Negaunee, MI – February 7, 2020 – In a night that started in celebration with the 20th anniversary of the 2000 Negaunee Boys Basketball MHSAA Class C State Championship team, it ended in celebration for the current Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team. The Miners ran away with a 71-48 victory over the Gwinn Modeltowners after a shaky start in the first quarter. Negaunee improved to 12-1 on the season after its latest victory, and it did so with a balanced team effort. Jesse Anderson was live from Negaunee’s Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium for the call on Sunny 101.9.
Gwinn came out trying to play spoiler for the big celebration, and took an early 4-0 lead after two baskets by Tristan Jancsi. Negaunee rallied to tie the score up at 4-4 after a layup from Chas Kumpala, but Jancsi scored once again to give the lead back to the Modeltowners. This game became a track meet with both squads running good offense, but Gwinn started having trouble with the Miners’ full court press. With three minutes left in the quarter, Gwinn led 12-10, and had yet to miss a shot. The trio of Jakson Sager, Drew Lindberg and Jason Waterman picked it up for Negaunee on the offensive end, and the Miners looked dialed in. Reid Hill began doing damage for the Gwinn frontcourt, as both he and Jancsi had six first quarter points. Up 18-16, Waterman made a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for the Miners, and Negaunee led 21-16 over Gwinn at the end of the first quarter.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 21, Gwinn Modeltowners 16
Negaunee was shooting over 50% from the field, and the Modeltowners couldn’t figure it out defensively. Gwinn played well offensively in the first quarter, but couldn’t get anything going in the second. The Miners enjoyed a big run, and took a 35-20 lead with two minutes left in the first half. Sager led the Miners in points at halftime with 12 after missing the Manistique game due to illness, and Drew DuShane was on the scoring end of the majority of his assists. Waterman and Lindberg each chipped in eight points, and DuShane added six points of his own. Negaunee took control, and led by 16 at halftime.
Halftime: Negaunee Miners 39, Gwinn Modeltowners 23
Both teams were trading baskets in the opening minutes of the third quarter, and Negaunee led 45-28 with five minutes left. Will Luke sent the home crowd into a frenzy with an and-one shortly after to give Negaunee a 52-30 lead. The Modeltowners weren’t giving up easily, as they outscored the Miners 7-2 to end the third quarter with baskets by Nick Lightford and James Harnick.
End of 3rd: Negaunee Miners 54, Gwinn Modeltowners 37
The Modeltowners tried to close the gap, but couldn’t get any closer than 17. Negaunee played well to hold its lead, the defense stepped up after an off third quarter. Sager and Waterman continued to dominate against the Modeltowners’ defense, and that was ultimately along with Lindberg, what decided the game. Preston Toutant put an exclamation point on this one with a 3-pointer in the final seconds for the Miners, and they won going away with a big 71-48 victory. Sager led the now 12-1 Miners with 21 points, with Lindberg and Waterman attributing to the balanced scoring effort with 16 and 14 respectively.
Final Score: Negaunee Miners 71, Gwinn Modeltowners 48
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team looks to extend its two-game winning streak on Wednesday, Feb. 12, when they travel to West Ishpeming to take on the Westwood Patriots! Jesse Anderson will have the call on Sunny 101.9 live from Westwood High School. Coverage begins with the Elder Agency Pregame Show at 7 p.m., with tip-off scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Go Miners!