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Boys Basketball: Simonsen leads Gremlins past Jets

PAINESDALE — Brad Simonsen of Houghton proved to be too big of an obstacle for the Jeffers Jets to overcome Tuesday.

The 6-foot-6 Houghton standout poured in 36 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a 77-51 Gremlins win.

Jeffers coach Trent Keteri said his smaller team did a good job for awhile against Simonsen.

“You know he (Simonsen) is going to score,” Keteri said. “But when he starts getting offensive rebounds, he’s tough to check. And once he gets going offensively, it gets pretty tough to stop him.”

Now 7-8 on the season, the Gremlins had a tough battle for nearly three quarters against the scrappy Jets.

Houghton coach Jared Lawson said the Jets always are tough to play at home.

“We always expect a tough game up here,” Lawson said. “They start shooting three’s and the their crowd gets into it. It’s a tough place to play at.”

Thanks to some work by John Schutz and Christian Hocking, the Range team trailed by just a 36-28 margin at the half.

And when the Green and White edged to within 39-36 early in the third quarter on triples by Schutz and Hocking, the home crowd really got into it.

But clutch three-pointers by Will Romano and Blake Wiley and a regular bucket by Pablo Salgado lifted the Gremlins into a double digit lead by quarter’s end.

“We really had some nice contributions from some of our other players tonight,” Lawson said. “I thought Will Romano and Blake (Wiley) did some good things.”

The Jets were outscored 21-9 in the final quarter, Simonsen dropping in 9-of-10 free throw chances.

Salgado backed up Simonsen’s game with 17 markers, while Wiley netted 11 more. Romano added seven points and a good floor game.

The Jets, who are now 8-5, are in good position to host a district tourney game next month under the new format.

“We’re playing pretty good basketball right now,” Keteri said. “I like our chances.”

Schutz paced the Jets with 14 points and hit four treys. The 6-4 Hocking added 12 points and 10 boards, while Kyle Mattila had nine points.

Houghton will host Hancock in the Wing-Ding game Friday. Jeffers goes to Chassell the same night for a key conference clash.

Houghton 22 14 20 21 — 77

Jeffers 14 14 14 9 — 51

HOUGHTON (77): Jurva 4, Romano 7, Salgado 17, Willey 11, Simonsen 36, Johnson 2. FT: 15-18. Rebounds: 35 (Simonsen 14). F: 11. Fouled out: None. 3-point FG: Simonsen 4, Willey 3, Romano 2, Salgado 1.

JEFFERS (51): Mattila 9, Hocking 12, Kinnunen 5, Frahm 3, Schutz 14, Jarvela 2, Kunishige 3, Heinonen 3. FT: 4-7. Rebounds: 24 (Hocking 10). F: 17. Fouled out: None. 3-point FG: Schutz 4, Hocking 2, Kinnunen 1, Kunishige 1, Heinonen 1.

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