Gremlins stun L’Anse, Kings’ Torola goes off for 26 first-half points

L’ANSE – Houghton caught L’Anse in a twilight zone on its home floor, taking both squads’ WestPAC openers by a 63-49 count Thursday.

The Gremlins laid aside their pressure defense for the zone, coaxing the Purple Hornets into a 6-for-32 shooting performance from outside the arc.

“We didn’t get the ball inside enough against their zone and we settled for too many threes,” L’Anse coach Mike Ostermeyer said.

The Gremlins (2-0, 1-0 WestPAC) hit hard early, taking a 14-6 lead and holding the Hornets without a field goal in the first quarter.

L’Anse’s 21-point second quarter got them back into the game, but the Gremlins surged ahead on the back of Nate Gockenbach, who racked up 10 of his 19 points in the third, and closed it out with eight points apiece from Trent Keteri and Eero Niemela in the fourth quarter.

Keteri finished with 20 points and Niemela 18.

“They had a bounce in their step that we didn’t have,” Ostermeyer said.

Jacob Ostermeyer scored 15 points for the Hornets (1-1, 0-1). Jimmy Veker added 12, while point guard Ryan LaBerge had eight in his first appearance against the Houghton team he played for the first three seasons of his prep career.

L’Anse is at Westwood Monday night, while the Gremlins play at Escanaba.

Houghton 14 16 15 18 – 63

L’Anse 6 21 12 10 – 49

Houghton – Trent Keteri 20, Ben Collaer 4, Eero Niemela 18, Sam Bethancourt 2, Nate Gockenbach 19; FT: 5-12; Fouls: 15; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Keteri 4, Niemela 2, Gockenbach 2.

L’Anse – Ryan LaBerge 8, Daniel Perrow 7, Cody Clement 2, Jacob Ostermeyer 15, Keith Denomie 5, Jimmy Veker 12; FT: 9-11; Fouls: 18; Fouled out: Ostermeyer; 3-point field goals: LaBerge 2, Perrow 1, Ostermeyer 2, Denomie 1.

Calumet 53, Ontonagon 39

CALUMET – Paul Torola blitzed Ontonagon nearly singlehandedly Thursday, scoring 26 points in the first half as the Copper Kings dropped the Gladiators.

The senior hit five three-pointers and finished with 31 points, a new career high. He was 12-for-18 from the field and made 5-of-6 3-pointers.

“He got it going early from the outside. He hit those threes in the first half, and when he gets that kind of game going like that, it just opens a lot of things for him,” Calumet coach Mike Ojala said.

The Copper Kings (2-0) had an 18-5 lead after a quarter, but it took a while to send the Gladiators to 0-2 overall.

“Those guys kept fighting. They had a good middle part of the game,” Ojala said.

Tony Soumis and Taylor Beaudry led Ontonagon’s offense with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Each of them hit three 3-pointers.

Both teams play Dollar Bay next: Calumet on the road Monday night and Ontonagon at home Thursday.

Ontonagon 5 15 10 9 – 39

Calumet 18 17 14 4 – 53

Ontonagon – Tony Roberts 3, Tony Soumis 13, Kyle Karttunen 7, Mitch Borseth 1, Taylor Beaudry 11, Alex Ashley 4; FT: 7-13; Fouls: 8; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Soumis 3, Beaudry 3.

Calumet – Russ Bjorn 5, Paul Torola 31, Eric Lasanen 3, Jack Hyrkas 2, Jake Pieti 8, Jordan Johnson 2; FT: 2-4; Fouls: 17; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Torola 5, Bjorn 1, Lasanen 1.

Baraga 58, Chassell 17

CHASSELL – Baraga’s superior marksmanship made for a lopsided outcome in Copper Country Conference play Thursday.

Chassell couldn’t overcome a 7-for-54 performance from the field and 13 missed free throws.

“Shooting like that will not win you games,” Panther coach Bill Sleeman said. “I felt like we hustled hard, just couldn’t get the shots to drop.”

The Vikings had this one iced by the half. After scoring 19 points in the second quarter, they led 33-7 at the break.

Zach Owens led the way, putting up 14 to lead Baraga (1-1 overall, 1-1 CCC). Austin Smith added 10.

Chassell (0-2, 0-1) had five points apiece from Lars Daavettila and Jake Tuomi.

Baraga hosts Watersmeet Monday night, while the Panthers are idle until facing rival Jeffers in Painesdale Thursday.

Baraga 14 19 20 5 – 58

Chassell 4 3 7 3 – 17

Baraga – Jonah Goodreau 3, Harley Lindemann 2, Austin Smith 10, Dillion Huckstaedt 6, Zach Owens 14, Zac Darcy 6, Brandon Varline 8, Steven Hadden 1, Chaz Forcia 8; FT: 8-21; Fouls: 17; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Smith 1, Owens 1.

Chassell – Lars Daavettila 5, Zach Cherubini 3, Kyle Stromer 2, Jordy LaTendresse 2, Jake Tuomi 5; FT: 2-15; Fouls: 19; Fouled out: Stromer.