Great Lakes repeat as CCC boys’ champs

LAKE LINDEN – After playing WestPAC powers L’Anse and Houghton in its last two games, Lake Linden-Hubbell returned to Copper Country Conference boys action Friday night.

And the Lakes were more than up to the task, scoring a 67-43 win over the Jeffers Jets that gave them their second straight CCC crown.

LL-H coach Jack Kumpula said his team has now accomplished one of its primary goals for the season, winning the league.

“It’s one of the things we talked about before the season,” Kumpula said. “I thought we came in tonight and took care of business.”

The final score was not a true indication of the LL-H dominance in the contest.

The Blue and Gold seized a 19-5 lead after one period as junior forward Tyler Roose tossed in nine points.

The score swelled to 45-14 by the halftime break as the Lakes’ withering full-court press forced numerous JHS miscues.

Jets coach Duane Snell said his team, after starting out decently, just fell apart.

“I thought we came out with a good plan, but after we fell behind by 15 points in the first quarter … we didn’t want to play an up-tempo game,” he said. “We missed a couple of layups and didn’t handle their pressure, and it kind of snowballed.”

Luke Monette netted eight points to pace the 26-9 LL-H second quarter blitz that essentially settled the issue.

Kumpula used his deep bench extensively in the second half and eight Lakes got into the scoring column.

“We got some good play from a lot of guys tonight,” the Lakes coach said. “That was nice to see.”

With a 9-0 league record (14-2 overall), LL-H needs just a win over Chassell to complete a second straight unbeaten CCC mark.

“Doing that two seasons in a row is an accomplishment,” Kumpula said. “The kids have worked hard all season.”

Jeffers, now 6-2 in the league and 9-8 on the season, has work to do, according to Snell.

“We’ve got to get better at handling pressure,” he noted. “We can’t stand around and watch one guy try to bring the ball up the floor.”

Roose was in his familar role of scoring leader for LL-H, notching 16 points. Monette was next with 12 points, while hard-working Brett Poissant put in 11 more and grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds. Trevor Ongie added 10 points, while Ryan Knoll came off the bench to chip in eight points and eight boards.

Senior Alex Outinen led Jeffers with 17 points. Christopher Outinen also hit double figures with 10.

The Lakes will entertain Houghton next Tuesday and also play Calumet and Hancock down the stretch in what Kumpula termed as “good tests for us before the tournament.”

Jeffers hosts Calumet Tuesday.