CHASSELL - Josh Pietila and Carson Ryynanen took turns leading the Chassell Panthers to a Copper Country Conference boys basketball win Thursday over Baraga.
The two seniors combined to score 31 of their team's points in a 57-25 victory at Ed Helakoski Memorial Gym.
"Josh Pietila pretty much led us in the first half, while Carson (Ryynanen) did the same in the second half," CHS skipper Steve Spahn said after his team's third win in four tries this season. "We're just happy to go into the holiday break on a winning note."
While the issue was never in serious doubt, the Vikings did manage to stay within striking distance until midway through the third quarter.
"I thought we did some good things out there in the first two quarters," BHS first-year coach Doug Hodges said. "I can see improvement from the first couple of games, but we still have a long way to go as far as the fundamentals."
After the Purple and Gold sliced a 30-13 deficit to 31-18 midway through the third period, Ryynanen took over.
Baraga 5 8 5 7 - 25
Chassell 12 10 14 21 - 57
Baraga - Jonah Goodreau 2, Dylan Huckstaedt 2, Bill Mayo 5, Zach Owens 3, Austin Smith 8, Taylor Lindemann 1, Brandon Nieskes 2, Harley Lindemann 2. FT: 6-13; Rebounds: 25 (Smith 6). Fouls: 15; Fouled out: None. 3-point FG: Smith 1.
Chassell - Carson Ryynanen 13, Evan Huhta 6, Jordy LaTendresse 4, Josh Pietila 18, Brant Ryynanen 2, Zach Cherubini 8, Jake Tuomi 6. FT: 5-8; Rebounds: 33 (Huhta 14); Fouls: 14; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Pietila 4, Ryynanen 1.
The 6-foot-1 senior forward scored seven straight points to up the margin to 39-18 early in the fourth frame.
Spahn was able to use his bench freely in the final stanza and was happy to get that opportunity.
"We're going to need some depth as we head into the second part of the season," he reasoned. "This was a good chance to look at all the kids."
Pietila notched ten of his game-high 18 points in the opening as the Panthers took a 22-13 lead at the break.
Chassell's 6-5 center Evan Huhta also played a key role, especially on defense. He grabbed a game-leading 14 rebounds and also swatted away five shots.
"We didn't have anyone close to matching up with him (Huhta)," Hodges noted. "He dominated us inside."
Pietila, who nailed four treys, hooped 18 points and had seven rebounds. Ryynanen was good for 13 points, 4 steals and 4 assists. Zach Cherubini added eight points off the bench.
Baraga, 0-3 on the year and 0-2 in the conference, had no one in double figures, although Austin Smith totaled 8 points and a team-best six rebounds.
Chassell's next action comes on Jan. 3 at home against Hancock. Baraga does likewise to Jeffers on the same date.