Mountaineers edge Emeralds

IRON MOUNTAIN – Katelynn Johnson, Abby Gerhard and Morgan Bujold all hit double figures as Iron Mountain knocked off Manistique 59-45 in Mid-Peninsula girls basketball Thursday.

“We’ve been playing better,” Iron Mountain head coach John Hogberg said. “Offensively, we struggled a little bit in the first half, but in the second we played a little more under control, hit some shots and got the ball inside when we had to.”

Johnson totaled 19 points to lead all scorers, sinking four of her eight 3-point tries. Gerhard went for a double-double of 13 points and 13 boards, while Bujold added two more Iron Mountain treys on her way to to 12 points.

Morgan Bujold’s first three of the game, late in the first quarter gave Iron Mountain a lead it would never lose, but it wasn’t until the third quarter until the Mountaineers were able to pull away a little bit.

Johnson sunk a triple at 3:10 of the third to give Iron Mountain its biggest lead of the game up to that point at 39-32. Her shot kicked off an 8-0 push by the Black and Gold, and Manistique struggled to get the margin back under double digits the rest of the night.

“Defensively, we just didn’t play well enough to win,” Manistique head coach Kelley Spettel said. “We gave up 59 points to a team, that last time we played them, we only gave up 35.

“Obviously, Katelynn Johnson is shooting the ball really well. We knew that coming in but just did not get a hand up in her face enough.”

Kyra Lauzon led the Emeralds with 13 points, which included a couple of 3-pointers. She hit her second with about four minutes to play to make it a nine-point game, but Manistique (4-10, 2-8) was kept off the board the rest of the way.

“Their quickness, we can’t matchup with it very well,” Spettel said. “It’s almost like they have five guards out there, and its tough for us because we have a lot of taller girls who just are not as quick. That’s why we had to sit in a zone most of the night.”

The Mountaineers were able to take advantage of that zone with the outside shooting and the strong game inside. And Gerhard’s effort down low was complimented by Alena Herman, who totaled seven points while yanking down another 13 rebounds.

“Abby always works her tail off,” Hogberg said. “She’s a good rebounder, good scrapper. Herman played a lot better in the second half.

“The girls know what they have to do, and lot of time they are doing the right things but they just don’t catch it or they throw it away. It’s really just a matter of executing. When we execute we’re pretty good.”

Iron Mountain 3-11 (2-7) plays at Westwood Tuesday.

“It’s nice to get a win, because we don’t have a lot of those,” Hogberg said. “The girls have been playing better, so it’s nice to see them rewarded.”

The Mountaineers took the jayvee game 48-33 behind 13 points by Lil Khor and 11 from Marti Pirkola.