Strong showing: Calumet defeats Hancock at home, 63-47, Thursday

Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette Calumet’s Matt Ojala is presented with a game ball after scoring his 1,000th career point during a game against Hancock Thursday night. Joining him in the photo are (from left) Jen Peters, principal, and Mike Ojala, coach.

CALUMET — Calumet Copper King senior guard Matt Ojala joined an elite club just minutes into the third quarter Thursday as Calumet battled the Hancock Bulldogs on the basketball court in the Calumet Gym.

As his shot in the paint fell through the net, the senior became only the third man in Calumet history to score 1,000 points in his basketball career.

“My teammates got me the ball and when I let it go I knew it was the one,” said Ojala on his historic shot.

The game stopped for the historic moment to be commemorated. Ojala was presented with a commemorative game ball by Calumet High School Principal Jen Peters and basketball coach Mike Ojaja.

Matt Ojala once again led the scoring for the Copper Kings by picking up another double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. He joins Tom Mattson and Josh Cone in the 1,000 point club who did their scoring in the 1990s.

He thanked his teammates noting that the award comes as a team effort over the years.

“I’m glad it’s over with for Matt’s sake,” said his coach and his dad, Mike Ojala. He has put a lot of work into this. He is a heck of a player and I sure am proud of him. He can get on to the court and play basketball.”

The Bulldogs were no match for the Copper Kings as they were defeated 63-47. For most of the game, they trailed by at least 10 points. Poor passing and sloppy ball handling put them deep in the hole in the first quarter. They also ran into foul trouble too early in both halves.

Following Ojala in the scoring was Bevin Antilla whose 15 points were all past the three-point line.

“Bevin was impressive in his threes,” said Mike Ojala.

For Hancock, Peyton Anderson led the scoring with 12 points. Devin Raasio followed with 11.

“This night was about Matt,” said Hancock’s head coach Matt Strong. “Hats off to him. He is a tremendous talent.”


Calumet 21 12 22 8 – 63

Hancock 12 8 14 13 – 47

CAL: Bra. Antilla 9, M. Ojala 17, Bre. Antilla 15, T. Ojala 9, McParlan 4, Twardzik 3, Isaacson 4, Ekdahl 2; Fouls: 18; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Bre. Antilla 5, Bra. Antilla 1, M. Ojala 1, T. Ojala 1

HCH: Watson 7, Chynoweth 9, Sinkowski 3, Aho 1, Raasio 11, Anderson 12, Bal 2, Williams 2; Fouls: 16; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: Watson 2, Chynoweth 2, Sinkowski 1, Anderson 1