03/11/15 Ishpeming, Michigan – The Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball Team was in Ishpeming, Michigan tonight, to face the Gwinn Modeltowners in the first round of the district playoffs. Carl Leander Johnson, the voice of the Negaunee Miners and Jesse Anderson were there to bring you all the exciting action on Sunny.FM.
Jay Lori won the tip for the Negaunee, but it would be the Gwinn Modeltowners who would put the first points on the board with a Jonah Norman three-pointer. If there were any speculation that Gwinn held back last Thursday, it was wiped away. They clearly didn’t show all of their cards in the season finale, jumping into a 2-3 zone that caused the Miners a myriad of problems offensively. Two deep Dre Tuominen threes dinged off the rim, as did a pair by Dylan Tasson and Rob Loy. Gwinn used a fast tempo and good finishing at the rim to jump out to an 8-0 lead through the first four minutes of the game. Could the Gwinn boys do to the MPC Champions that their girls did to Ishpeming last week? Not if Rob Loy could help it. The Miners finally started passing the ball well and set up the senior forward for a 15-footer from the corner to put Negaunee on the board just after the halfway mark of the first quarter, to trail 8-2. All bets were off after that. Sophomores Dre Tuominen and Trent Bell were able to make great passes down low to Jay Lori, who finished with ease. Negaunee ended the quarter on a 15-4 run to take a three point lead into the second!
The Miners scored two quick buckets to start the second, and lead 19-12 with six minutes left in the first half. Gwinn was finally able to put their first points of the quarter on the board with five minutes left, and trailed 19-14. Tuominen finally found his shot, as did junior Ben Luke, who knocked down a big three, and the Miners pushed their lead to double digits. Gwinn would score two more buckets and cut the lead to nine going into the break. After an 8-0 start in the first four minutes, the ModelTowners were outscored by Negaunee 27-10 over the last 12 of the first half.
Gwinn, sensing their season coming to a potential end, came out aggressive in the third. Senior and first-team all-MPC teamer Justin Beauchamp drove to the hole and picked up a foul, he’d sink both free throws. Jonah Norman & Erik Asplund began letting shots fly, and they started to fall. The two would lead the ModelTowners in scoring with 12 points each. With Negaunee’s lead dwindling to just four with three minutes left in the third, they locked down defensively and slowed it down on the offensive end. Trent Bell, who was very jumpy in the first half, calmed down and was able to sink a few shots from the middle of the lane. Combined with some nice shooting from Rob Loy, the Miners pushed their lead back to eight going into the final frame, 37-29.
Negaunee wasn’t going to mess around with the possibility of a first round defeat, and kept the throttle on full the rest of the way. Dre Tuominen would pick up three steals in the second half and used that to score some quick buckets, along with an assist or two in the process. Negaunee would cruise the rest of the way and advance to the District Championship for the fifth season in a row!
The Negaunee Miners defeated the Gwinn ModelTowners (54-44) on Sunny.FM!
Negaunee was led tonight by the combination, fondly called by Carl, of Jay ‘n Dre. The junior big man finished with a double-double (14pts & 12reb) along with three assists. His sophomore point guard went for 14 as well, but dished out seven assists, to go with four rebounds & steals. Rob Loy continued his consistent play, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Trent Bell contributed everywhere: nine points, five rebounds, two steals, and an assist & block each.
The Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball Team are headed to the district finals, to face the Ishpeming Hematites. Join Carl Leander Johnson, the voice of the Negaunee Miners and Jesse Anderson for all the exciting action Friday March 13th, 2015. The Honor Credit Union Pre-game will start around 6:30pm and the game will follow at 7:00pm on Sunny.FM.
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