L’Anse boys keep pace in WestPAC race

L’ANSE – The L’Anse Purple Hornets kept pace in the WestPAC boys’ basketball standings Tuesday, holding on for dear life down the stretch to defeat Calumet 46-41.

With the win, L’Anse (12-4, 5-1 WestPAC) remains even in the loss column with Houghton atop the league and can even it up completely with a home win over last-place West Iron County Friday night.

The Hornets led by double digits in the second half, but fended off a Calumet rally.

“The pace of the game Friday (a 76-62 game in Lake Linden), this was the opposite, it’s nice to win a game like this against a team like Calumet,” L’Anse coach Mike Ostermeyer said.

Calumet closed to within a point down the stretch, but L’Anse got enough stops and 5-for-8 free throw shooting down the stretch to grab the win.

“(Calumet) controlled the tempo all night and played very good defense,” Ostermeyer said.

Ryan LaBerge led the Hornets with 14 points. Jimmy Veker added 12.

Paul Torola notched a game-high 15, 12 in the second half, for Calumet (11-5, 3-4 WestPAC).

The Copper Kings are idle until a game at Jeffers next Tuesday.

Calumet 9 5 13 14 – 41

L’Anse 8 13 9 16 – 46

Calumet – Russ Bjorn 2, Josh O’Dell 4, Paul Torola 15, Eric Lasanen 2, Jack Hyrkas 6, Nathan Perrault 2, Jake Pieti 10; FT: 5-9; Fouls: 12; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Torola 1, Hyrkas 1.

L’Anse – Ryan LaBerge 14, Daniel Perrow 6, Cody Clement 2, Jacob Ostermeyer 7, Keith Denomie 5, Jimmy Veker 12; FT: 8-13; Fouls: 12; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: LaBerge 2, Ostermeyer 1, Veker 3.

Ontonagon 34, Chassell 33

ONTONAGON – Ontonagon edged Chassell 34-33 Tuesday night to even its Copper Country Conference record to 4-4.

The Gladiators pulled ahead on a Kyle Karttunen rebound and putback with 22 seconds left. The Panthers could only muster a bad shot the rest of the way.

“We had to defend for 22 seconds and we were able to hold them off,” Ontonagon coach Tim Nelson said. “We did just enough to win, but we’ll take it; 4-4 isn’t a bad record conference-wise.”

The Gladiators played good defense in the first half, but Chassell ran off 13 points to start the third quarter for a 26-18 lead. Ontonagon changed to a 1-3-1 zone and held the Panthers to seven points the rest of the way.

“I was happy the boys were able to adjust on the fly like that and pick up the defense,” Nelson said. “We tried to pressure the ball, force them to take shots they probably wouldn’t. We forced them into a few turnovers and kind of changed the flow a bit.”

Three Gladiators finished in double figures. Karttunen led with 12 points, Taylor Beaudry had 11 and Mitch Borseth scored 10. Alex Ashley was in foul trouble, leaving just one guard on the floor at times for Ontonagon.

Ontonagon (4-11, 4-4), winners of two straight, hosts Hancock Friday.

Chassell 4 9 15 5 – 33

Ontonagon 7 11 8 8 – 34

Chassell – Branden Barnes 7, Lars Daavettila 5, Zach Cherubini 2, Jordan LaTendresse 7, Jacob Tuomi 6, Patrik Santala 4, Oliver Huhta 2; FT: 4-11; Fouls: 16; Fouled out: Tuomi; 3-point field goals: Barnes 1.

Ontonagon – Kyle Karttunen 12, Mitch Borseth 10, Taylor Beaudry 11, Alex Ashley 1; FT: 4-13; Fouls: 17; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Borseth 2, Beaudry 2.

Jeffers 64, Watersmeet 50

WATERSMEET – Jeffers hit 13 3-pointers in a non-conference victory over Watersmeet at Nimrod Nation Tuesday.

The Jets (9-7) led by just two, 25-23, at halftime. They outscored the Nimrods 22-12 in the third quarter.

Brant Ryynanen and Zachary Nicholas each had 14 points to lead Jeffers. Christopher Outinen, who had a team-best four triples, and Alex Outinen both had 12 points.

Kevin Stevens led Watersmeet with 15 points and nine rebounds and Rondell McKinney scored 10 points for the Nimrods.

Watersmeet (8-5) hosts Chassell Thursday in a makeup game.

Jeffers (9-7) returns to the floor Friday in a bid to keep its Copper Country Conference hopes alive at league-leading Lake Linden-Hubbell.

Jeffers 14 11 22 17 – 64

Watersmeet 10 13 12 15 – 50

Jeffers – Alex Outinen 12, Tanner Nicholas 6, Zachary Nicholas 14, Brant Ryynanen 14, Myles Rajala 2, Travis Lompre 4, Christopher Outinen 12; FT: 3-9; Fouls: 12; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Z. Nicholas 3, A. Outinen 2, T. Nicholas 2, Ryynanen 2, C. Outinen 4.

Watersmeet – Michael McGrath 6, Rondell McKinney 10, Israel Bolton 6, Ryan Bain 7, Connor Voegtline 2, Kayne Williams 4, Kevin Stevens 15; FT: 7-10; Fouls: 13; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: McKinney 2, Williams 1, Bolton 1, Bain 1.