Iron Mountain, MI – March 5, 2020 – It was a gutsy effort from the Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team on Thursday night, as it pulled off a huge one-point victory over the previously unbeaten Iron Mountain Mountaineers with a buzzer beater from Alex Munson. Jesse Anderson had the call for the exciting action in Iron Mountain on Sunny 101.9.
Both teams started off slow in the final game of the regular season, neither scored in the first couple minutes of the game. The Miners struck first with a 3-pointer by Drew Lindberg, and Negaunee took a 3-0 lead. Colin Visintainer responded right back for Iron Mountain, and the game remained tied at 3-3 for another couple of minutes. The quarter of scoring droughts continued, as Chas Kumpala put the Miners in front with a layup with four minutes left, and Marcus Johnson gave the Mountaineers a 6-5 lead almost two minutes later. After over six minutes of sluggish offense, Iron Mountain started to get it going like it always has this season. An and one by Foster Wonders and five straight points from Johnson gave the Mountaineers a 14-6 lead after one quarter of play.
End of 1st: Iron Mountain Mountaineers 14, Negaunee Miners 6
The second quarter went much better for the Miners on the offensive end, and Lindberg started the rally with a fast break layup. After an Alex Munson basket cut Iron Mountain’s lead to only four, Wonders answered with a 3-pointer to boost the lead back up to seven. Jakson Sager hit a 3-point shot to cut the deficit back to four, but Ricky Brown’s and one on the next possession gave the Mountaineers a 20-13 lead. Talking about a response, the Miners had a big one that turned the game around. In the matter of a couple minutes, Negaunee scored seven consecutive points to tie the game at 20-20 with four points from Drew DuShane and a 3-pointer by Kumpala. Both teams began going and forth until Lindberg and Jason Waterman hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Negaunee a 31-24 advantage. Johnson added two free throws in the final minute of the half, but Negaunee’s 25-point second quarter was the story.
Halftime: Negaunee Miners 31, Iron Mountain Mountaineers 26
Led by Wonders, the Mountaineers started the second half on an 8-2 run, and took back the lead. Waterman and Sager made sure to keep the Miners in it, combining to score all but two of the team’s second half points. A Waterman 3-point shot with three minutes left in the third pushed the Miner’s lead back up to five points. Iron Mountain stayed in the game with offensive rebounding, including a Feira bucket off of a rebound to cut the deficit to 41-38. Both squads traded points in the final minutes of the quarter, and Negaunee held on to a two-point lead.
End of 3rd: Negaunee Miners 44, Iron Mountain Mountaineers 42
Sager drove to the rim for a layup, and the Miners led by four with six minutes left. The fourth quarter showcased plenty of defense, nothing was easy for either team down the stretch. Negaunee couldn’t extend its lead, and Iron Mountain couldn’t cut into it, the Miners led by four with two minutes remaining until a Wonders basket made the score 50-48. A big reason the Miners maintained the lead was its “keep away” offense, and the Mountaineers let Negaunee drain a lot of clock without fouling. Negaunee still possessed the ball with under 20 seconds left, but Iron Mountain got it back after a missed DuShane layup. After a timeout was called, the Mountaineers had the ball down two points with 13 seconds left, and it was none other than Johnson who came up with a 3-point shot to put his team up 51-50. Six seconds remained for Negaunee, and it had to the length of the court to get a shot. Sager took the in bounds pass from Munson, tip-toed down the right sideline, jump-stopped into the lane and found a trailing Munson for a layup at the buzzer! Munson’s game-winner was the only Negaunee basket not scored by Sager or Waterman in the entire second half. The Miners stormed into Iron Mountain and knocked off the undefeated Mountaineers 52-51 in a great basketball game. Negaunee capped off its regular season with a bang, and is now 18-2 headed into postseason play.
Final Score: Negaunee Miners 52, Iron Mountain Mountaineers 51
NEXT GAME: After finishing the regular season with a record of 18-2, the Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team will begin postseason play on Monday, March 9 with a District 66 first round home game against the Manistique Emeralds! Jesse Anderson will have the call from Negaunee’s Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium on Sunny 101.9. The Elder Agency Pregame Show begins at 6:45 p.m., with tip-off to follow at 7 p.m. Go Miners!