Gogebic, Bay Colleges battle on hardwood

The U.P.’s two community colleges of Gogebic Community College and Bay College faced each other for the last time this regular season, with each team getting a win for their respective programs. Local talent is crucial for the teams, which has 15 U.P. high school alumni and seven more from Wisconsin border towns like Niagara and Hurley.

MEN: Bay Norse 84 Gogebic Samsons 59

The Bay College Norse men’s basketball team closed its non-conference season Wednesday night with a 84-59 win over the Gogebic Community College Samsons in Ironwood.

It was Bay’s third win of the season over the U.P. Rival Samsons, and all of them were by 25 points or more. The win allowed the Norse to finish the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 10-4 record.

“I thought our defense played really well tonight,” Norse Coach Matt Johnson said. “Only allowing 25 points in a half in a college basketball game is pretty good. I think we have the potential to be really special on defense, and be one of the best defensive teams in the country.”

“We have the guys to do it. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well tonight, but we had some guys do some good things on that end as well.”

Gogebic (8-8) made a run to close to within 52-45, outscoring the Norse, 122, with Yohance London scoring six of those points and Elijah Owens nailing a triple. The Norse put the pedal to the metal again, responding with a 15-3 run capped by a Mawo basket that expanded the Bay lead to 67-48.

The lead kept growing, as guys o the bench contributed to the cause. Michael Foust made a nice spin move for a basket inside the paint, and then he added a triple from in front of his bench. James Hughes added two baskets as well. Superior Central alumnus Parker Maki also played seven minutes and had a block in the win.

WOMEN: Bay Norse 47 Gogebic Samson 59

The Bay College Norse women’s basketball team was in another battle with the Gogebic Community College Samsons Wednesday night in Ironwood, trailing by just two points with five minutes left in the game.

But as has happened so many times this season, the Norse couldn’t make that final push down the stretch, and suffered another loss. Gogebic finished the game on a 13-3 run, with eight of those points coming from center Emily Nelson of West Iron County High School, and GCC beat the Norse for the third time this season, 59-47.

For Bay College Coach Matt Gregory, it was another frustrating game, as the team has had a chance to pull one out late many times this season, including all three games with the rival Samsons. So far, the Norse have not been rewarded for hard work as they fell to 4-10 on the season entering their conference opener this Saturday in Grand Rapids.

“A slow start,” Gregory said of his team scoring just 14 points in the first half. “I mean, that first half was nothing to write home about. A lot of missed bunnies, missed baskets, missed lay-ups. When you’re shooting that way (14 percent from the floor) early on, it’s very, very tough to try to claw back and make a game of it.”

For the Norse, Cretton led the way with 19 points and she had seven rebounds. Emma Rutter of Superior Central had a team-high 11 rebounds. Claire Van Ginhoven of Gladstone chipped in twelve points, but fouled out of the game. The Norse played without fellow Gladstone alum Alaina Trudeau, who hurt her knee last weekend in Florida.