Two routs, and a split, for boys
by Tom Coombe
In less than 48 hours, Ely’s high school boys basketball team were on opposite ends of lopsided game with Class AA opposition.
The Class A Timberwolves, particularly freshman sharpshooter Jack Davies, could do no wrong in a 101-23 thrashing of visiting International Falls in the Dec. 8 home opener.
Two days later, the Wolves couldn’t keep up with a strong Two Harbors team, falling behind by as many as 35 points and losing 70-43.
Ely (2-1) hasn’t had a close game yet, although that could change Monday with a visit to Mesabi East.
The Wolves’ ran roughshod against International Falls.
Davies, who scored a career-high 39 points, hit eight consecutive three pointers to start the game and hit all nine of his triples in the opening half, finishing nine-for-11 from beyond the arc.
“I thought we got off to a great start in the game and it was nice to see us shoot the ball so well,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “I thought we did a nice job of finding the hot shooter throughout the first half.”
Senior Joey Bianco piled up another 26 points for the Wolves and had a huge all-around evening, adding nine rebounds, eight assists and five steals.
Ely amassed over 60 first-half points and the outcome was never in question.
Also hitting double-digits in points was senior Jason Kerntz and sophomore Caid Chittum, who both had 11.
Two Harbors (4-0) was a formidable foe for the Wolves last winter and the Agates only got stronger, adding players from Silver Bay, which is not fielding its own team this winter.
Ely tried to stay close early on but a one-two combination of Ethan Bopp and Trent Gomez proved to be too much.
The Wolves struggled from the floor early on while Gomez dialed in as the Agates quickly jumped to a double-digit lead.
“I thought we actually played well despite the 27 point defeat,” said McDonald. “Two Harbors has a very solid team and I thought for the most part we played well defensively against them. Their shooter hit some long range shots and there wasn’t much we could do about that.”
Ely was just two-for-20 from three-point range in the opening half and McDonald said “I thought that was the difference in the game. All of the shots were good shots that we just couldn’t bury.”
Bianco led the Wolves with 17 points and Davies was next with 12.
Senior Erron Anderson snared six rebounds for Ely, which met local rival Northeast Range Friday night, travels to Mesabi East Monday and hosts Cook County on Thursday, Dec. 22 as part of a girls and boys, pre-holiday doubleheader at the high school gymnasium.