HOUGHTON - Playing against a Houghton High girls basketball team that reached the Class C state semifinals a year ago is no treat.
Just ask Iron Mountain coach Ginger Moore.
"When you play Houghton ... you know you're going to get a lot of pressure," Moore said after her team's 80-20 defeat at Alumni Gym Friday night. "And you know they're going to push the ball, I told the girls that before the game. There were no surprises."
Houghton's Sydney Dillinger goes to the basket against a trio of Iron Mountain players in Friday's night game in Houghton. The Gremlins were 80-20 winners. (Paul Peterson photo)
The Mountaineers were very much in the non-conference game for six minutes, trailing by just a 13-9 margin. A trio of triples from guard Alyssa Khor gave Iron Mountain a solid start.
But the Orange and Black pushed the lead to 18-11 at quarter's end and then put it away with a 21-3 second quarter explosion that made it a 39-14 game at intermission.
Senior forward Elisa Jurmu tallied 15 of her game-high 25 points to pace the HHS attack in the opening two periods.
Iron Mountain 11 3 6 8 - 20
Houghton 18 21 23 18 - 80
Iron Mountain - Alyssa Khor 12, Kristen Gendron 2. Briana Geyser 2, Marti Pirkola 1, Elli McCole 2. Abby Ketcham 1. FT: 2-5; Rebounds 17 (McCole 5); Fouled out: None; 3-point baskets: Khor 4.
Houghton - Kayla Jacobson 6, Elisa Jurmu 25, Ashlyn Kero 8, Kelsie Richards 15, Michele Laux 8, Tawna Ryynanen 8, Sydney Dillinger 2, Morgan Colling 4, Sloane Zenner 4. FT: 5-9; Rebounds 24 (Jurmu 5); Three-point FG: Jurmu 1, Kero 1, Richards.
"Once they get the ball in her (Jurmu's) hands, she makes things happen," Moore noted. "They play the game the way I'm trying to teach my team to play it. There was a lesson tonight."
Houghton coach Julie Filpus said the game was a good opportunity to get some of her younger players acclimated to the style of she preaches.
"It's the beginning of the season and we're trying to integrate some of the younger players in our program, to get them some playing time," Filpus said.
"We also were able to get Sydney Dillinger some playing time after suffering a severe ankle sprain in the volleyball season. That was good for her to get out there."
Reserves played out the string much of the second half, Houghton grabbing a 62-17 lead after three quarters.
In addition to Jurmu's 25 markers, the winners received 15 points from Kelsie Richards.
Ashlyn Kero, Michele Laux and Tawna Ryynanen all totaled eight points. Jurmu grabbed five rebounds and Dillinger picked up five steals.
The 0-2 Mountaineers were led by Khor's 12 points - all on 3-pointers.
The Gremlins will host L'Anse next Tuesday in an early season showdown of U.P. powers.
"That will be an entirely different game," Filpus noted. "We expect a lot of dribble-penetration and we expect three-pointers. We'll have to get after it in that game."
Iron Mountain won the JV game.