Bilski returns to GCC lineup

IRONWOOD – Former North Central High School star Bryce Bilski has returned to the Gogebic Community College men’s basketball lineup.

Bilski scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half and the Samsons snapped a six-game losing streak with an 82-70 victory over Michigan Tech’s club team.

Bilski has missed several games due to academic reasons, according to Jason Juno of The Daily Globe of Ironwood.

“It’s a big bonus for us going down the stretch here,” GCC Coach Dennis Mackey said of Bilski’s return. “It’s nice to give him a chance to get out and play. I thought he did a heck of a job handling the ball and making decisions on the court, hit some big shots.

“It settles a lot of people down, including the coach. It’s nice to have that extra weapon out there who can make plays. Bryce is a special player.”

Bilski had to take intersession classes at another school to regain his eligibility.

“He did well with those classes,” Mackey said. “He did what he had to do. Give credit to him. It cost him some time, some money, but hopefully it’s a lesson learned and we’re happy to have him back.”

Mackey tried to control his minutes in his first game back, but he played very well and has been working out despite not being able to play.

“These guys have been through this already, especially the sophomores, so they know what it takes,” Mackey said. “Bryce has trimmed his body down a lot since last year and really worked a lot on conditioning. I think it showed today. What he did off the court has helped him on the court.”

GCC (13-10) hosts UW-Marinette Saturday at 3 p.m.

“It’s good to have Bryce back. It’s good to have the guys relatively healthy at this point in the season,” Mackey said. “We’re ready to make a run in February. We’ve got some tough games coming up – tough but winnable. We’ve got a lot of them at home. Hopefully we can make a little run here.”