2017-12-07 / Sports

New coach new system for Bears


Newly appointed Big Bay de Noc Head Coach Devin Lawrence and the Black Bears debuted in their season opener at home against Superior Central Monday night. The Bears lost to their visitors 54-33. 
Pioneer Tribune photo Newly appointed Big Bay de Noc Head Coach Devin Lawrence and the Black Bears debuted in their season opener at home against Superior Central Monday night. The Bears lost to their visitors 54-33. Pioneer Tribune photo COOKS – Devin Lawrence’s debut at the helm of the Big Bay de Noc boy’s basketball team was overshadowed by Superior Central’s Joe Heinonen Monday night in Big Bay de Noc. After scoring the game’s first two points and hitting from in and outside the paint, the Cougars’ senior finished the night with 21 points to lead his team to a 54-33 win over the Bears.

Following a slow start and trailing 6-0, Big Bay found their rhythm and got on the board when Lucas Sundling scored the Bears’ first two points of the new season. Trailing by four points, Chris Chaperon pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back in. A triple by Chaperon gave Big Bay a 7-6 lead with under two minutes left in the opening period. Responding, Wade Krysiak hit from outside the arc to put Superior Central back out front by two points with a 9-7 lead at the end of the quarter.


Under pressure from Superior Central’s Nathan Frusti, Alex LaLonde attempts to lay one up on the glass. LaLonde finished the season opener leading the Bears with nine. 
Pioneer Tribune photo Under pressure from Superior Central’s Nathan Frusti, Alex LaLonde attempts to lay one up on the glass. LaLonde finished the season opener leading the Bears with nine. Pioneer Tribune photo “They have good players, but it was more on us tonight,” Lawrence said. “Our defense was insufficient and we got killed on the board which allowed them to get two or three opportunities to score on each shot.”

After scoring nine points in the first quarter, the Cougars picked up the pace, jumping out to a 20-10 lead off a three-point basket by DJ Johns midway through the second quarter. A triple by Kellen Thill and two by Liam McKeage got Big Bay within five with 1:30 seconds left in the half.

Holding on to a five-point lead, Heinonen scored from under the net then hit a triple at the buzzer to push Superior Central’s lead to 25- 15 at the half.

Coming off the break, the Cougars went on a 5-2 run to open the third and held a 13-point lead off a basket by Levi Charlebois at the end of three quarters.

Running the court, Superior Central jumped out to a 22-point lead late in the fourth quarter when Heinonen went to the line and scored two then followed that up with an easy basket under the net late in the quarter.

Given his first opportunity to see his squad in a game situation, Lawrence said he likes the attitude of his squad.

“Mostly positive, they want to learn and get it done on the court,” he said. “It is just a difference concept from what they are previously used to. They are used to slowly moving the ball down court and setting up on offense while I am more of a push the ball up the court coach. It is just a different concept. I told them at the beginning of the season, I run an offense that will put you in position to get the shot, but it is your job to make the shots.”

The concept installed by Lawrence worked as the Bears threw up 51 attempts, hitting just 14 shots from the floor. Big Bay was led by Alex LaLonde with nine points.

The Bears travel to Crystal Falls- Forest Park tonight and will return home to take on North Dickenson Dec. 12. Without a junior varsity team, all games start at 6 p.m. Forest Park is coming off a 58-41 win over Mid-Peninsula.

Big Bay de Noc 7 - 8- 9- 9- 33: McKeage 4, LaLonde 9, Thill 8, Cahperon 5, LeFevre 2, Raredon 1, Sundling 4.

Superior Central 9 - 16 - 12- 17 – 54; Johns 8, Krysiak 7, Seaberg 3, Heinonen 21, Fink 8, Charlebois 7

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