The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Gladiators win 6th straight, hold off Speedboys

 

Jason Juno/Daily Globe

Ontoangon's Taylor Beaudry dishes off during Friday night's game at the House of Noise in Bessemer.

BESSEMER - Ontonagon won its sixth straight game, but they got a battle from the host Speedboys in a 66-54 Copper Mountain Conference win Friday night.

The Gladiators haven't lost since they defeated their rivals, Ewen-Trout Creek, which is ranked fourth in the U.P. in Class D. Ontonagon is now over .500 at 9-8 overall and 7-5 in the conference.

"I think we're playing well, better for sure," Ontonagon coach Kurt Lehmann said. "Against L'Anse (Tuesday), I think both teams had a setback. We have six straight now and we're playing a lot better now and we're playing together as a team."

The Gladiators jumped out to a 12-4 lead as Bessemer had some early problems with Ontonagon's pressure.

A pretty innocent technical foul - Ontonagon put a wrong jersey number in the book - started a Bessemer run.

Max Samardich made both free throws from the T, Luke Zielinski drilled a 3 and Bessemer was within 12-9. Altogether, Bessemer scored 10 straight points and took a 14-12 lead on Zielinski's second triple.

"We got two (free throws) and then we hit a 3 right away, so a five-point swing really helps," Bessemer coach Richard Matrella said. "We were able to spread out their half-court trap and we got some good shots and we were able to attack the basket."

Bessemer took a 16-14 lead into the second quarter. While that was the last time they led, it was a close contest throughout, except for a period early in the fourth quarter.

"They started pressuring more and got us into some things that made us uncomfortable," Lehmann said. "They played a really good game, hit some shots and made it close throughout. It was a great game. Luckily, we hit some big shots and got some big rebounds when we needed them, that was the difference."

Ontonagon ended the third quarter with five straight points and led 43-34. It increased that lead to 50-35 as Mitchell Borseth drained a 3 and Taylor Beaudry completed a transition layup after fooling the defense with a fake pass.

The Speedboys had one more run in them, coming as close as 59-52 with 2:12 left, but Ontonagon was 9 of 11 at the foul line in the fourth quarter, they were 3 of 13 the rest of the game at the line.

"Free throws in close games wins games," Lehmann said.

Borseth led Ontonagon with 17 points, Tanner Balcomb had 14 and Beaudry scored 13.

Beaudry caused the most problems, Matrella said.

"Part of the reason I waited so long to press was we didn't control him in the half-court, we didn't control him early in the game," he said. "I was worried about letting him get out too much in the open court. He's a good guard. He gets to the basket. He's tough."

Max Samardich led Bessemer with 17 points and Brayden Tomes had 13.

"Obviously Max played well, he always brings it," Matrella said. "We need to find more scoring, plain and simple. I thought Luke did a good job."

Bessemer (5-10, 4-10) goes to Watersmeet for a 2 p.m. game Monday. Ontonagon hosts Watersmeet Tuesday.

Ontonagon - Taylor Beaudry 13, James Domitrovich 7, Mitchell Borseth 17, James Dean 4, Dustin Howard 3, Tanner Balcomb 14, Ed Polakowski 6. FTs: 12-24. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Balcomb. 3-pointers: Borseth 3, Beaudry 1, Domitrovich 1, Howard 1.

Bessemer - Cade Mazzon 6, Max Samardich 17, Keegan Bolen 2, Jared Janczak 4, Luke Zielinski 8, Ben Bogaczyk 4, Brayden Tomes 13. FTs: 15-18. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None 3-pointers: Mazzon 2, Zielinski 2, Tomes 1.

Ontonagon 14 32 43 66

Bessemer 16 26 34 54

 
 

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