EWEN - Both Ewen-Trout Creek and Hancock got premier performances from their premier players, but the Panthers pulled out the win, 63-57, down the stretch of their non-conference game Thursday.
"We just made a play here or there that was better than them, or (Dillon) Gordon hit a shot. We didn't do anything much better than they did. We just hit a few more shots," E-TC coach Brad Besonen said.
Gordon, the Panthers' senior star, racked up 35 points for his second 30-plus game of the week, but Hancock matched it with 27 points and a pair of threes from junior center Alex Almquist.
E-TC led by 10 in the third quarter but Besonen said "the last three minutes, it was pretty much dead even."
Gordon gave E-TC the lead with a three around the one-minute mark. After Hancock, which went 8-for-17 from the free-throw line and 1-for-7 in the fourth, missed the front end of a one-and-one, E-TC drew a foul and made its free throws to make its lead stick.
Besonen complimented Zach Leskela, who had just two points, but tangled with the 6-7 Almquist as the last available post after Lane Brown went out with a head injury and Nick Hearns and Keith Kauss fouled out.
"He got a couple of really big rebounds, he had a tip-in offensive rebound, just a great game for him to build on at this point," Besonen said.
That being said, Besonen still said Almquist was a 'beast' Thursday.
"We did absolutely everything we could to get a hand in his face, but he hit the shots and it didn't even matter."
Shane Raasio added 15 for the Bulldogs (0-2), who host Lake Linden-Hubbell Monday.
E-TC (2-0), which won the JV game and got 11 points from Mike Borseth, plays a neutral-site game against Drummond, Wis., at Northland College in Ashland, Wis. Tuesday.
Hancock 16 11 14 16 - 57
Ewen-TC 21 13 16 13 - 63
Hancock - Matt Yao 5, Riley Engman 5, Shane Raasio 15, Brian Kass 5, Alex Almquist 27; FT: 8-17; Fouls: 14; Fouled out: Raasio; 3-point field goals: Yao 1, Engman 1, Kass 1, Almquist 2.
Ewen-Trout Creek - Logan Maki 5, Mike Borseth 11, Zach Leskela 2, Cole Besonen 2, Nick Hearns 2, Dillon Gordon 35, Keith Kauss 4, Lane Brown 2; FT: 9-12; Fouls: 17; Fouled out: Hearns, Kauss; 3-point field goals: Maki 1, Borseth 3, Gordon 6.
ONTONAGON - A strong second half catapulted the Copper Kings to 2-0 Thursday.
Calumet, which trailed 28-26 at the half after a rough second quarter, pulled ahead for good after the break, outscoring the Gladiators 24-11 in the third quarter alone.
"We turned the ball over countless times," Ontonagon coach Tim Nelson said. "That turned into easy points for them."
Calumet got 24 points from Paul Torola, including 8-for-14 free-throw shooting. Jake Pieti kicked in 20 more for the Kings, who cruised to the 16-point win despite not making a 3-pointer.
Ontonagon (0-2) got 12 each from Tony Soumis and Kyle Karttunen.
Both teams play Dollar Bay next: Calumet hosts the Bays Monday, while Ontonagon visits Dollar Bay on Thursday.
Calumet 18 8 24 12 - 62
Ontonagon 8 20 11 7 - 46
Calumet - Owen Kariniemi 4, Dan Olson 3, Paul Torola 24, Eric Lasanen 2, Chad Sturos 9, Jake Pieti 20; FT: 18-29; Fouls: 13; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: none.
Ontonagon - Noel Jenny 3, Luke Pattison 4, Tony Soumis 12, Kyle Karttunen 12, Eric Majurin 2, Aaron Kaikko 9, Kelly Dhooge 4; FT: 5-13; Fouls: 19; Fouled out: Seth Rowles; 3-point field goals: Soumis 2, Kaikko 2, Jenny 1.
Dollar Bay 28
PAINESDALE - Jeffers had no problems getting into the win column for the first time, outscoring the Bays 23-1 in the first quarter to roll to victory.
The big first frame was part of an effort the whole team could be proud of, Jeffers coach Duane Snell said.
"Troy (Kinnunen) was steady, Alex Outinen, he's 5-5 and had nine rebounds and led the team. Christopher Outinen had a real nice all-around floor game and everybody contributed," Snell said.
Kinnunen knocked down five 3-pointers and led all scorers with 19 points. Zachary Nicholas added 13, while both Outinen twins scored eight apiece.
Dollar Bay (0-1) got 13 points from Tom Dunstan and 10 from Mikey Marcol. The Bays host Calumet Monday.
Jeffers (1-1), which won the JV game, plays at Chassell next Thursday.
Dollar Bay 1 11 9 7 - 28
Jeffers 23 12 15 8 - 58
Dollar Bay - Carl Kangas 3, Tom Dunstan 13, Mikey Marcol 10, Tyler Jarvi 2; FT: 4-8; Fouls: 10; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: none.
Jeffers - Alex Outinen 8, Zachary Nicholas 13, Troy Kinnunen 19, Brady Turner 2, Myles Rajala 2, Christopher Outinen 8, Jonathan Lehto 6; FT: 3-9; Fouls: 13; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: A. Outinen 1, Nicholas 3, Kinnunen 5, C. Outinen 2.