Ishpeming Gains Experience During Boys’ Basketball Season | News, Sports, Jobs

Jayce Kipling of Ishpeming, right, has his jaw pinched during a full press as Ironwood’s Von Lyons tries to make room in their high school MHSAA Division 3 District tournament match played Ishpeming on March 23. To the left is Preston Gauthier from Ishpeming. (Photo courtesy of Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of season previews for the Marquette and Algiers County high school basketball teams as the boys’ season began this week.


ISHPEMING – Nothing about Christopher Magnuson’s first season as the coach of the Ishpeming High School boys’ basketball team has gone as planned.

But after his young team has gained a year of experience under difficult circumstances, things are looking up for the Hematites.

It was a difficult situation for Magnuson to enter with a young and burgeoning COVID-19 team. In the cropped season, the Hematites went 0-11 and finished with a MHSAA Division 3 District Tournament loss to Ironwood.

Logan Hurkmans of Ishpeming is trying to block that inbound shot saved by Aiden Ozzello of Ironwood in the fourth quarter of their MHSAA Division 3 tournament boys’ basketball game played at Ishpeming High School on March 23. (Photo courtesy of Daryl T. Jarvinen)

While the season hasn’t gone in Ishpeming’s way, Magnuson is thankful his team were able to rack up 11 games of experience that they thought they didn’t even have.

“For us, I mean it’s going to be a gradual thing compared to last year”, Magnuson said. “One thing I will take away from last year is that we had the opportunity to play.

“I’m watching the Ishpeming college football team this year, and I think not having had a season the year before has really hampered their development as a football team. Last year there were times when we had four sophomores and one freshman, but we gained some university experience.

“I think it will wear us out considerably once we start the season and are healthy. “

The Hematites have some veteran players, with Jayce Kipling and Griffin Argall in the lead. Kipling is the only senior on the team to return for a year and Argall, a junior, will be entering his third year at college. Both bring unique skills to the table, Magnuson said.

Griffin Argall of Ishpeming, right, gets a clean block during a layup attempt by Iron Mountain’s Joey Dumais, top left, in the third quarter of their high school basketball game played at Hematites Gym in Ishpeming on March 5. Alex Sundberg from Ishpeming. (Photo courtesy of Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Alex Sundberg and Logan Hurkmans are also back as juniors, and Parker Gauthier is in his second year. When it comes to that team getting the ball rolling, it looks like a long season will be passed.

“I think right now there is buy-in as to what we’re trying to accomplish and what our goals are.” Magnuson said. “I think there is a progressive buy-in and freeze and understand that this is a 20 game marathon, not a sprint. As far as I can remember, no one won a district title in December.

The Hematites won a 46-44 victory over Gladstone in the season opener after trailing in double digits in the fourth quarter. After knocking out the Braves, Ishpeming faces Westwood tonight in Game 2 of what will only be the start of the Hematites’ difficult schedule.

“It’s interesting, we start with a glove” Magnuson said. “Westwood’s Westwood, they’re full of seniors, they’re talented. I think it’s going to be (a) great experience for our kids to go out and play and compete and compete with elite teams and see where that takes us.

Travis Nelson can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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