Chassell defeats Bessemer 59-43

Chassell's Blade Warren runs into the defense of Bessemer’s Brayden Tomes Friday night. (Paul Peterson photo)

CHASSELL — Playing one of their finest games of the season, the Chassell Panthers pounded out a 59-43 win over the Bessemer Speed Boys on Friday.

Chassell coach Bill Sleeman said there wasn’t a whole lot that his team did wrong in the Copper Mountain Conference clash at Helakoski Memorial Gym.

“We really played a very good all-around game against a good opponent,” Sleeman said. “That team (Speed Boys) led both Ewen-Trout Creek and Dollar Bay in the fourth quarter before losing.”

Bessemer coach Richard Matrella was impressed with the athleticism of the Panthers.

“Chassell does a good job with hustle and hustle leads to good defense,” Matrella said. “We just couldn’t seem to get going tonight; we had very little energy. A team like Chassell will exploit that.”

The Panthers jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter behind senior Grant Hokenson and junior Elijah Soumis.

The two combined for 12 points to spark their team to a 16-4 lead at quarter’s end.

“I thought Grant (Hokenson) and Elijah (Soumis) played really fine games tonight,” Sleeman said. “They gave us that spark we needed.”

The locals kept up the pressure on the Gogebic County team in the second frame and held a 32-15 lead at the half.

A buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Kurtiss Kytta created the big lead at the intermission.

The winners kept up the pressure in the third quarter, thanks to the defensive work of Abe Gockenbach and Aaron Barnes. Their hustling play led directly to a number of Bessemer mistakes.

Sleeman, whose team is now 8-2 (6-1 in league play) on the season, said he was concerned about the effect that the Speedboys 6-foot-5 center Tyler Busch might have.

“He is a big kid with good skills,” Sleeman said. “But our team defense tonight was the finest it has been this season. I hope we can build on that the rest of the year.”

Soumis turned in a solid all-around game with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Hokenson was next with 16 points and five steals.

Gockenbach and Barnes split 18 points, with the former also forcing a number of turnovers.

The Speed Boys, now 6-4 overall, received 10 points from Nick Trudgeon and nine more from Cade Mazzon. Busch was held to five points but grabbed 10 boards and blocked four shots.

Chassell travels to Wakefield on Tuesday in league action.

Bessemer hosts Hurley on Monday.

– – –

Bessemer 4 11 11 17 — 43

Chassell 16 16 12 17 — 59

BESSEMER — Trudgeon 10, Busch 5, Tomes 7, Ailli 6, Rowe 4, Mazurek 2, FT: 7-19; Fouls: 145; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Trudgeon 2, Mazzon 1, Tomes 1.

CHASSELL — Barnes 9, Hokenson 16, Soumis 20, Gockenbach 9, Kytta 5. FT: 9-15; Fouls: 14; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Gockenbach 1, Kytta 1.