Rockets speed past Wolverines
ST. NICHOLAS — The Rapid River Rockets boys basketball team (2-2) earned their second win of the season Friday night, 49-27, against the Mid Peninsula Wolverines in St. Nicholas.
“It feels good, it definitely feels good,” said Rockets head coach Richard Poma. “We started out with such a tough schedule with Munising twice and Bark River. We were not ready at all last week.
“It’s a rewarding feeling to see a couple wins go up in the win column. Your confidence goes up.”
The Rockets came out strong in the first quarter, outscoring the Wolverines 22-6. Max Lenaker had eight of those points for Rapid River — including two three-point baskets. Mason Kudlick and Rease Dawley also netted 3’s in the first.
“Max did a good job of starting the game,” said Poma. “So did Mason and Rease.”
Poma, on top of the scoring, attributed the win to great defensive play.
“Honestly, all of them did a heck of a job (on defense),” he said. “From one to twelve, I thought they all did about the same. A couple guys got into some passing lanes.”
Poma was happy with the improvements on the little details the Rockets have been making since the beginning of the year. He has also been impressed with his team’s attitudes.
“More than any team I’ve ever had so far, they’ve really kept their head down and kept working no matter what,” he said.
For Mid Pen, it was a tale of two halves.
“We ended up coming out very slow,” said Wolverines coach Mark Branstrom. “This was a game that looked like it was going to go south real quick. But as time went on, we got in the locker room, they listened a little bit more and understood what I was trying to get through to them.”
After regrouping, Branstrom said the team had a better second half. By the time the final buzzer rang, Mid Pen had tripled the nine points they had to end the first half.
Branstrom added the challenge the Rockets presented was a difficult one.
“We had our hands full with them the whole game. They’re a very good team,” he said. “They’re probably one of the best, if not the best, team we have played.”
As has been the case for the year, the game presented the Wolverines an opportunity to gain much-needed experience for the young team.
“It was a good night for us all the way around,” said Branstrom. “We had an opportunity to get some good playing time in against a good quality team.”
Bradley Van Damme led Mid Pen with 18 points, including two triples baskets.
“Bradley had a good game,” Branstrom said. “He’s got a lot to learn, but he’s not hurting for boldness. He’ll take the ball to the hole. He had a real good game.”
Rapid River will head to Carney Tuesday to challenge the Carney-Nadeau Wolves, while Mid Pen will host Engadine in a girls/boys doubleheader Monday.
Rapid River 22 5 9 13 — 49
Mid Peninsula 6 3 9 9 — 27
Rapid River: Max Lenaker 13, Platt 9, Ben Lenaker 8, Kudlick 6, Dausey 4, Dawley 3, Snay 2, Lancour 2, Lundquist 2; F: 16; FT: 2-6; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Max Lenaker 3, Kudlick 2, Dawley, Platt.
Mid Peninsula: Van Damme 18, Cretens 3, McNally 2, Lofquist 2, Temple 2; F: 10; FT: 11-23; Fuled out: None; 3-point field goals: Van Damme 2.