Rockets turn back Wolves
RAPID RIVER — Carney-Nadeau’s 3-point shot at the buzzer was off the mark as the Rapid River boys’ basketball team held off the Wolves’ comeback to win its opener Monday night 56-53.
“It feels good to get this win, but we definitely have some things to work on,” said Rapid River coach Rich Poma. “I’m glad we pulled the win out and the boys fought tough to the end. I think they realize, though, that we have a lot to work on.”
The Rockets led by as much as 14 points in the third quarter, but a run at the end of a quarter and a big fourth quarter had the Wolves in position to tie the game at the end of regulation.
“They got rid of the fear,” said Carney coach Jacob Polfus. “You could see in the first half everything just looked slow. They weren’t even catching the ball and it would just go through our hands sometimes.
“After the first half some of those guys played without fear. They did a nice job coming out with energy and I thought that’s the way we should have played all game.”
Rapid River’s Tyler Sundling wasn’t going to let the lead slip as he took over for the Rockets in the fourth quarter and almost single-handedly held off Carney’s late run. He scored 13 of his team’s 17 points in the fourth quarter and had a team high 22 for the game.
“Tyler understands what plays need to be made when we need them,” said Poma. “He’s a guy that can make them during pretty much any point in the game. He understands that on those big three runs we don’t have to get it back with a three. We can get to the rack and get two and that’s enough to silence the crowd.”
Sparking the Wolves’ comeback in the second half was Preston Lauscher, who scored 19 of his team-high 25 points in the second half. He knocked down four 3-point shots while leading Carney’s second-half surge.
“That’s what I’ve come to expect from him,” said Polfus. “Last season he was injured and never really got into a flow. We’re going to expect big things out of him like that all season. I was really happy for him.”
In the first quarter, the Wolves took an early 5-4 lead. The Rockets then took control and went on a 12-2 run to finish the first quarter and take a 16-8 lead going into the second.
Rapid River came out cold in the second quarter starting 0 for 5 from the field while the Wolves came within five. The Rockets then picked up their defense and created turnovers that led to fast-break points eventually increasing the lead to 26-16 going into halftime.
“Defensively I thought our press worked pretty well and got us some turnovers,” said Poma. “It sped them up a little bit and they missed some shots out of that.”
Logan Hardwick added 10 points for the Rockets and Beau Koffman had 13 for the Wolves, all coming in the second half.
The Rockets host North Central Thursday while Carney welcomes North Dickinson Thursday.
Carney-Nadeau 8 8 18 19 — 53
Rapid River 16 10 13 17 — 56
Carney-Nadeau — Kleiman 1, LaFord 4, Janofski 2, Lauscher 25, Kirschner 5, Koffman 13, Linder 3; FT: 9-13; F: 13; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: LaFord 1, Lauscher 4, Kirschner 1, Koffman 3, Linder 1.
Rapid River — L. Sundling 8, T. Sundling 22, Hardwick 10, Willemson 8, LaCasse 2, DeMars 6; FT: 6-12; F: 17; Fouled out: Willemson; 3-point field goals: L. Sundling 2, Hardwick 2.