Why Last Night’s Contest Showed What’s Great About Sports

Filed under: Negaunee Miners |
Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball vs Ishpeming Hematites on Sunny.FM

Negaunee Miners celebrate their great comeback win.

Last night in Negaunee was the poster child for why sports are awesome.  There was fantastic competition, sportsmanship, high levels of intensity, and respect.  All of these were shown at various points during the game.

  1. RESPECT:  With one second left in the first quarter, Tyler Jandron put up a highly contested three pointer that swooshed through the rim with ease to beat the buzzer.  After the shot, it was announced that Tyler Jandron had just broken the Negaunee Miners all-time scoring record held by his own brother Tony Jandron.  This was followed up by a standing ovation from everybody in the gym.  A gym that included Negaunee, Ishpeming, Marquette, and Westwood fans.  If there is one thing that every sports fan can recognize, it’s hard work and talent.  Something that Tyler Jandron has in plenty.
  2. INTENSITY:  Late in the second quarter, on a loose ball, Ishpeming’s Tyrus Millimaki dove for it and ended up grabbing Tyler Jandron’s leg and took his time letting go.  Jandron immediately took exception to this and threw some words in Millimaki’s direction.  This led to both teams separating the two and both sides receiving a technical foul.  While fighting is something that has no place in basketball, it can show how much effort (emotionally and physically) these kids put into their craft.  It really is something worth noting.
  3. COMPETITION:  Negaunee trailed by 16 with about one minute left in the third quarter, and all signs pointed to a Miners loss.  They could have mailed in the rest of the game and moved on to the next one and no one would have blamed them.  They were down 16, Ishpeming was on fire, and the momentum was completely with the blue & white.  Head coach Mike O’Donnell, Tyler Jandron, and Eric Lori wouldn’t let that happen.  The Miners chipped away at the Hematites lead and eventually pulled within two before Eric Lori (who had been ice cold all night) hit a huge three pointer to give the Miners a one point lead.  Ishpeming, however, wasn’t going down without a fight, and sunk two free throws to retake the lead.  With 15 seconds left, a double teamed Tyler Jandron found fellow senior Eric Lori who hit the last shot of the game from 25 feet out to give the Miners the lead.  On Ishpeming’s next possession, Alex Briones took the ball towards the basket to no avail as Tyler Jandron picked his pocket and sealed the win for the maize & blue.
  4. SPORTSMANSHIP:  Despite these teams competing at the highest levels, and the few skirmishes that took place throughout, these two teams shook hands and a few even threw in a “bro-hug” or two.  After the announcement of Tyler Jandron’s monumental achievement, every Ishpeming player on the floor went and shook his hand.  Sports can teach us that, despite being on opposite sides of the gym, we can still be civil and even friendly in some cases.

 

This was one of those games that every player, coach, fan, and reporter will remember for the rest of their lives.  Great competition, a storied rivalry, and a game winning shot.  It just doesn’t get any better than that, and few events in life will make people feel like they did in Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

To put it simply:  It’s why we love sports.

-Carl Leander Johnson

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