Ironmen’s streak snapped at five

by Tom Coombe
The Vermilion Ironmen faded in the second half on Saturday, and their season-long winning streak came ot an end.
A double-digit first half lead went by the wayside as Minnesota West rallied and downed the community college basketball team 81-77 Saturday at Worthington.
The loss was the first in six contests for the Ironmen, who opened the long trip with an 88-76, Dec. 1 victory at Ridgewater.
But against the Bluejays, it was a seesaw affair. The game featured eight ties and several lead changes.
Vermilion led 48-38 at the half, fell behind by one, then charged back to lead 73-65.
Minnesota West countered with a 16-4 run to end the game, fueled in part by DeShawn Pickford, who led all scorers with 27 points.
Minnesota West grabbed a 79-77 lead late in the contest, and VCC misfired on a three-pont attempt with 20 seconds left.
Vermilion’s first defeat came despite some impressive statistical days.
Sophomore Demetrice Mitchell had 25 points and 14 rebounds while classmate Bradlee Lewis had his own double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, including six three-point baskets.
The third part of VCC’s powerful sophomore trifecta - guard Denario Jackson - had 18 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and six steals.
The Ironmen struggled from the floor, hitting eight-of-33 three-point attempts.
Four Vermilion players scored in double figures Dec. 1 at Willmar, where the Ironmen bult an early lead en route to the double-digit victory.
Lewis drained four triples, had 23 points and added 10 rebounds on the night.
Mitchell had an 18-point, eight rebound game while Jackson scored 17 points to go with nine assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Marqualil Johnson added nine point sand six rebounds for VCC, which was set to host nationally-rated Rochester Friday night at the Vermilion gymnasium. The homestand continues today against Western Tech (Wisc.), followed by a Dec. 15-16 appearance in the Anoka-Ramsey Tournament.