PERKINS - Uncharacteristic lengthy scoring droughts by the top-ranked Carney-Nadeau Wolves allowed No. 3 Mid Peninsula to hang around early and nearly come back in the second half.
But Wade Schetter was there with a much-needed triple when Carney needed it Thursday night and the Wolves prevailed 56-40 in a dual Skyline/Central U.P. conference matchup between ranked teams.
Playing without key starter Evan Winkelbauer, who is out with an ankle sprain, Mid Pen looked out of sync on offense for the majority of the first half. Unable to find Brett Branstrom in the paint, shooting poorly from the free throw line and with perimeter shots falling off the mark, the Wolverines scored just five points in each of the first two quarters.
Keith Shelton | Daily Press
Carney-Nadeau Wolves guard Wade Schetter goes up for a first-half layup as Mid Peninsula’s Chad Branstrom looks on Thursday at Perkins. Schetter had 34 points in the Wolves 64-40 victory.
"As far as our offense in the first half, I take full responsibility for that," said Wolverines coach Mark Branstrom. "We were so disorientated."
Dionte Blahnik fouled Brett Branstrom twice from beyond the arc but Branstrom was just 1-of-6 in those opportunities and 4-of-13 overall.
"We had opportunities in the first half that we should have taken advantage of," said coach Branstrom. "The No. 1 thing was free throws. We haven't shot that poorly all year. That was Brett's worst night in his career from the free throw line."
Carney-Nadeau 11 19 10 16 - 56
Mid Peninsula 5 5 17 13 - 40
Carney-Nadeau - Schetter 34, J. DuPont 3, Blahnik 6, Lampinen 13; FT: 1-7; F: 15; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Schetter 6, J. DuPont, Blahnik, Lampinen.
Mid Peninsula - Richmond 10, LaFave 3, B. Branstrom 12, C. Branstrom 3, Lehtikangas 4, Pellinen 8; FT: 5-14; F: 12; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Richmond, LaFave, C. Branstrom.
The Wolves struggled at times as well.
Going scoreless in the first couple minutes, Carney fired up quick with three straight triples, two back-to-back from Schetter and one from Jason DuPont. But the Wolves only got one more bucket in the quarter, allowing Mid Pen to stay in it.
Carney finally got some separation in the second quarter. Schetter hit two more triples on his way to a 34-point, 12 rebound performance. It was a natural 34 points, coming within the flow of the game.
"It's always nice to have Wade right there," said Wolves coach Jake Polfus. "He does so many nice things for our team. He was passing a bit more tonight too, which was good. It got everyone involved. And when he needed to, he stepped up and scored."
Lampinen added a 3-pointer as well. Three minutes in the Wolves led by 12 and by the end of the half, they had a commanding 30-10 lead.
It wasn't that the Wolves were shooting particularly well but with 19 offensive rebounds, they received plenty of second-chance opportunities, many times kicking it out to the arc for a 3-point attempt. When that failed, Lampinen and Schetter had no problem driving inside for hustle buckets.
Blahnik had a team-leading 14 rebounds.
"Our offense did a good job moving the ball. We couldn't knock down shots, but I thought we did a good job offensive rebounding," said Polfus. "We got a lot of second chances and the kids worked hard fighting through droughts. Give Mid Pen credit though, they played hard on the defensive end."
The Wolverines looked like a different team at the start of the second half and nearly erased a 20-point deficit in one quarter, coming within 32-25.
Mid Pen scored four quick points right of the gate from Branstrom and Ryan Lehtikangas. Branstrom then hit a layup and drew a foul driving to the basket for the 3-point play.
Schetter exploded near the end of the quarter however, with three baskets, including two more triples to put Carney up 40-27.
The Wolverines kept it within 20 the rest of the way, but once the Wolves regained their scoring touch, there was no stopping them.
"Carney has great shooters. Mr. Schetter and Mr. Blahnik are tough, give them credit. But we allowed them way too many second and third opportunities,' said coach Branstrom. "That's the kicker. We can't afford to do that. We're not a good enough team to allow that. We depend on our defense and we played somewhat good, but defense and boxing out go hand-in-hand. You can stop them and give them a low percentage shot because you're guarding well, but if you give up the board..."
Freshman Damian Richmond had a career-high 10 points for Mid Pen. Branstrom scored 12 points with 14 rebounds and five blocks. The Wolverines had just seven turnovers while the Wolves had five.
On Monday, Carney-Nadeau, which won the jayvee game 69-30, hosts Munising while Mid Peninsula hosts Big Bay de Noc.