Unlikely Knights win district championship

NORWAY – Norway, of all teams, won the Class C District 95 boys basketball championship Wednesday.

These same Knights, once mired in an eight-game losing streak over the last two months of the regular season, stunned West Iron County 50-45 Wednesday.

“Unreal, especially with this season,” said Knights senior John Grayvold Sr., who scored a team-high 20 points. “It was real nice to do the Norway tradition and win the district.”

Norway (7-13) recorded a 10th district title under Coach Ben Leiker, who admitted to having some doubts about his squad just a couple weeks ago. But the senior-driven Knights dumped Ishpeming to end the regular season and started the district by beating Stephenson.

“I don’t know what clicked,” Leiker said. “It had nothing to do with me.

“As a group they decided to change their attitude. I don’t know if it was pure seniors (in the Ishpeming game) or what it was that changed them.

“But since then they have been possessed.”

West Iron, which beat Norway twice during the regular season, battled to a 19-19 halftime draw. The Knights pulled away midway through the fourth quarter, taking a 48-38 lead after nine straight free throws.

“God bless ’em, they’ve (Norway) had a rough year and they pulled it together,” said Coach Dan Schive, who piloted the Wykons to a share of the West PAC title. “This is going to take a long time to get over for us. This is three years in a row this has happened.”