PAINESDALE - It was just another night at the office for the L'Anse High boys' basketball team.
The Purple Hornets overpowered the Jeffers Jets Tuesday evening and moved their record to 7-4 on the season with a 55-37 non-conference triumph.
"Jeffers is always a tough team to play because they use a deliberate style and they're very scrappy," LHS coach Mike Ostermeyer said afterward. "But we were able to get some space in the second half and put it away."
Ryan LaBerge of L'Anse drives in among a trio of Jeffers players Tuesday night. The Hornets won the non-league game, 55-37. (Paul Peterson photo)
Trailing by just an 18-10 margin late in the opening half, Jets' coach Duane Snell felt his team was in pretty decent shape.
"We figured if we could keep it in single digits ... we had a shot," Snell said. "But they scored a couple of quick baskets near the end of the half and kept going from there."
L'Anse enlarged a 22-10 halftime lead to 39-15 after three quarters and was never threatened.
L'Anse 11 11 17 16 - 55
Jeffers 2 8 5 22 - 37
L'Anse - Jacob Ostermeyer 7, Ryan LaBerge 6, Daniel Perrow 2, Jimmy Veker 22, Keith Denomie 11, Cody Clement 4, Jonny Deslaurier 1, Raymond Miron 2. FT: 12-16; Rebounds: 34 (Veker 12); Fouls: 18; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Veker 1, Denomie 1, Ostermeyer 1.
Jeffers - Alex Outinen 11, Brant Ryynanen 8, Christopher Outinen 6, Travis Lompre 5, Myles Rajala 7. FT: 9-16; Rebounds: 17 (Ryynanen 7); Fouls: 15; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: A. Outinen 1, Ryynanen 1.
After a dunk by Jimmy Veker - the game's top scorer with 22 - made it 46-20 with five minutes left, Ostermeyer pulled his starters.
The Jets managed a 17-9 margin the rest of the way to make the final score look respectable.
The much-taller Hornets held a commanding 34-17 margin on the boards, a point that Snell was quick to note.
"We just couldn't compete with their size on the boards," the JHS coach said. "But then again, we didn't shoot very well tonight. We needed to do that to have any chance."
Ostermeyer said his team is trying to get ready for tourney play in March.
"We have to try to stay sharp, you don't want to develop any bad habits at this point of the season," he said. "We've got some tough games coming up."
Veker also collected 12 rebounds to go with his 22 points. Keith Denomie added 11 points and 10 boards to back him up. Jacob Ostermeyer chipped in seven points and five assists.
Alex Outinen paced the 5-5 Jets with 11 points, all but two coming in the final period. Brant Ryynanen managed eight points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Myles Rajala had seven points and six rebounds.
L'Anse will host Ewen-Trout Creek Friday evening, Jeffers does the same to Watersmeet.