New year equals new loss
MANISTIQUE – The Munising Mustangs spoiled the start of the Emeralds’ New Year with a 39-31 win over Manistique Tuesday night. Trailing 5-2 off one from the floor and a triple by the Emeralds’ Zach Lambert, the Mustangs settled in from their short road trip and soon controlled an 8-7 advantage, thanks to a threepoint bucket at buzzer from Gage Webster.
Up by one, the Mustangs pushed their lead to five points before the Emeralds got on the board in the second period. Stalled at seven points at the 3:44 mark, Lambert broke the ice at the 4:37 mark with his second triple of the night.
Battling back, the Emeralds again jumped out front and held a 19-18 lead at the half behind a 7-point effort by Conner Selling late in the period. What started out as a defensive battle intensified coming off the break. The Mustangs hit back-to-back triples to start the third, but scored only seven points in just over six minutes in the period.
Down by five, Coby Ryan hit his first bucket of the night at the 4:49 mark in the third. A triple by Tyler Kangas cut the Mustangs’ lead to two (26-24) when the period came to an end.
The Emeralds tied the contest at 26 early in the fourth quarter off a pair from the line from Kangas, but the Mustangs again gained control of the board, jumping out to an 8-point lead on their way to a non-conference win.
“It was a very good defensive effort on our part,” coach Todd Kangas said. “We managed to hold them to under 40 points, and they are a very good shooting team.”
While Kangas said he was happy with his team’s defensive effort, he said they lost too many opportunities by not being able to rebound the ball.
“I wasn’t very pleased with the team offensively scoring just 31 points,” he said. “We only had three offensive rebounds for the game – that is just not a good enough effort.”
Overall, Kangas said despite being off for two weeks for winter break, his kids competed hard, played well and will start getting ready to hit the road and take on Norway. The Knights (2-4) have dropped three in a row.
Lambert led the Emeralds in scoring with 11 points, Kangas and Selling added seven points each, Max Nelson four, and Ryan two. For Munising, Webster paced all scorers with 19 points; Austin Kelto added seven, Ben Stasewich and Michael Mannisto five each, and Colin Emmel three.