Duo leads Hematites to win
ESCANABA — Pruett and Johns is not a new attorneys office in Ishpeming.
No, it’s the Hematites’ Madison Pruett and Madigan Johns — a key duo who sparked Ishpeming to a thrilling 59-55 victory Tuesday against West Iron County in the girls Class C regional semifinal at Escanaba High School.
Pruett came off the bench to score 12 points on four 3-pointers and Johns finished with a game-high 19 points — the final seven Ishpeming points in the last 2:22 to seal the victory.
The win advances Ishpeming (20-3) to Thursday’s regional title game against St. Ignace, which routed Houghton 68-34 in Tuesday’s second semifinal.
“St. Ignace is talented,” Ishpeming coach Ryan Reichel said about the U.P.’s top-ranked Saints. “I’ve been watching film on them a little bit. It’s going to be a good game. We have the same size they do across the board. They have the defensive pressure up the court and we have a little more inside the paint.”
In the semifinal, it was Pruett early and Johns late.
The Wykons raced to a 9-0 lead before the fans could get settled. Ishpeming coach Ryan Reichel promptly called on Pruett, who hit two 3-pointers as Ishpeming rallied to tie the game at 11-11 after one quarter.
Pruett hit her third 3-pointer in the second quarter as Ishpeming took control and gained a 26-23 halftime lead.
The Wykons (18-5), however, wouldn’t go away and battled back to tie the game at 42-42 after three quarters.
Ishpeming led 52-51 when Johns drove to the basket and was fouled, completing a three-point play for a 55-51 lead at the 2:22 mark.
West Iron’s Anna Malmquist answered with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 55-53 at the 1:59 mark.
Ishpeming took the air out of the ball and forced West Iron County to foul the rest of the way.
Enter Johns, who swished four free throws in the last 10 seconds. A Wykons’ turnover with 1.7 seconds led to Johns’ last two free throws and the final 59-55 count.
Johns, voted the Player of the Year in the Mid-Peninsula Conference, shoots 87 per