Girls Basketball: Ishpeming Hematites Take Down Undefeated Munising in District Opener 79-62 – 3/1/17
Negaunee, MI – March 1, 2017 – The MHSAA District 94 girls basketball tournament got underway Wednesday night in Negaunee when the Ishpeming Hematites took on the Munising Mustangs. It was a tough opening matchup for the Hematites. The Mustangs came into the game having an unblemished, 20-0 record, through the regular season and were ranked No. 1 in the UPSSA Class ABC poll.
Munising came out looking every bit deserving of that number 1 ranking. They started things off on an 8-2 run, with Frankie Mattson registering 6 of those 8 points. The Hematites kept things close with a Khora Swanson basket followed by a 3-point play from Marissa Maino to make the score 8-7. After the Mustangs went up 10-7 on another Mattson basket, Ishpeming’s offense found their stride. They went on an 8-0 lead by 6 points from Mariah Austin, as the Hematites found themselves up 15-10. Munising, however, ended the quarter on a 6-0 run of their own to take a 1 point lead into the 2nd quarter.
The Hematites got the 2nd quarter off to a great start. Marissa Maino got them started with a pair of free throws, followed by a Khora Swanson 3 pointer and a Chloe Sjoholm free throw. The 6-0 run gave the Hematites a 21-16 lead. The teams then traded baskets back and forth for a few possessions as Ishpeming took a 25-20 lead on a Sjoholm basket. Munising got it back to within 1 after a couple of Marissa Immel free throws and a Mattson basket. With the Hematites up 32-28 late, Immel registered a basket and was fouled. She missed the free throw but Kianne Wendt got the offensive rebounded and put it back in to tie the game at 32-32. Marissa Maino hit 4 free throws down the stretch of the first half to give the Hematites a 36-32 lead heading into halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, the Hematites asserted their dominance. Marissa Maino and Khora Swanson got things going with a couple of buckets. After Immel made a basket and Mattson made 1 of 2 from the line to respond, Ishpeming scored 5 straight on a Mariah Austin basket and an Ava Asgaard 3-point play to give Ishpeming a double-digit lead. With Munising struggling to convert from the free throw line, the Hematites hit a couple of 3-pointers and found themselves up 51-38. The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter with Asgaard scoring just before the buzzer sounded to take a 60-45 lead into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw the Hematites being very patient offensively, trying to run as much clock as they could. Munising was fighting to claw their way back into the game, but they were forced to foul to extend the game. Munising got it as close as 8, but strong free throw shooting down the stretch sealed the game for Ishpeming. The Hematites handed the Mustangs their first loss of the season by a score of 79-62.
With the win, the Hematites advance. Ishpeming will play for the district championship Friday night at 7:00pm. We’ll have all the action for you on 98.3 WRUP and WRUP.com.