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iron mountain high school athletics

home of the mountaineers

iron mountain high school athletics

home of the mountaineers

Game Summaries & Headlines.

Game Summary

2.0 months ago @ 12:33PM

Hangin’ on: Mountaineers sneak past Modeltowners, 47-41

Game Date
Dec 8, 2023
Score
: 47
GWINN HIGH SCHOOL: 41

https://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/sports/local-sports/2023/12/hangin-on-mountaineers-sneak-past-modeltowners-47-41/

SEAN CHASE

Daily News Sports Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN — Looking to pick up its first win of the season, the Iron Mountain girls varsity basketball team welcomed West PAC foe Gwinn to Mountaineers Gym on Friday.

The Modeltowners (0-1, 0-1) tried to ruin the Mountaineers (1-1, 1-0) home-opener, but a strong fourth quarter propelled the home team to a 47-41 victory.

“It’s always nice to start the season winning on your home court,” IM coach Karen Ellis said. “That means a lot to the girls, means a lot to the program. So it was really exciting to be able to take home the win.”

With Gwinn losing players to graduation from last season, Ellis wanted to see how they would respond to pressure right out of the gate.

“We wanted to isolate their ball handlers with the press and slow down their offense,” Ellis said. “Without their senior leader from last year, I wasn’t sure how their offense was going to look tonight, and we decided to put the press on early to get a good look at their offense. And it slowed them down.”

It frustrated the Modeltowners and the Mountaineers took advantage.

Juniors Macy Linsenbigler and Bella Pickett led the Iron Mountain attack in the first quarter, each recording four points, as it took a 10-8 lead into the second quarter.

The Mountaineers kept the pressure on in the second stanza as senior Emily Copley found her footing on offense.

Copley netted five points in the quarter and Iron Mountain took a 23-20 lead into the locker room at half.

The Modeltowners exited the locker room and changed defensive strategies.

On Thursday, however, Ellis prepared her players to face the zone. It paid off.

“In the third quarter, (Gwinn) was covering a lot better. They switched to a zone,” Ellis said. “So, we had to switch up our offense. We went over that offense, going against a zone a lot (Thursday), because I figured that they were going to run a zone.”

The Mountaineers handled the press with ease, but they sent Gwinn to the foul line seven times in the third and the Modeltowners took a 32-29 advantage into the final stanza.

Gwinn pushed its lead to five points in the opening minutes of the fourth.

But, that’s when Copley began to take over. She recorded five points while Picket added a lay up and the game was tied at 36.

A few moments later, with Iron Mountain holding a one point advantage, Copley caught a pass on the right wing.

She quickly pivoted to face the basket and fired a 3-pointer that found the bottom of the net, sending Mountaineer Gym into a frenzy.

“It’s a momentum changer, it’s a game changer right there,” Ellis said. “The whole bench was excited. The whole team was excited. It gives you that little bit of hope and encouragement to go forward. She’s a great senior leader and I’m glad she nailed that shot, that’s for sure.”

That momentum propelled the Mountaineers to a 47-41 victory, their first of the 2023-24 season.

“I’m really excited about this season,” Ellis said. “The girls are playing well together, they’re communicating well.”

In its two games this season, Iron Mountain has experienced tests, but it has shown Ellis what her team is all about.

“They’re workers and they don’t give up. They are resilient,” Ellis said. “They know when to come together, they know who to rely on.”

Copley led the Mountaineers with 18 points. She also recorded six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Iron Mountain also received contributions from Pickett (8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists), Ashlyn Bal (6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal), Gerilis Sampoll-Torres (3 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals), Linsenbigler (8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist), Alysia Wood (4 points, 2 rebounds), McKinlee Peterson (1 rebound) and Izzy Lewis (1 assist).

The Mountaineers are back at home on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. against Gladstone.


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