Maroons prevail over Eskymos

MENOMINEE – Menominee stepped outside to turn ice into steaming 3-pointers for a ragged Great Northern Conference win over Escanaba Monday night.

The Maroons overcame a frosty 38 percent night from the floor (23 of 60) and 19 turnovers for a 60-46 win over the Eskymos.

“We didn’t play very well,” said coach Pete Pericolosi. “Even when we went up by 10 points it was still a struggle.”

While Escanaba was tormented by an endless stream of point-blank shots dancing off the iron, Menominee managed to increase its lead while sputtering on offense.

The Maroons misfired on their first nine shots of the second quarter and missed 12 of their first 14 shots before Jared Rivard turned into the icebreaker for Menominee.

Making his debut at small forward, Rivard gunned in a pair of 3-pointers, including a buzzer-beater to vault the Maroons to a 31-22 halftime lead.

“Rivard hitting that three just before the half was a real key for them,” coach Tracy Hudson said. “Rivard really hurt us tonight.”

Rivard racked up 20 points and neutralized the Eskymos’ height edge with 14 rebounds.

“Jared Rivard was a monster tonight,” said Pericolosi.

The Eskymos cut the margin to 31-27 early in the third quarter on two FTs each from Dan LaPalm and sophomore Sam Molnar.

Devon Harris drilled in a laser from the arc and then fed Jeremy Rivard for an inside hoop to push the lead back to nine points.

Escanaba worked the inside to chip the deficit to 36-21 when the Menominee offense flared to life again.

Jeremy Rivard tossed in six points and Jaden Kleinke cashed in a jumper from the top of the key to stretch the lead to 46-34 heading into the fourth period.

Menominee’s offense veered off track again early in the fourth quarter as eight turnovers helped the Eskymos chop into the lead.

“We’re not making very good decisions,” said Pericolosi. “We’re trying to make long passes and the ball is being deflected.”

Molnar swiped the ball and raced coast-to-coast for a layup and David Falish dropped in a free throw to slice the margin to 48-41 with 5:35 left.

The Maroons went four minutes without a field goal before Jared Rivard muscled in an inside hoop. Esky was unable to capitalize on back-to-back turnovers and Bryan Hines pumped the lead to 53-41 with a 3-ball with 3:40 left in the game.

A baseline-to-baseline drive by Hines gave the Maroons a 57-46 lead with 1:21 left.

The Eskymos (3-6, 1-3 GNC) connected on just 16 of 43 shots and missed nine of their 11 3-point tries.

“We wanted to hurt them more inside,” said Hudson, “but Menominee bodied up on us. I thought we had the opportunity to knock some threes down, but we didn’t get them to fall.”

Kleinke grabbed eight rebounds and Clausen added seven rebounds to help lift the Maroons to a 35-24 advantage on the glass.

“That was the key stat,” said Hudson.

LaPalm turned in his third straight double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Molnar added nine points.

“When (LaPalm) got into foul trouble, I think that helped (Menominee),” Hudson said. “He’s been a real plus for us. I was very happy with our guard play tonight. The score doens’t show how close the game was. I think the kids believe now that they can play with Menominee.”

Hines, Harris and Jeremy Rivard each added eight points for the Maroons (4-5, 1-1).

Escanaba won the jayvee game 61-52 with Christopher Rose leading the Eskymos with a 31-point effort. Menominee won the freshman game 71-39.