Copper King boys roll on the road

PAINESDALE – Dominating from start to finish, the Calumet Copper Kings had no trouble notching a 61-39 win over the Jeffers Jets Friday night in boys’ basketball action.

“Their (Copper Kings) size was too much for us. They took it to us right from the get-go,” Jeffers coach Duane Snell said. “I don’t know exactly why, but we weren’t ready to play tonight.”

Calumet junior forward Paul Torola was one player who did come prepared, tallying a game-high 30 points and 11 rebounds.

“Our games down here (in Painesdale) are usually close, hard-fought games,” Calumet coach Mike Ojala said. “But in this game, we came out firing and I think Paul (Torola) was one of the main reasons we did start so well. He’s been consistent all year, but tonight he was scoring from inside and also from outside.”

The much taller Copper Kings, who improved to 7-5 on the year, scored the first 10 points of the non-league clash and took a commanding 18-4 lead after one period.

Torola knocked down a pair of treys and had another hoop in the opening stanza.

“We didn’t do a good job at all of defending Torola … and he sure made us pay,” Snell said. “It was a case of total domination,”

The Jets did try to get into the fray in the second quarter as Troy Kinnunen, Dan Salo and Zach Nicholas all hit triples, but Calumet held a 32-18 margin at the break.

Torola busted loose for 14 markers in the third period as the northend crew seized a 48-26 advantage by the end of the frame.

Ojala, whose team answered the Jets pressure with pressure of their own, was able to play his bench in the final eight minutes.

While Torola was clearly the standout for the Blue and Grey, Chad Sturos and Daniel Olson also hit double figures, with 13 and 12 points respectively.

“I thought Chad Sturos had probably his offensive game of the season,” the CHS coach noted. “And Daniel Olson also had a nice game on both sides of the court. Our whole team played excellent defense.”

The 6-6 Jets received 15 points from Troy Kinnunen, but he had to earn every one of them. Only Alex Outinen could manage as many as seven more.

Calumet meets Chassell at home next Tuesday night. The Jets go to Houghton the same evening.