball. I was happy.”
West Iron, with Waara draining four straight triples in a second quarter streak, pulled out to a 40-15 halftime lead. The senior guard netted 16 of his game-high 21 points in the first half.
“Waara made three or four shots with a hand in his face, couple deep ones without a hand in his face,” said Knights coach Ben Leiker, noting a six-point play sequence when Waara connected, foul underneath gave the ball back to the Wykons and Waara hit again.
Said Schive, “It looked like the ocean when he was shooting tonight.”
Five other Wykons scored at least six points. Adam Newby followed Waara with nine.
“We’ve been working a lot on shooting in practice and the kids call them ‘really stupid drills,'” Schive said. “But it seems to be helping a little bit.”
While the shots dropped for WIC, that wasn’t the case for Norway. John Grayvold Jr.’s 12 points – 11 in the first half – paced the Knights.
“We played extremely hard defensively against Iron Mountain,” said Leiker, referring to last week’s 43-28 setback. “Offensively, we just couldn’t score. We were hoping to get the same results defensively tonight and it’s hard to say.
“They made a lot of shots. The offense is fantastic when the ball is going and hideous when it isn’t.”
Norway, held under 30 points for the third straight game, couldn’t find the basket against the WIC zone.
“The defensive rotation was pretty nice,” said Schive, whose Wykons play two more games this week. “I knew I had to play some zone to save some legs.”
West Iron took a 58-18 lead into the fourth quarter, with the “mercy rule” or running clock put into effect.
“I just want to keep getting better,” said Schive, figuring nine players have started this season. “It’s getting down to the end of the year where you have to start playing productively.”
West Iron (10-5) hosts Escanaba tonight and Norway (4-9) visits Westwood on Thursday.
Bryce Grayvold’s 19 points triggered Norway’s jayvees past WIC 49-30. Mike Ivey’s 12 points topped the Wykons.
West Iron 19 23 16 4 – 62
Norway 8 7 3 9 – 27
WEST IRON: Ralston 6, Pangrazzi 3, Stafford 6, Adam Newby 9, Waara 21, Rule 4, Hopkins 7, Ridolphi 6. FT: 10-14. F: 10.
NORWAY: A. Grayvold 5, Bal 2, Johnson 3, Bray 5, J. Grayvold 12. FT: 7-12. F: 13.
3-point FG: Johnson, Bray, Ralston, Pangrazzi, Newby, Waara 5. FG shooting: Norway 9-51, West Iron 22 made. Rebounding: Norway 17 (J. Grayvold 6).