Jets dismiss Bays’ Cinderella bid
PAINESDALE – A hustling Jeffers High boys basketball team had little trouble ending Dollar Bay’s Cinderella dreams Wednesday night in a Class D semifinal district tourney game.
The Jets smothered the Bays from the opening tap in rolling to a 47-27 win to earn a spot opposite Lake Linden-Hubbell in Friday’s finals.
“We jumped on them early,” JHS coach Duane Snell said. “We didn’t want to encourage them at all because they played so well against Ontonagon the other night.”
Bays’ coach Jesse Kentala said he was fearful his team was still riding the emotional roller-coaster from Monday’s overtime win over Ontonagon.
“To have a chance against any team, we have to knock down some shots early,” Kentala said. “But we were as cold as the weather outside.”
Jeffers scored the first seven points of the game and grabbed a 14-2 lead after one period. Alex Outinen netted eight points in the frame, including a pair of triples.
“Alex came out firing and that’s always a good sign for us,” Snell noted.
The Jets upped the count to 24-6 by the halftime break as Brant Ryynanen and Zachary Nicholas helped out offensively.
Another key factor for the Range boys was some outstanding board work by Myles Rajala. Rajala pulled down a game-leading 14 rebounds.
“He (Rajala) did a nice job under the basket,” Snell said. “We’re going to need more of that Friday.”
The Bays improved a little bit in the second half, but the first half deficit was far too much for the Red, White and Blue.
“We dug ourselves too deep of a hole,” Kentala said. “We couldn’t overcome that.”
With a 12-9 record, the Jets were paced by Alex Outinen’s 19 points, five steals and four assists.
Ryynanen was steady with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Zach Nicholas registered 10 points and five steals.
The Bays, closing at 2-19, were led by Cameron Ringler’s eight points and eight rebounds. Carl Kangas had six points and six boards.
Snell said playing the Lakes is a tough challenge for his club.
“They’ve got so many weapons, it’s tough to defend them,” he said. “We’ve got to play an error-free game and shoot well.”