Braves bust out for Quigley

Castor, Spindler lead way

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Gladstone’s Quinn Downey (right) and Ishpeming’s Gavin Sundberg (left) battle for a loose ball while Gladstone’s Carson Shea (12) looks on during the third quarter Tuesday at Gladstone.

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone boys’ basketball team got off to a fast start in its opener and never looked back Tuesday as the Braves helped first-year coach Dane Quigley to a 77-67 victory in his debut.

“It’s a load off my chest,” said Quigley about his varsity opener. “I would be lying if I said I came in here and I wasn’t anxious and nervous. What I’m proud of is that we’ve been working hard the last two weeks and the kids came out tonight and executed a game plan that we’ve been working on and they did a heck of a job.”

The duo of Reece Castor and Brad Spindler were in mid-season form as Castor scored 21 points while Spindler took control in the second half where he scored 17 of his team-high 28 points.

“They’re two outstanding players,” said Quigley. “I can’t say enough good things about Reece. He works hard and he’s our floor general out there. Brad also works hard and we know what he can do offensively. It’s nice when you can have Reece carry the load in the first half and Brad take over in the second half.”

The Braves came out with a lot of energy depending on their tough pressure defense to pull out to a 14-0 lead. The Braves held the Hematites 0-for-5 from the field during that run and forced seven turnovers in the first quarter.

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Gladstone’s Reece Castor (44) puts up a 3-point shot over Ishpeming’s Dondre Yohe (4) during the second quarter Tuesday at Gladstone.

Ishpeming settled down after that as it finished the first quarter 5-for-11 from the floor and trailed the Braves 25-12 going into the second quarter.

“We just had to stick with it,” said Ishpeming coach Anthony Katona. “Our guys usually make those shots so it was just first-game jitters for us. Hopefully we got that out of the way now for the rest of the season. We kept on going executing like we normally do and our shots started to fall.”

Both teams were pretty even in the second quarter as Gladstone maintained its 13-point lead and led 35-22 at halftime.

The Braves didn’t slow down in the third quarter relying on Spindler’s 10 points and eight each from Castor and Rudy Peterson as Gladstone shot 10-for-16 from the floor and 6-for-7 at the foul line.

The Braves led 63-44 heading into the fourth quarter and looked to have it all but wrapped up. The Hematites slowly crept back into the game and pulled within 10 before time ran out.

Ishpeming was led by Hart Holmgren, who paced the Hematites with 32 points and did all he could to keep his team in the game.

“He had a chip on his shoulders and with that slow start he kind of thought he needed to step up his offense,” said Katona. “It definitely helped us out a lot. He brought the team together and got us going there in the first half.”

Dondre Yohe scored 12 for the Hematites while Darius Yohe added 10.

Peterson stepped up and had 14 points for the Braves.

Gladstone hosts Manistique Friday while Ishpeming welcomes Westwood the same night.

The summary:

Ishpeming 12 12 20 23 — 67

Gladstone 25 10 28 14 — 77

Ishpeming — Sundberg 4, Do. Yohe 12, Da. Yohe 10, Tucker 3, Bess 2, Engler 4, Holmgren 32; FT: 5-12; F: 18; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Da. Yohe 1, Holmgren 3.

Gladstone — Shea 6, Downey 3, Peterson 14, Spindler 28, Hanson 1, Ness 4, Castor 21; FT: 13-18; F: 15; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Shea 2, Downey 1, Peterson 4, Spindler 1, Castor 2.