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Catchin’ fire: Knights bounce back against Badgers



Norway junior Mason Trudeau (22) elevates over Niagara’s Blake Holmes (23) for a layup on Monday at Norway High School. Trudeau finished with 18 points and the Knights won 80-48. (Sean Chase/Daily News photo)

NORWAY — With the holiday break bearing down on it, the Norway boys varsity basketball team welcomed Niagara to town on Monday.

The Knights caught fire from the 3-point line and beat the Badgers 80-48.

“It was nice to see,” Norway coach Jeff Gallino said. “We haven’t really had a great shooting night yet this year. So, for our first one, that was good and hopefully we can keep it going as we move forward into the year.”

Tommy Martin led Niagara with 19 points.

Despite putting up a valiant effort, the Badgers couldn’t contend with Norway’s shooting.

Sean Chase/Daily News photo
Niagara junior guard Gavin Neuens (5) reverses court as Norway’s Ian Popp (1) and Mason Trudeau (22) apply defensive pressure on Monday.

“Really we were prepared for that, it’s just that we made a lot of little mental mistakes,” Niagara coach Terry Youren said. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s the game. I can practice all day long. But if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do, it doesn’t make any difference.”

With the holiday break upon them, the Knights are off until January.

“It was nice to get a win before we go into break,” Gallino said. “It’s definitely harder going into break with a loss. Obviously, lots of things to work on over break and that stretch we’re going to use to get better in many areas.”

Junior Mason Trudeau kicked off the scoring for Norway as he buried a layup through contact and connected on the ensuing free throw.

Trudeau recorded eight points in the opening quarter.

“It feels really good,” Trudeau said. “My teammates, they helped me out. They passed me the ball in transition, I mean, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

Junior Bryce Adams connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner and the Knights held a 23-8 lead at the end of the first.

“(Trudeau) was able to get out in transition and get some easy buckets early, which helped us out,” Gallino said. “(Bryce) Adams, I think, shot the ball extremely well. He’s been struggling a little bit, and that was a huge boost for us tonight.”

With five seconds left in the opening quarter, senior Alex Ortman picked up his second foul and went to the bench.

The Knights kept the pressure on Niagara and Trudeau opened the second with a thunderous block.

For Norway, the plan was to apply pressure.

“We figured we could get some turnovers,” Gallino said. “We were able to tire them down late in the game and get some easy buckets in transition.”

Niagara found offensive success in the second as junior Aiden Sweig was fouled on a 3-pointer. Martin followed Sweig’s lead and sank a layup on the Badgers next possession as they cut into the Norway lead.

Adams connected on a deep 3-pointer and Norway took a 32-19 advantage into halftime.

Norway came out of the locker room and didn’t miss a beat. They connected on four three point shots in the third quarter, as Adams netted three and Ian Popp added one.

The Badgers wouldn’t quit, though, and Martin kicked off the final quarter with a steal and transition dunk.

“The kids, they won’t quit,” Youren said. “They worked hard. We have to regroup and get back to conference play.”

Popp led the Knights with 19 points.

Norway also received contributions from Adams (15 points), Cole Baij (14 points), Ortman (10 points), Trudeau (18 points), Maddux Burklund (2 points) and Anthony Pineda (2 points).

Niagara received contributions from Aiden Sweig (5 points), Stachowicz (7 points), Easton Holmes (2 points), Blake Holmes (8 points), Kajetan Nowak (2 points) and Cameron Schiefelbein (5 points).

Niagara is back on Thursday at home as it faces off with Wausaukee at 7:15 p.m. Norway is off until Jan. 2 when they face the Jets at home.


ISHPEMING — Reece Kangas hit his first five 3-point shots and scored a game-high 23 points to lead Iron Mountain to a 65-43 road win over Ishpeming Tuesday night.

Gerald Sampoll Torres added 15 points for the Mountaineers (6-0) and Oskar Kangas chipped in with 14.

Iron Mountain also held the Hematites (4-1) to a season-low in points.

“Good defense for the most part,” IM coach Harvey “Bucky” Johnson said.

Johnson also credited Reese Kangas for his marksmanship.

The Mountaineers are off until after the holiday break.

Their long stretch of games away from home continues Jan. 2 at Gladstone and Jan. 5 at Westwood.

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