Chassell has no answers for W-M in 81-67 loss

Chassell's Devin Kinnunen (50) defends a shot by Wakefield-Marenisco's Brett Heil Tuesday night in Wakefield. (Jason Juno/Daily Globe (Ironwood))

WAKEFIELD — Wakefield-Marenisco set a season-high for points in an 81-67 Copper Mountain Conference victory over Chassell Tuesday night.

It was a battle for third place in the conference behind undefeated Ewen-Trout Creek and Dollar Bay, and W-M proved up to the challenge.

The Cardinals scored the last 11 points of the first half to take a 40-29 lead into the locker room. When Chassell pulled within nine, 56-47, W-M scored the final five points of the third to get the margin to 61-47. The Panthers never made a fourth-quarter run.

After scoring 13 points in the first quarter, W-M had 27 in the second, 21 in the third and 20 in the fourth against the undersized Panthers.

“I really just feel like we just did not show up to play, defensively, tonight,” Chassell coach Bill Sleeman said. “I’m pretty disappointed right now with how we played.”

While W-M only had two players in double figures in losses to Dollar Bay and E-TC, the team had five Tuesday night, led by Jacob Suzik’s 22 points. Mason Saubert had 19, Brett Heil 14, Bailey Ribich 11 and Erik Hakamaki 10.

“When you play a good team like this, you have to have balanced scoring,” W-M coach Terry Fetters said. “When you can get three or four of your players in double figures, boy that helps a lot. You get contributions from everyone.”

A 3 by Chassell’s Kurtis Kytta tied what had been a back-and-forth first half at 29. 

That’s when W-M went on an 11-0 run that put it in control of the game.

Bailey Ribich scored the first five, including a 3 on a kick out. The final bucket of the half came after a Saubert steal. He missed the transition attempt, but Suzik was there for the putback to make the halftime lead double digits, 40-29.

W-M extended the lead to as big as 18 points early in the third, but Chassell had a 9-0 run of its own later in the quarter to reduce the deficit to 53-45 and force a W-M timeout. 

The Cardinals outscored the Panthers 8-2 to end the quarter. Brett Heil got a 3-point play out of the timeout. Saubert hit a running 3 at the buzzer to make it 61-47 going into the fourth.

Suzik gave W-M a scare early in the fourth as a hit to his elbow affected his collarbone. But he returned and W-M breezed to the win in the fourth.

“How they had their defense set up, there was a lot of one-on-one stuff, so when Jake got the ball, I just told him, ‘Attack the basket.’ There’s nobody that’s going to guard him on the floor. He did a good job of that,” Fetters said.

He said it was a good team win.

“We did a good job of finding the open guy,” Fetters said. “They tried to double and triple us at times. We kept our head up and we found the open guy.”

Chassell picked up a big home win over Bessemer Friday night, but the Panthers went home with the loss Tuesday night.

“We’re a defensive team, we didn’t obviously show that tonight,” Sleeman said. “We played probably the worst game of defense we’ve played on the year. If you’re not helping and you’re not dropping into the help spots and not dropping into the rotations that we’re supposed to be doing, that’s what happens, they’re going to get to the lane all night long. Nothing good happens when they’re getting there.”

Next, the Cardinals (10-2, 6-2) play Ontonagon for the second Friday in a row, this time in Wakefield. W-M won last week in double overtime.

Chassell heads to Republic-Michigamme on Friday.

– – –

Chassell 8 21 18 20 — 67

W-M 13 27 21 20 — 81

Chassell – Blade Warren 5, Abe Gockenbach 23, Kurtis Kytta 5, Aaron Barnes 16, Elijah Soumis 8, Devin Kinnunen 10. FTs: 6-7. Fouls: 23. Fouled out:O none. 3-pointers: Gockenbach 3, Barnes 2, Kytta 1, Warren 1.

W-M – Mason Saubert 19, Bailey Ribich 11, Jacob Lane 2, Jacob Suzik 22, Austin Vizina 3, Brett Heil 14, Erik Hakamaki 10. FTs: 17-23. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Saubert 4, Ribich 1, Vizina 1.