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Davies erupts, scores 44

Ely Echo - Staff Photo - Create Article
Caid Chittum with the bounce pass to teammate Wyatt Mattson on Monday night. Photo by Eric Sherman.

by Tom Coombe

Playoff action begins this week for Ely’s high school boys basketball team, which ended a long losing streak with the help of a masterful individual performance by Jack Davies.

The sophomore all but put the Wolves on his back in the second half of a Feb. 23 clash at South Ridge, scoring 31 points in the half and 44 in the game in an 83-73 triumph against the Panthers.

Davies scored a career-high and flirted with the program’s single-game record of 48 points, held by Eric McDonald.

His three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half gave the Wolves a two-point lead at the break, and Ely (11-14) withheld runs by South Ridge by giving Davies the ball.

“He just took control of the game with Caid having foul trouble in the second half,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “I thought the guys did a good job of screening for him and Jack did a great job of getting to the basket and getting to the free throw line.”

Ely would isolate Davies on one side of the floor, and the lefty sliced through the South Ridge defense on drives to the basket, or burned them with deep three-point shots.

Chittum, who fouled out in the second half, scored 13 points for the Wolves while sophomore Drew Johnson finished with 13 points, five steals and five assists.

While the Wolves fell Monday to North Woods, the 71-53 defeat was closer than the score indicated.

Ely trailed 49-42 with about seven minutes left, when the Grizzlies got back-to-back three-pointers from Louie Panichi and went on a 10-0 run that sealed the victory.

North Woods led 30-25 at halftime after a rugged 18 minutes that included both teams in the double-bonus, with more than 10 fouls each.

“I thought we competed well for the most part and took pretty good care of the ball,” said McDonald. “We did end up with 15 turnovers but we didn’t give them too many run outs off of them.   We did struggle shooting again and couldn’t find that big shot to close the gap and then they shot well and pulled away at the end.”

Davies finished with a team-high 19 points while Chittum was next with 15, and Johnson wound up with seven assists

“Wyatt Mattson had a good all around game for us and had seven rebounds and took two charges,” said McDonald.

Ely’s lone senior - Robert Towley - was also recognized prior to the game and had his first career start.

• The Wolves were set to close out the regular season Friday night against Fond du Lac, and playoff seeding is set to be completed over the weekend.

It appears that the Wolves will be seeded seventh in the north half of Section 7A, which would result in a March 7  playoff game at number-two Mt. Iron-Buhl, at 6 p.m.

The Rangers swept the Wolves during the regular season.

Defending section champion Cherry, led by University of Minnesota-bound Isaac Asuma, will have the top seed in the north, with MIB, North Woods and Deer River likely to follow.

Carlton-Wrenshall and Cromwell are battling for the top seed in the south half of 7A.

If Ely were to slip to the number-eight spot in the north, it would host Bigfork in a 7A “play-in” game Monday at 6 p.m.

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