By BURT ANGELI
IRON MOUNTAIN - Iron Mountain's zone-shredding Mountaineers zapped Norway 53-39 in a Class C District 95 girls basketball semifinal Monday.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Iron Mountain’s Morgan Bujold (10) makes a move on Norway’s Brenda Casanova in a Class C District 95 girls basketball semifinal Monday. The Mountaineers downed the Knights 53-39.
Katelynn Johnson scored 11 of her game-high 13 points in the second half. The senior canned a triple to start the fourth quarter and boost the Mountaineer cushion to 42-28.
"Katelynn got hot and that kills a zone if you've got a shooter," Mountaineer coach John Hogberg said. "She had a big second half and that helps. That gave a us a little separation."
Norway, down 23-20 at halftime, didn't want to leave a man defense that had been successful. But foul trouble forced the Knights into a zone.
"We had to go into a zone because of foul trouble and that's not what I wanted to do," Knights coach Carli Kelly said. "It took a while for Katelynn to warm up but once she did there was no stopping her.
"Foul trouble changed our whole game around."
The Mountaineers unleashed a balanced scoring attack. In addition to Johnson, Iron Mountain collected 12 points from Morgan Bujold, nine from Abby Gerhard and eight from Alena Herman.
Hogberg gave the game MVP award to Bujold, who closed out the first half with a steal and lay-up.
"That is by far one of the best games Morgan Bujold has played," Hogberg said. "She gave us scoring when we needed it."
Gerhard, 13 rebounds, and Herman, 10, also did the job underneath.
"We started off a little rusty," Hogberg said. "Once we got into a groove offensively and scored a little bit, we were OK.
"Our defense has always been pretty good. We tried
to find the shooters and keep a hand on them. We did a good job of that."
Norway seniors Bailey Grayvold and Heather Evosevich hooped 11 and 10 points, respectively, before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
"They got some easy baskets but we're going to give those up when we're playing the perimeter so hard," Hogberg said. "We did a good job defending the shooters on the perimeter. Our defense was sound, like it has been pretty much all year."
Iron Mountain (5-15) and Norway (10-10) split Mid-Pen Conference regular season games this year.
"We weren't getting the shots we wanted," Kelly said. "We had a hard time boxing out and rebounding.
"The girls came out and were ready to play. But things didn't go our way."
Iron Mountain will host West Iron County at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the district championship. Hogberg took note of how the physical Wykons worked over Stephenson in the other district semifinal.
"I've already stopped Mr. Marttila and got the key to the football equipment room," Hogberg said of the Mountaineer football coach. "We're going to need our shoulder pads and mouth guards.
"They were battling out there (with Stephenson). That was a cage match for crying out loud and they're going to bring it again Wednesday."
Norway 9 11 8 11 - 39
Iron Mountain 8 15 16 14 - 53
NORWAY: Evosevich 10, Mattson 6, Bal 2, Grayvold 11, Conery 6, Debernardi 2, Casanova 2. FT: 2-6. F: 19. Fouled out: Grayvold, Evosevich.
IRON MOUNTAIN: Bujold 12, Gendron 1, Johnson 13, Pirkola 8, Brule 2, Herman 8, Gerhard 9. FT: 14-18. F: 11.
3-point FG: Johnson 3, Grayvold 2. FG: Iron Mountain 17-52, Norway 14 made. Rebounding: Iron Mountain 37 (Gerhard 13, Herman 10, Johnson 6).