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Bianco, Davies honored

Timberwolves’ potent backcourt duo named to All-Arrowhead

by Tom Coombe

Joey Bianco and Jack Davies formed one of the most potent backcourt combinations in northeastern Minnesota small-school basketball this winter.

Their work was noticed by opposing coaches, who named the Ely boys basketball duo to the All-Arrowhead Conference Boys Basketball Team.

Bianco, who amassed nearly 1,800 points in his prep basketball career, was an All-Arrowhead honoree for a third straight season while Davies, only a freshman, was a first-time selection.

The 10-member squad was picked by league coaches.

Bianco’s senior season may have been his best in an Ely uniform.

The guard not only averaged a team-best 24.4 points  per game, but he also dished out 8.4 assists per game and averaged 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 steals.

“Joey had an exceptional year on both ends of the floor,”  said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “He led the team in many categories and also was the floor leader of this year.”

Bianco closed out his senior year with 1,790 points, fourth-most in Ely boys basketball history, and had a knack for taking the ball to the basket and carving up opposing defenses.

“I haven’t had anyone as good as getting to the rim in all my years of coaching,” said McDonald, who has led Ely’s program since 1990.

When opposing teams focused their attention on Bianco, it was Davies who often made them pay.

The freshman lefty was one of the area’s deadliest three-point shooters.

He nailed 141 three-point baskets this season, the second-best single season total in school history and second to Pat Vanderbeek’s 152 triples five years ago.

Davies averaged 19 points per game and broke the freshman scoring record with 532 points, shattering the previous mark of 443 held by Tim Scott in 2002.

“Jack had some huge games for us and was a great complement to Joey’s getting to the basket,” said McDonald.

Bianco and Davies contributed to an Ely team that went 20-8 this season.

League champion Cherry, which won the Section 7A title and finished fourth in last month’s State Class A tournament, was well represented on the All-Arrowhead squad with junior Isaac Asuma leading the way.

Asuma, who is bound for the University of Minnesota in another year, was joined by teammate Noah Sundquist, a transfer from Chisholm, on the All-Arrowhead Unit.

Section semifinalist Mt. Iron-Buhl put both Asher Zubich and Nik Jesch on the team while North Woods had three selections - Jonah Burnett, Brenden Chiabotti and Jared Chiabotti.

Tommy Larson of Littlefor-Big Falls also made the team while gaining honorable mention were Cherry’s Carson Brown, Mesabi East’s Hayden Sampson and Mt. Iron-Buhl’s Josh Holmes.

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