Panthers put away Bays boys early

DOLLAR BAY – A sizzling first quarter proved to be enough for the Chassell Panthers to notch a 56-23 victory over Dollar Bay Tuesday night in boys’ basketball play.

The Blue and Gold ripped the nets for 24 points in the opening eight minutes on the way to a relatively easy Copper Country Conference win. It also snapped a four-game losing streak.

“We weren’t real consistent with our shooting overall, but we shot the ball real well in the opening quarter,” CHS coach Steve Spahn said afterward. “That was important because we didn’t do that in the second half.”

The Panthers knocked down 9-of-12 floor shots in the first eight minutes, utilizing a full-court press to force turnovers and get open shots.

“We didn’t take care of the basketball in the first quarter and Chassell took advantage of that,” Bays coach Jesse Kentala noted. “We were allowing them to shoot the ball in transition and that’s something they like to do.”

With a 24-7 bulge after one quarter, the eventual winners cruised to a 37-16 halftime lead as Dollar Bay continued to turn the ball over.

“We had 17 turnovers in the opening half alone,” Kentala pointed out. “You can’t do that and expect to be in the ballgame.”

Senior sharpshooter Josh Pietila led the first half offensive show for CHS with 11 points. Carson Ryynanen put in 10 more.

An extremely cold third period saw Pietila’s triple as the only markers scored by either side.

Spahn, who substituted liberally in the second half, was happy to get everyone on his roster in the scoring column.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up and I wanted to get everyone in there tonight,” he said.

Pietila and Carson Ryynanen paced the winners, 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the league, with 14 points apiece. Evan Huhta was good for 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds and Jake Tuomi had seven points and seven boards.

Tom Dunstan was high for the Bays, who are 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the league, with nine points. Carl Kangas managed six more but collected a game-best 11 rebounds.

Kentala said his team had shown improvement in recent games.

“We’ve been doing some good things, and I believe we can still accomplish something positive down the road,” he said.

Chassell goes to Hancock Friday night, while Dollar Bay will be in Lake Linden the same evening.

Dollar Bay won the JV game.