NEGAUNEE - Tyler Jandron and his Negaunee High School basketball teammates made sure their 2012-13 home debut was a successful one Friday night.
Jandron popped in a game-high 20 points in 20 minutes of play and the Miners dumped non-conference foe Superior Central, 66-41, at Lakeview Memorial Gym.
Tanner Uren added 15 points and Eric Lori 10 as head coach Mike O'Donnell's Miners - who led 19-6 after the first quarter - improved to 2-0 on the season.
Superior Central's Matt Verbrigghe (22) goes up for the jump ball at the start of the basketball game against the Negaunee Miners at the Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee on Friday December 7, 2012. (Mining Journal photo by Zach Jay)
"We wanted to get off to a fast start on our home floor," O'Donnell said. "We didn't want (Superior Central) to get into a comfort zone."
Jandron made sure of that. The 5-10 junior point guard scored eight points in the opening quarter and eight more in the second stanza as the Miners claimed a 37-14 lead at the half.
"I try to start off hot," Jandron said, "and get into a rhythm. The shots just fell the rest of the game."
Superior Central 6 8 6 21 - 41
Negaunee 19 18 20 9 - 66
Summary (field goals, free throws, total points)
SUPERIOR CENTRAL- Kienitz, 2-0-6;
Steward, 3-0-6; Richard, 5-1-11; Verbrigghe, 5-0-10; Lloyd, 01-1; T. Maki, 3-1-7. Totals, 18-3-41.
NEGAUNEE- Weaver, 3-0-6; O'Keefe, 0-1-1; Hemmila, 1-0-2; Jandron, 7-4-20; Anderson, 0-4-4; Uren, 6-2-15; Katona, 1-2-4; Lori, 4-1-10; Renaldi, 1-0-2; Zampese, 1-0-2. Totals, 24-14-66.
FG shooting: S.C., unavailable; Negaunee, 24 of 59 (40.6 percent); FT shooting: S.C., 3 of 9 (33.3 percent); Negaunee, 14 of 18 (77.7 percent); Rebounding, S.C., unavailable; Negaunee, 36 (Tanner Uren and Eric Lori, 6 each).
Jandron sank a pair of 3-point shots in the first eight minutes, helping the Miners jump off to a 14-4 lead.
"He's a sparkplug out there. He's always in attack mode," O'Donnell said. "Not just from a shooting aspect, too. At the same time, he's trying to set up his teammates."
Added SC head coach Herb Jenkins: "(Jandron) takes care of the ball and makes good decisions. (The Miners) are phenomenal shooters, too."
Uren scored nine points himself in the opening quarter. He notched two more in a 14-2 Negaunee run at the end of the second stanza that for all intents and purposes put the game away.
"That (surge) was huge," O'Donnell said. "We took a time out (with 4:23 left in the half and NHS up just 23-12) ... and our guys responded. We got a nice cushion at the half."
Behind four points by Andrew Katona, the Miners outscored the Cougars 12-2 to start the third quarter and take a 49-16 advantage. That prompted O'Donnell to begin emptying his bench.
The Cougars (1-1) outscored the Miners 21-9 in the final quarter against the NHS reserves.
"We picked Negaunee up on our schedule to play for March (and the tournaments)," Jenkins said. "We knew we had to play a perfect game against them.
"But (the Miners) sped us up. We need to play at that speed. We were a little behind."
Bryce Richard led the Cougars with 11 points. Teammate Matt Verbrigghe, who poured in 24 points Monday night in an SC win over Bark River-Harris, was limited to 10 points - six after Negaunee's Brock Weaver left the game for a substitute.
"Brock used his (6-7) length to stay close enough to Verbrigghe to force him out of his shooting spot," O'Donnell said. "We just played good team defense."
Said Jenkins: "They were physical on Matt and helped out (on defense) against him."
The Negaunee junior varsity team took a 69-44 decision over SC.