Hematites Win Big In District Semifinal Against Hancock Bulldogs, 63-33

Hancock, MI March 7, 2022 – The Ishpeming Hematite boys teams face their district semifinal opponent, the Hancock Bulldogs, on Monday evening. The Bulldogs coming off winning three in a row looked to end the Hematites playoff hopes. While Ishpeming looked to rebound off their loss to Gladstone and keep their season alive. Tyler Young and Bob Nadeau were on the call live from Hancock on 98.3 WRUP!

Q1: The opening tip was won by the Bulldogs and they immediately went inside for the quick bucket. The Hematites answered back with a layup of their own to tie things up quickly. After a failed shot by Hancock, Ishpeming took over on offense. AJ Prosser was able to hit a shot for the Hematites to take the early lead. The Hematites defense played stout and caused an early turnover. Ishpeming was able to cash in with AJ Prosser hitting yet another basket from the exact spot as before. Ishpeming opened up with a 8-0 run before a Hancock timeout.

Hancock tried to turn things around offensively out of the timeout. The Ishpeming defense proved to be a pest causing yet another turnover on the inbound, but couldn’t convert the points. Another failed possession by Hancock, Prosser was able to draw the foul and split the pair of free throws. The rebound was put back by a Hematite to bring the lead to 10.

The Hematites continued scoring with a put back bucket from Prosser, building his point total for the quarter. Hancock took back over on offense with a lot of ball movement, but unable to get good looks at shots. Todd Anderson threw up a shot, but didn’t find the bottom of the net. Ishpeming went the other way with the rebound, and it was Prosser to hit the basket. The Bulldogs were able to end the 16-0 run by the Hematites with a pair of free throws.Ishpeming went right back on the offensive with a basket from Jayce Kipling. 18-4

Q2: The Hematites started the second quarter with more scoring from AJ Prosser. The Bulldog offense continued to struggle however, with another turnover in their first possession of the quarter. JD Sebbas finally got another field goal for Hancock in an attempt to rally. Hancock’s Vandan Jacques kept up the pace attacking the net and drawing the foul to shoot a couple free throws. Jacques sank both shots to cut the Hematite lead to 16. Prosser was the one to answer the call after the assist from Alex Sundberg for Ishpeming.

Jayce Kipling matched that with a basket of his own to bring the score to, 24-8 in favor of the Hematites. Kipling, on the following possession, drove the lane to pick up another two for Ishpeming. Hancock tried to get the ball inside, but the Hematite defense proved to be too tough. AJ Prosser was able to get the feed from Griffin Argall to go off the glass for the score. Hancock looked to fight back shooting from beyond the arc. Unable to land the shots, Ishpeming continued their offensive onslaught.

Todd Anderson was finally able to score for the Bulldogs fighting his way to the basket. Hancock came down with a rebound to give them another scoring opportunity. Vanden Jacques drove the lane and picked up the foul. Although the shot didn’t fall, he went two for two at the charity stripe. Ishpeming’s Parker Gauthier was able to get himself in the scoring column to try and quiet the Bulldog momentum. Hancock was unable to score before the end of the half, and Ishpeming continued to have the upper hand.

Halftime: Ishpeming 30 – Hancock 12

Q3: The second half of action with Hancock on offense. An empty possession led to Ishpeming back on offense. Preston Gauthier of Ishpeming was able to draw a foul on his shot and landed one for two, but an Ishpeming rebound led to an additional two. The Bulldogs needed to get points on the board and attacked the Ishpeming defense, but unable to get a bucket on their possession. Sundberg dished a pass to Griffin Argall who was able to hit a jumper to build the Hematite lead.

Jayce Kipling continued to pile things on with another basket for Ishpeming. After another empty Hancock possession, Kipling pulled up from beyond the arc and splashed home a three pointer. The Hematites found themselves on a 13-2 run against the Bulldogs. Ned Larson put an end to the run with a shot off the glass that hit home for the Bulldogs. Both teams went back and forth with buckets the next three possessions, but Ishpeming was able to maintain their comfortable lead.

Hancock seemed to pick up some intensity on both sides of the court. Chad Nordstrom was able to land a shot for two to continue Hancock’s fight back on the scoreboard. Turnovers seemed to be the biggest downfall for Hancock, giving Ishpeming an opportunity for easy points. The Hematite defense stayed stout against the Bulldogs. Hancock was able to find JD Sebbas open on the perimeter to hit a three to end the third quarter of play.

Q4: Vandan Jacques hit his first field goal of the night to open up the final eight minutes of play. Ishpeming continued to hold a 20 point lead despite a small scoring drought early on in the quarter. AJ Prosser continued to fight his way inside on offense. He got the dish from Argall and went up for the basket plus the foul. Prosser was able to convert the old fashioned three point play.

The Bulldogs continued to fight with a basket from Jude Smith. Preston Gauthier responded with a layup to keep the cushioned Hematite lead. Ishpeming continued to press the issue on offense. Hunter Smith hit home a two for the Hematites off the bench, bringing the lead to 56-27. JD Sebbas hit home a three for the Bulldogs to try a final rally. Smith for Ishpeming continued to handle the ball and driving inside he drew the foul for the one-and-one. Unable to land the first free throw, Hancock picked up the board and went the other way.

Hunter Smith then stole it back for Ishpeming and dished it to Ben Rubick. Rubick went up for the shot and drew the foul to go to the stripe to shoot two, splitting the pair for his first varsity point. Sebbas continued to shoot from range and landed the three for the Bulldogs. Parker Gauthier answered for Ishpeming with a shot off the glass. The Hematites were able to keep Hancock at bay in the final minute of play to seal the deal for the win.

FINAL: Ishpeming 63 – Hancock 33


The Ishpeming Hematites continue their playoff run when they play for the District Championship on the road against the Jeffers-Painsdale Jets on Wednesday evening. The time is TBD but you can be sure to listen live on 98.3 WRUP and online!

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