Menominee upsets Iron Mountain
By TOM KAESER
For The Daily News
MENOMINEE – A head-spinning turnaround by Menominee Friday night had coach Pete Pericolosi scratching his head.
Looking nothing like the team that got drilled 58-36 by Kingsford last week, the Maroons celebrated senior night with a 47-39 upset of Iron Mountain.
“This team is going to drive me nuts,” Pericolosi said with a smile. “Tonight we came out and played with a different pressure and a different energy. I told them (after the Kingsford loss) they had to play with more energy and more emotion.”
The Maroons parked the Mountaineers’ six-game winning streak in a snow bank. Iron Mountain had given up an average of just 35 points during its’ six-game run.
The Mountaineers (14-5) are ranked fourth in the Class A-B-C poll and have split with Kingsford this season.
“They’re fast and they’re physical,” Iron Mountain coach Bucky Johnson said. “We tried to match that tonight and we didn’t.”
Both teams struggled on the offensive end while struggling to a 6-6 tie after the first quarter.
Devon Harris zapped in a 3-pointer at the 2:17 mark of the first half to give Menominee a 14-11 lead. The Mountaineers worked the clock down to two seconds before Gerry Pirkola’s 3-pointer rattled in and out.
Iron Mountain sank just 6 of 16 shots in the opening half and turned the ball over eight times. The Maroons turned the ball over just twice.
Menominee began beating the Mountaineers downcourt and converting easy shots in the second half.
Jared Rivard went coast-to-coast for a layup, Devon Harris twisted in a layup and Jeremy Rivard finished off back-to-back fast-breaks to hike the lead to 24-16.
After an IM turnover, Travis Champeau jacked in a 3-ball, Jared Rivard buried a shot from the key and Bryan Hines’ free throws skied the lead to 30-16.
“We had a few unforced turnovers,” said Johnson. “That’s unlike us. I don’t think it was anything Menominee was doing other than they’re fast and they play good defense.”
Zach Caudell sank two free throws and Taylor Huotari drove the baseline for two to pull the Mountaineers within 42-36 with 1:48 left.
Hines dished to Jared Rivard on a fast-break to push the lead back to eight with 34 seconds left.
Menominee sank 39 percent of its shots (18 of 46) while Iron Mountain connected on just 13 of 42 chances.
Jared Rivard topped the Maroons with 14 points and eight rebounds and Harris added 11 points and three steals.
Taylor Huotari led the Mountaineers with 17 points. Luke Zambon had 12 points, including a pair of threes.
“I thought Jaden Kleinke did a great job on (Zambon),” Pericolosi said.
The Maroons (8-9) play at Escanaba Monday.
Prior to the game, the crowd observed a moment of silence for former Maroon point guard Tommy Janson, who died two weeks ago.
Menominee’s junior varsity (43-39) and Iron Mountain’s freshmen (57-54, OT) took the preliminaries.
(Tom Kaeser is assistant sports editor of The EagleHerald in Marinette)
Iron Mountain 6 5 8 20 – 39
Menominee 6 8 18 15 – 47
IRON MOUNTAIN (39) – Zambon 12, Pirkola 5, Huotari 17, Thomann 3, Caudell 3. Totals – FG: 13 FT: 10-12 F: 13
MENOMINEE (47) – Hines 6, Champeau 5, Jared Rivard 14, Harris 12, Jeremy Rivard 8, Kleinke 2. Totals – FG: 18 FT: 9-19 F: 19