Emeralds struggle on court in season opener
MANISTIQUE - The 2012-13 basketball program got off to a rocky start in Manistique for the Emerald boys. Playing host to the Iron Mountain Mountaineers, Manistique came up short, dropping all three matches.
Following a 48-8 loss by the freshman, the JV struggled early, trailing by as much as 17 points on the way to a 54-28 loss.
In the night cap, the varsity also struggled early, dropping their opener and Coach Todd Kangas’ varsity debut. With his team up by 20 points late in the contest, Iron Mountain’s Taylor Huotari came off the bench and lit up the nets for 12 points down the stretch to finish off the Emeralds 55-21.
Iron Mountain jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Coby Ryan put the Emeralds on the board halfway through the first quarter. For the green and white, the bucket by the Emerald junior would be the only score for Manistique in the first eight minutes of play.
Turnovers and struggles to find the net plagued the Emeralds throughout the first half. Trailing 10-2 at the end of the opener, Manistique managed to find the bottom of the net just two more times in the second quarter.
Up 17-6 midway through the period, Iron Mountain went on a 9-0 run to close out the half with a 26-6 advantage.
Coming off the break, the Emeralds got a couple of baskets early from Conner Selling and Ryan, but the Mountaineers ran the court, controlling a double-digit lead throughout the remainder of the Mid-Peninsula Conference match-up.
The Emeralds were 8-of-52 from the floor, 5-of-10 from the free throw line, and committed 25 turnovers.
Despite the loss, Kangas said he sees potential in this year’s squad.
“Obviously not the start to the year we wanted; we didn’t play very well,” he said. “There is a lot of inexperience on the squad, maybe it was first game jitters, but we shot very poorly and we will not win very many games shooting that way over the course of the year.”
Kangas went on to say they have already identified areas of concerns, some which should have a quick fix.
“There are things that we can improve on in a hurry and I do think our next game will be a much better indication of who we are,” he added. “The kids played with some hustle, we will shoot better; 8-of-52 is not an accurate judgment of the talent on the team, but we are going to have to work harder especially to get some higher percentage shots.”
Selling and Ryan led the Emeralds in scoring with 6 points each. Tyler Kangas added 4 points, Zach Lambert 3, Max Nelson and Tony Floyd 1 point each.
Iron Mountain had three players in double figures. Luke Zambon led all scorers with 14 points. Gerry Pirkola netted 12 and Houtari 12.
Manistique plays host to the Norway Knights Friday.