Bay men record huge statement cage victory

ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — The Bay College men’s basketball team made perhaps its biggest statement in the program’s second year revival here Wednesday by stunning 16th-ranked Dakota County Technical College. 83-79.

The Norse (13-6) had to overcome the loss of starting guard Ryan Robinette of Escanaba with an injury and the departure of 6-foot-10 Kobi Barnes with five fouls late in the game to post its’ biggest victory.

The Norse led 39-23 at intermission, then used a second-half opening 13-3 burst to craft a 52-26 lead.

But the Blue Knights (13-4) used a tenacious full-court press to whittle away at the deficit and drew within a basket in the closing minute. Freshman Ryan Arndt of Bark River-Harris finally ended that threat with a steal and basket to provide some breathing room.

Then the Norse went to the free throw line, where sophomore Tyler Willette of Escanaba hit two gift shots and sophomore Marcus McKenney of Menominee added three free throws in the final seconds.

Freshman Logan Hardwick of Rapid River helped secure the margin with a late basket and Munising freshman Cade Contreras came off the bench for two key free throws.

McKenney led the Norse with 21 points, with three triples and 6-of-8 free throws and eight assists. Alfonso Fields, a sophomore from Milwaukee, had 18 points and seven rebounds while Barnesa, sophomore from Milwaukee, had a double-double, with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Willette added 13 points and Arndt had 12 points, giving the Norse five players with double-digit points.

Bay also converted 20-of-31 free throws, courtesy of 26 Dakota fouis, and held a 55-43 rebounding edge. Bay hit 7-of-15 triples.

Dashawn Walker had 23 points for the Blue Knights and Cody Stichka added 17 points. The Blue Knights lived on the perimeter and also died there, hitting just 6-of-34 beyond the arc. They were a miserable 1-of-19 in the first half.

Bay resumes action Wednesday at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood in a key regional game. Wednesday’s critical victory will be a plus when teams are seeded for next month’s NJCAA Region 13 tournament.

Bay – Robinette 8, Fields 18, Arndt 12, Hardwick 2, Willette 13, NcKenney 21, Contreras 2, Barnes 14, Alexander 1. FT: 20-31; F: 19; Fouled out: Barnes; 3-point field goals – Fields 1, Arndt 3, McKenney 3.

Dakota Count – Durham 2, Collins-Westlund 15, Daniels 7, Walker 23, Piepkorn 3, Stichka 17, Coddon 12. FT: 11-19; F: 26; Fouled out: Daniels, Walker; 3-point field goals – Collins-Westlund 12, Daniels 3, Walker 5, Coddon 1.