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Hancock girls open with 68-28 win over West Iron County

West Iron County’s Calli Pellizzer battles Hancock’s Bella Hebert for a loose ball Cassie Pietila looks on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Hancock, Mich. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HANCOCK — The Hancock Bulldogs came out running with a 68-28 victory against West Iron County in the season-opener Tuesday.

It was a game in which the Bulldog defense was able to hold the Wykons to less than 10 points per quarter.

“We had good energy, good shots and lots of positives in this one,” said Bulldogs head coach Ward Helakoski. “We contested the ball well, and everybody got to play.”

The Bulldogs took it strong to the hoop early on and never looked back. Hancock pushed an up-tempo game that included a number of plays under the hoop where teammates were open. Kaisa Salani was found a several times open and available to put a pass in off the glass in the opening half. It was 14-7 Bulldogs after the first eight minutes.

However, the Wykons fate was sealed as the Bulldogs outscored them 25-5 in the second quarter.

“We kept them close in the first quarter, but after that they had a big second quarter and opened up the lead on us,” said West Iron County’s head coach Eric Shamion. “Hats off to Hancock. They came out strong and quick and they are very good with the ball. Their pressure killed us as we are young and just do not have enough ball handlers now.”

Kalli Chynoweth opened the third with a three pointer from the right side. The Bulldogs continued to post a strong defensive front giving the Wykons very little in terms of open shots. Hancock led 55-20 after three quarters. With the big lead, Helakoski was able to give ample game time to his bench, and he was pleased with what he saw.

“Everybody got to play and I could tell they were relaxed and much more comfortable the second time I put them in. I thought that was excellent,” he said. “They all guarded well, and if they didn’t make at least one basket, they were able to put up a shot or two. This was a great team effort.”

Salani led the scoring for the Bulldogs with 21 points. Bella Hebert followed with 17 and Maari Brey sunk 11. Five Bulldogs had a three pointer and the team was 7 of 11 from the free throw line.

The Bulldogs visit Jeffers at 7:15 p.m. Friday.

WIC 7 5 8 8 — 28

HCHS 14 25 16 13 — 68

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