Negaunee, MI – December 7th, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners boys basketball team fall to the Escanaba Eskymos 54-45 and start 0-1 for the 2021-2022 season. Carl Leander Johnson had the call from Negaunee on Sunny 101.9.
1st Quarter: Escanaba’s Connor Smale kicked off the scoring, driving into the lane picking up a shooting foul and making both free throws. Mason Sager put on an early defensive showing, picking up three rebounds early on. Sager would open the scoring for Negaunee with a field goal in the paint. Ty Jacobson and Sager would make a couple of baskets to bring the score to 8-6 with Escanaba in the lead. From there, it was the Eskymos’ 3 point shooting that opened up the lead. Escanaba made five 3-pointers in the first period alone and the quarter would end with Escanaba in the lead, 17-9.
End of 1st: Miners 9, Eskymos 17
2nd Quarter: The second quarter showed better fight from the Miners on both sides of the court. The deficit was cut to four when Sager grabbed a defensive board and went down the court to make a 3 pointer, giving Escanaba only a 22-18 lead. Brody Bell drove into the paint, showing some skilled handling to make the layup. It was a back and fourth battle between the Miners and Eskymos in the second quarter with neither team taking control of the game.
End of 2nd: Miners 22, Eskymos 27
3rd Quarter: To start the third period, the Eskymos would go on an 11-2 run, with a couple more wide open 3-pointers by Nathan Howes and Smale. Negaunee would be forced to call a timeout. Unfortunately, the third quarter played a big role in deciding the Miners fate as Escanaba would continue to maximize their free throw opportunities and open shots. Negaunee only managed to score seven points in the quarter while their counterparts scored 17.
End of 3rd: Miners 29, Eskymos 44
4th Quarter: When all seemed bleak, Negaunee put up some effort to give them a chance to come back into the game. With six minutes left in the game, Sager picked up a crucial offensive rebound to put up the shot. Gavin Downey played with a lot of passion in the last period, giving the spark that the Miners needed. With steals from Jacobson and Bell, followed by successful breakaways on each, Negaunee was within nine points with 2:29 left, taking the score to 48-39 and forcing Escanaba to take a timeout. That timeout, as it turns out, was effective in getting the Eskymos time needed to get back into their earlier rhythm of controlling the game. The Eskymos were able to fend off the comeback attempt and handed the Miners their first loss of the season.
End of Game: Miners 45, Eskymos 54
Next Game: The Negaunee Miners go on the road to face the Gwinn Modeltowners on Thursday, December 9th, 2021. Carl Leander Johnson calls the game live on Sunny 101.9 at 7:15pm!