The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Devils beat Midgettes in defensive battle


December 20, 2017

Jason Juno/Daily Globe

IRONWOOD - Ironwood coach Kari Jacquart told her team to expect a low-scoring defensive battle with rival Hurley and that's exactly what happened.

The Red Devils defeated Hurley 42-30 Tuesday night in front of a good-sized pre-Christmas crowd.

It was the third win for Ironwood in its last four meetings with Hurley.

"It's a big game, everybody gets up for it," Ironwood coach Kari Jacquart said. "I'm still used to Bessemer being our rival because that's who it was when we played. It was really nice to have a big crowd here for girls basketball, we don't get that a lot. It was really nice and Hurley gave us a tough game."

Ironwood's Taylor Mylly and Hurley's Aiyana Nickel both scored 17 points. The only other player in double figures was Ironwood's McKenzie Boyd, who had 10.

Mylly provided the Red Devils offense when they needed it most, the first half. She had 12 of their 17 points as they led 17-10 at halftime.

Everyone else struggled to score.

Hurley shot just 2 of 20 from the field and turned it over 16 times in the first half. They didn't get their first field goal until 13 minutes, 41 seconds into the game when Tori Anderson got a 3 to fall that pulled Hurley within 10-6.

After two Mylly free throws, Aiyana hit Hurley's only 2-point field goal of the first half to make it a four-point game again.

The Devils closed the half out strong, though.

Boyd got to the basket and Mylly hit a 3 as Ironwood took a 17-8 lead. Anderson made two free throws for Hurley, which despite its first-half struggles, trailed by just seven, 17-10.

The Midgettes' offense picked up in the second half, scoring 20 points, with 14 of them coming from Nickel. It just wasn't enough. They didn't shoot well - 0 of 9 from 3 in the second half and 7 of 27 from 2 - but they scored more with more opportunities.

"In the second half when they were behind, they were definitely pressing and overplaying," Jacquart said. "We got a little rattled by that. Then I think when we changed our press break, we were better with that."

Defensively, both teams excelled. Hurley held Ironwood to a season-low 42 points to stay in the game. The Devils came in averaging 58.75 points per game.

"Defensively I thought we did a decent job," Hurley coach Steve Lombardo said. "They score quite a bit. I watched them almost put 80 up on Butternut here, so to hold them to half of that tonight, I think defensively we were where we need to be. We just got to score points."

Ironwood was happy to win a game like this.

"I think we were fortunate that Hurley didn't shoot the ball well," Jacquart said. "It was a real physical game, which we expected and I think Aries (Weber) had a nice, big presence inside that kind of intimated them. When it came to the end, when we had to grind it out, we really stepped up.

"It's just nice to get the win in one of these grind-it-out games."

Mylly finished with six rebounds, five steals and four blocks. She had a big first half scoring and helped in other ways in the second half.

"Taylor, I'm lucky that I don't have to do a lot of coaching with Taylor, she just knows when to take over," Jacquart asid. "In the second half, I told her she had a couple assists that I didn't even see were open. She just takes over when she needs to. ... She knew that when Aries got in four trouble, she had to step up on the boards in the second half and sometimes be the point guard. She's a player that can play 1 through 5 for me and having a player that's a three-year starter, there years of working with a player, you get a good senior leader like that. I'm really proud of what she did for us."

And Nickel tried to will Hurley back.

"Nickel is a really good player, we had a hard time stopping her," Jacquart said.

Hurley (1-4, 0-3) plays South Shore at Washburn on Dec. 28. Ironwood (4-1, 3-1) plays at Mellen on Jan. 5.

Hurley - Aiyana Nickel 17, Ally Rye 5, Tori Anderson 5, Brooke Olson 2, Briana Saari 1. FTs: 11-16. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Rye. 3-pointers: Anderson 1.

Ironwood - Taylor Mylly 17, Lauren Gauthier 6, McKenzie Boyd 10, Haley Halvorsen 2, Makenzie Marshall 4, Aries Weber 3. FTs: 14-21. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Weber, Boyd. 3-pointers: Mylly 2.

Hurley 10 30

Ironwood 17 42


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