By RON DEUTER
KINGSFORD - Joe Hofer posted an 11-point fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late for the Kingsford Flivvers in a 59-39 non-conference loss to Ishpeming Friday night.
Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Austin Stanchina fires a shot over the defense of Ishpeming’s Tyrus Millimaki during Friday’s non-conference boys basketball game.
Hofer connected a two 3-pointers and five free throws in the final frame, but Kingsford's inability to produce earlier in the contest allowed Ishpeming to build a lead that was never threatened.
"We hung around for a little bit, tried a different starting line-up," said Flivvers coach Dan Olkkonen, his team slipping to 1-9. "We're trying everything. It's not for a lack of effort, we're just looking for that one thing that pulls us together."
Ishpeming (7-2) and Kingsford traded buckets early in the contest but an 10-3 run to close the first quarter put the Hematites in control. Ishpeming did not allow a Flivver field goal in the second quarter.
"I thought our defensive intensity was real good," Ishpeming head coach Jeff Olson said. "I was worried because this was our third game of the week. I'm glad we came out with that intensity."
Alex Briones, Bobby Zhulkie and Derek DeCaire all put in 10 points to lead the Hematites scorers. Ishpeming took a 15-point advantage into halftime and saw the lead balloon 25 points thanks to a 10-0 start in the second half.
Briones sunk consecutive 3-pointers to kickstart the run, and nearly four minutes of third quarter elapsed before Kingsford found an answer with its first field goal since the first quarter, a jumper by Dan Harrington.
"They have some talented and strong players," Olkkonen said. "We had a lot of good shot opportunities, but then we'd go on stretches where we didn't get any shot opportunities."
Hofer and Joe Gregory, who scored 11 in a starting role, led the Flivvers offense.
"They gave us the kind of stuff we need, guys to step up" Olkkonen said. "I'm proud of the kids for playing hard in the second half."
Ishpeming, which shot 57 percent from the field, led by 24 to begin the final quarter, and Olson went to his bench.
Kingsford hits the road Monday for a make-up game at Forest Park.
"We're still fighting, looking for ideas and things every time we go out," Olkkonen said. "It's frustrating for everybody. We're all searching. Nobody goes out there to not play well."
Kingsford's jayvees won 46-42, getting 21 points from Nick Smith. In freshmen action, Ishpeming took a 51-40 decision.
Ishpeming16 14 17 12 - 59
Kingsford10 5 8 16 - 39
ISHPEMING: Briones 10, Millimaki 3, Zhulkie 10, Corp 6, DeCaire 10, Laurin 8, Hakkarinen 4, Suardini 2, Thornton 6. FT: 5-8. F: 12.
KINGSFORD: Gregory 11, Harrington 5, Stanchina 2, Glodowski 2, Voss 6, Hofer 11, Galbraith 2. FT: 10-12. F: 14.
FGs - I: 25-44 (3-pt: 5-16); K: 12-39 (3-pt: 4-15). 3-pt FGs - I: Briones (2), Millimaki, Zhulkie; K: Hofer (2), Voss (2), Gregory. Rebounding - I: 28 (Laurin 6); K: 20 (Several with 3).