Sports

Thu
25
Mar

Floridians handle the cold

Jacob Worley and Jakob Wiirre grew up playing baseball in Florida, and they adjusted Monday to outdoor baseball conditions that had little resemblance to the Sunshine State.
Both Vermilion pitchers adjusted to the elements, and pitched the Ironmen to a community college baseball sweep of rival Mesabi on Monday in Aurora.
Worley was masterful in the second game, striking out 10 batters and allowing only two hits in a 4-1 Vermilion win.
In the opening game, Wiirre overcame some early struggles, settled in and struck out nine while going the distance as the Ironmen prevailed 9-7.
Vermilion improved to 4-2 on the season.
While artificial turf made the twinbill possible, it began in temperatures under 40 degrees on a damp Monday morning.
The sun peaked out by the time Worley took the mound for the nightcap, but conditions were nothing like a warm, sunny day in Florida.

Fri
19
Mar

Johnston fifth at state

by Tom Coombe
Jasper Johnston closed out a stellar prep career with yet another stellar finish.
For the fourth year in a row, the Ely senior earned all-state acclaim in Nordic skiing and had a grand finale at the Mar. 12 state meet at Giants Ridge.
After taking seventh in the opening race, Johnson saved his best for last and was fourth in the four-kilometer freestyle and settled for fifth overall, in a field of 160, in the boys division.
Johnston, who is bound for Michigan Tech, was one of four Wolves to compete in the two-day state event, joining Ely boys teammate Gabriel Pointer as well as individual qualifiers Zoe Devine and Phoebe Helms from the Wolves’ girls team.
Johnston was the only Ely skier to gain all-state recognition, and was within 1.4 seconds of third place overall.

Fri
19
Mar

COVID, Floodwood combine to derail Ely girls’ playoff run

by Tom Coombe
Even with a mile-wide hole in their lineup, the Ely Timberwolves put up a fight.
The high school girls basketball season came to an end Wednesday night, when seventh-seeded Floodwood got past Ely 47-35 in the opening round of the Section 7A tournament.
But it was an odd matchup typical of an odd season, after COVID-19 protocols decimated the Wolves’ roster on the eve of the postseason and after the team had put together a late-season surge.
The Wolves, who finished 8-10, were without part of their starting lineup as well as several key reserves, forcing first-year head coach Max Gantt to go with a makeshift lineup against the Polar Bears.
Sophomore Lily Tedrick and junior Laura Holmstrom stepped into the lineup and eighth-grader Clare Thomas got her first extended varsity action of the season.
The Wolves still competed well, but were done in by a pair of Polar Bear runs and scoring droughts of their own.

Fri
12
Mar

Little League in need of help

After a year off, Little League baseball is poised to resume in Ely later this spring.
But first, the local organization needs some help - from parents and families.
If Little League is going to resume and Ely’s youngest boys and girls of summer are going to participate, parents need to step forward to assist a core group working to keep youth baseball alive.
“We’re in need of new board members, coaches at all levels, volunteers, somebody to schedule umpires,” said Kevin Marolt, one of two remaining board members.
In a transition from Little League’s last full season in 2019 to this year, the group is losing five of seven board members as children graduate up to higher age levels.
That leaves the Ely group scrambling to reassemble after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the 2020 sesason.
“We missed a whole year,” said Marolt.
For Little League to move forward this year, the group needs help on multiple fronts.

Fri
05
Mar

Johnston a repeat winner as Ely sends four to state

by Tom Coombe
Jasper Johnston continues to reign atop Section 7, while three of his Ely teammates have punched their own tickets to state.
Those were the key particulars Wednesday, when the section Nordic skiing meet was held at Giants Ridge.
Johnston, a three-time all-state honoree, repeated as Section 7 individual boys champion after winning both the classic and freestyle races on a mild, early-March afternoon.
Ely sophomore Zoe Devine was the top Timberwolves girls finishers, taking third in the section and earning another trip to state.
Two other Wolves will also move on as individuals, with junior Gabriel Pointer taking seventh overall in the boys competition and sophomore Phoebe Helms advancing after placing 11th among the girls.
Both Ely teams were a spot away from qualifying for the state meet as they came home Wednesday with respective third-place finishes.

Fri
05
Mar

Wolves win an OT thriller

by Tom Coombe
Less than two weeks before the playoffs begin for real, the Ely Timberwolves passed a significant playoff test.
In a game that had a playoff feel, the Timberwolves outlasted South Ridge 67-64 in a Feb. 26 overtime thriller at the high school gymnasium.
Will Davies picked up a loose ball and drove for the go-ahead hoop with just over a minute left in the extra session, and fellow senior Brock LaTourell picked off a long-distance pass with two seconds left to seal the Wolves’ biggest win of the year.
Ely (9-3) also blew out Cook County 76-22 on Tuesday but the signature win of the week if not the season came against the Panthers, who were led by 6-6 Austin Josephson.
Josephson scored only 12 points but was a dominant force inside, while the Panthers had at least three other players 6-3 or taller against the much tinier Wolves, who don’t start a player over six feet.

Fri
26
Feb

Turnovers fuel 62-12 Ely victory

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school girls basketball team created turnover after turnover Feb. 18 at Babbitt.
The result was the Timberwolves’ third win of the winter.
Full-court pressure resulted in numerous steals and led to errant passes and traveling by Northeast Range, which was held to just two first-half baskets in the Arrowhead Conference affair.
Ely built a massive 35-6 lead by halftime and was on its way to a 62-12 romp.
The Timberwolves have won two of their last three games and are now 3-6 for the season.
Northeast Range was never able to get on track offensively, and Ely’s defensive pressure was the difference.
Madeline Kallberg scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the opening half, and wreaked havoc at the top of the press while gaining a series of layups.

Fri
26
Feb

Visitors foil hockey’s return to Babbitt Arena

It didn’t end with a victory, but high school boys hockey made a triumphant return of sorts to Babbitt.
Ron Castellano Arena was alive again Feb. 19, when the Ely Timberwolves hosted Bagley in what was only the second boys contest there in 27 years.
The visiting Flyers downed the Timberwolves 5-1, but nearly 200 fans came out to the fabled arena for the game.
The Timberwolves celebrated senior night and moved the contest to Babbitt to honor their only senior - Jimmy Zupancich.
Zupancich attends Northeast Range, but the two schools are combined in hockey and the Timberwolves opted to hold a home game in Babbitt this winter to recognize the senior.
His parents were introduced prior to the game, and family members as well as Northeast Range schoolmates were part of the gathering.
Zupancich also had a hand in the Wolves’ only goal - a second period tally by freshman Chase Anderson.

Fri
19
Feb

Girls gain second victory

by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves overcame turnovers to gain their second win of the season, but South Ridge put a quick stop to any hopes for a winning streak.
Ely upended North Woods 46-38 in a Feb. 11 girls basketball matchup at the high school gymnasium, but South Ridge went on a 32-0 run in the first half on the way to a 67-18 rout on Tuesday.
The Timberwolves are now 2-6 for the winter.
Ely rallied to take a halftime lead against the visiting Grizzlies, and that edge held up in the second half of a foul and turnover-filled game.
Ninth-grader Grace LaTourell had 11 of her 16 points in the second half, with two of her three three-pointers coming during the stanza.
The Grizzlies pulled to within three points at 35-32 with nine minutes left, but only scored six points the rest of the way as Ely created numerous turnovers.

Fri
19
Feb

LaTourell scores 22 in road ‘W’

by Tom Coombe
It was Brock LaTourell’s turn to carry the load.
In a season when all five Ely starters have shown the capability of scoring in bunches, LaTourell led the way on Tuesday in a 58-53 high school boys basketball victory over Mt. Iron-Buhl.
LaTourell drained four of his five three-point baskets in the opening half and finished with a team-high 22 points as the visiting Wolves completed a regular-season sweep of the Rangers and improved to 6-2.
“Brock kept us in the game in the first half as he shot really well and hit four of his five ‘threes’ in the half,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “We defended well enough to stay in the game but it was Brock who kept us in it offensively.”
The teams traded momentum and control throughout the night at Mt. Iron, with the Rangers taking a 29-26 lead at halftime.

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