Black Bears storm back

The Big Bay de Noc Black Bears overcame a 20-point deficit to defeat the Munising Baptist Bobcats 69-60 on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at The Pit in Mather Elementary.

Both teams started hot, combining for six points in the first 45 seconds of the game, but the home team was able to spread out the Black Bear defense with transition buckets. Ryan and Dylan Swift combined for 17 points in the first seven minutes of the game, hitting from all over the floor.

“I couldn’t ask for anything better (in the first),” said Baptist Coach Ken Heyrman. “We just went out and played like it was the championship and kept pushing.”

After allowing 23 points in the first quarter, Big Bay rifled back with a 24-point second quarter to make the game competitive again. Steven Holmes and Joel Gillespie 13 points from the field, including multiple buckets from behind the arc to kickstart the offense.

“We’re a shooting team and we eventually started to see those three’s starting to fall,” Black Bears Head Coach Gunnar Mickelson said. “You start to compound those baskets and see your confidence improve.”

The Bobcats came out sluggish after the break as the team ran into foul trouble in the first half, scoring just six points in the third quarter and losing the lead with three minutes to go in the frame.

According to Heyrman, the team can get overly cautious when in foul trouble.

“After the fouls late in the second quarter, we just played more timid. Whenever we get into foul trouble, we never play like we should,” he said.

The visitors outscored Munising Baptist 22-14 to spread out the margin of victory to nine points. Ryan Swift led all scorers with 31 points. Dylan Swift added another 14 for the Bobcats, 12 of them on three pointers. Homes had 21 for the Black Bears while Parker Pedersen had 15 and Braedon Thill had 13.

Munising Baptist moves to 5-5 on the season, 5-4 in the Northern Lights League. Big Bay sits at 6-4. The Bobcats are off for the rest of the month and will get a rematch with the Delta County Knights on Feb. 9. Big Bay flies to Beaver Island for a doubleheader on Friday and Saturday.