FIELD TWP— It was a night of milestones for the Grizzlies as they faced a tough contest against Ely here on Friday. North Woods senior Trevor Morrison poured in 26 points to surpass the …
FIELD TWP— It was a night of milestones for the Grizzlies as they faced a tough contest against Ely here on Friday. North Woods senior Trevor Morrison poured in 26 points to surpass the 1,000-point mark during the contest and Head Coach Will Kleppe notched the 300th win of his coaching career.
Meanwhile, Ely’s junior guard Brock Latourell led all scorers as he notched a career-high 27 points, including seven treys, to help keep the game close throughout. The seventh-ranked Grizzlies pulled it out in the end, 77-66, to remain undefeated so far this season.
“I thought we competed well against them,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald. “But we really had a hard time containing their size and they just wore us out in the second half.” The Wolves kept it tight from the start, but the Grizzlies gradually built their margin. They led by five at the half and outscored Ely 37-31 in the second frame to pad their lead.
Four Grizzlies made it to double figures. In addition to Morrison, junior Darius Goggleye scored 16 points, sophomore TJ Chiabotti scored 14, and freshman Jared Chiabotti scored 13. Morrison also grabbed 17 rebounds for a double-double on his big night.
While Latourell dominated scoring for Ely, senior Dylan Fenske added 20 points and fellow senior Eric Omerza added 13 along with seven assists.
North Woods Head Coach Will Kleppe was effusive in his praise for Morrison. “Trevor’s accomplishment is another achievement for a young man who is at the top of his class in academics and a force on the basketball court. Trevor exemplifies what it means to be a team player and mentor to our younger players. He’s the first one to volunteer to help our elementary programs on Saturday and the younger kids really look up to him.”
As for reaching his own career milestone, Kleppe said his work with student athletes has been “an honor and a privilege” and he thanked his family for their years of support despite the time commitment that coaching entails. “My wife Tara and our two sons, Chase and Davis, have stood beside me through the highs and lows of the job and I owe a lot to their love and support. Coaching high school sports has changed dramatically since I first took the job but having support from family, the teams, the school and community has been very rewarding.”
Kleppe credited his players for allowing him to reach the career milestone. “It’s a testament to their hard work and is very humbling when I think of all the athletes who were a part of all the teams I have coached, many of whom I count among my friends today.”
Kleppe also paid tribute to assistant coaches he has worked with over the years. “Leo Wilenius, Brian Anderson, Joel Anderson, Ron Waggoner, Rick Viita, Rob Goggleye, Matt Bergman, Tom Burnett, Dan Squires and last but not least my friend and mentor Jerry Chiabotti. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of guys.”