The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Red hot Devils stop Speedboys

 

Pat Krause/Daily Globe

Bessemer's Lance Berwald drives for a layup during Thursday's Indianhead Conference game at the House of Noise in Bessemer. Trying to stop him are Ironwood's Colin Clausen, left, and Denver Sharrow, right.

BESSEMER - While the wind and the snow howled outside, the House of Noise lived up to its name inside.

Ironwood overcame an 18-6 deficit and went on to carve out a 62-56 win over Bessemer in an exciting Indianhead Conference rivalry match-up on Thursday night.

Ironwood coach Pete Lewinski said it was a game that had just about everything.

"The fans got their money's worth," Lewinski said. ""It was tight at the end. There were lead changes, it went back and forth and it was a heck of a game to watch. And Jess Mazzon came back and played a heck of a game. I'm glad for him to have his basketball season back. He and Berwald are tough, like Bulldogs. They create plays"

Bessemer coach Jim Partanen said Mazzon's return was a "big boost" for the Speedboys emotionally.

"He's in contact with his doctor and physical therapist and he's playing limited time right now," Partanen said. "He plays about 3-4 minutes at a time and then gets a break. but he played our best defense tonight."

Partanen said he thought Ironwood's 42-21 rebounding edge was a big key in the Red Devil win.

"Size was a factor," he said. "They have three big guys at 6-5, 6-4 and 6-2 and we have 1 1/2. And we're not as physical. Tomes' foul trouble hurt us and so did (Jacob) DiGiorgio's putbacks. He's the real deal. (Matt) Dary kept them in the game in the second quarter with his shooting.

"Ironwood shot very well (21-57) and are well-disciplined and well-coached. Congrats to Ironwood - Pete had them well-prepared. We wanted to get into their bench, but we couldn't do it. When we play, these games are played in spurts and momentum is huge."

Early in the game, Jared Sobolewski dumped the ball inside to DiGiorgio for a score and DiGiorgio rebounded a second shot to put the Red Devils up 4-0 at the 7:02 mark.

But Mazzon scored on a long drive and then buried a top-of-the-key 3 to give Bessemer the lead. Andrew Peterson splashed a 3 from the right wing and when Lance Berwald intercepted a pass, drove three-quarters of the court, scored and made his foul shot for an old-fashioned 3, Bessemer led 19-8 with 2:27 left.

"I thought here we go again, we lost two years ago we lost down here like this," Lewinski said. " But we're a veteran team and we remained calm. I knew we'd weather the storm."

But the game was being played at a frantic pace and when Mazzon made a steal, dribbled nearly the full-court and made a lay-up as the buzzer sounded, the Speedboys led 23-14 after one quarter.

"The defense broke down in the first quarter," Lewinski said.

It looked like more of the same as the second quarter started when Mazzon grabbed a rebound and made a reverse lay-up. But Ironwood had re-grouped and Dary poured in three shots in a row and Colin Clausen was fouled way outside the 3-point line and made two of three free throws. The lead was cut to 27-22.

DiGiorgio began to dominate inside with shots, rebounds and put-backs. Lewinski says DiGiorgio is 6-5 but has the wingspan of a player 6-9. He began reaching over players for rebounds without fouling them.

DiGiorgio's put-back at the 2:13 mark gave the Devils a 33-32 advantage.

After a Berwald basket, Colin Clausen weaved through two Bessemer guards, hung in the air and rolled in a shot to tie the game with 9.2 seconds left in the half.

With DiGiorgio making his presence felt inside, Red Devil Denver Sharrow began to heat up and Ironwood took a 51-45 lead with 2:47 left in the quarter.

But Zack Mazurek can energize a team with his long-range shooting and his eight points, including one triple he seemed to shoot from out-of-bounds, whittled Ironwood's lead to 51-50 with 1:14 remaining.

Sharrow responded deep 3 and a 10-footer as the Devils led 56-53 after three quarters.

The Red Devils went to a semi-stall much of the fourth quarter and the Speedboys couldn't get to the ball.

With 10.2 seconds left, Sharrow was fouled and his free throw inserted the dagger by increasing the lead to 61-55.

DiGiorgio torched the nets for 26 points and 21rebounds, While Sharrow and Dary reached double-figures with 18 and 10-points respectively.

The Speedboys were led by Mazurek's 16 point performance. Mazzon notched 15 points and Berwald garnered 14.

The Speedboys won the junior varsity contest 47-38.

Ironwood (6-0, 4-0 IC) heads to Butternut for another Indianhead Conference game on Monday with a 7:15 p.m. tipoff.

Bessemer (2-2, 1-2 IC) travels to Hurley on Monday for another conference battle at 7:15 p.m.

Ironwood - Denver Sharrow 18, Colin Clausen 4, Jacob DiGiorgio 26, Jared Sobolewski 4, Matt Dary 10. FTs: 9-18, Fouls: 10, Fouled out: none, 3-pointers: Denver Sharrow 2, Jacob DiGiorgio 1.

Bessemer - DeAndre Price 1, Max Samardich 2, Andrew Peterson 8 , Lance Berwald 14, Zack Mazurek 16. FTs: 6-11, Fouls: 16, Fouled out: Jess Mazzon.

Ironwood 14 35 56 62

Bessemer 23 35 53 56

 
 

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