The 2020-21 All-UP Girls Basketball Teams as chosen by the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. The UPSSA met on Wednesday to select the teams and individual awards.
F or the second year in a row, Upbeat conducted a preseason player rankings poll to rate the top 25 boys and girls basketball players in the UP.
Five coaches and Bryce Derouin and Eden Laase of Upbeat ranked the girls on a 25-point scale. A first-place vote warranted 25 points, while second-place was worth 24 and so on.
Here is the 2019-20 Top 25:
Mid Pen senior Kennedy Englund was named to the All-UP Small School Second Team last season after averaging 15.6 points and 4.1 steals a game. The athletic 5-9 guard is signed to play with Bay College after graduation.
Jaylyne Lindemann earned All-UP Small School Second Team honors after finishing her sophomore season averaging 10.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. The 5-6 guard used her strength to get to the basket and score for a Baraga team that finished the season 21-4 with a quarterfinals appearance.
As a freshman, Ally Schultz started for a St. Ignace team that went 27-1, only losing in the state championship game. Coach Dorene Ingalls looked to her as a leader, even in her first season on the team, citing her maturity and natural leadership skills as keys for the Saints. The talented 3-point shooter will play a bigger role in St. Ignace’s offense this season.
Negaunee’s Alyssa Hill is on the verge of a breakout season after being called up to varsity during her freshman campaign. Hill proved capable of battling with the UP’s best posts, thanks to her variety of post moves and fundamentally-sound footwork. She gained valuable experience with a crew of seniors, and helped the Miners go 16-5 on the season.
After losing four key players to graduation, Negaunee will look to senior and returning starter, Chloe Norman, to pick up where they left off. Norman served as the Miners’ lockdown defender and was steady on offense. The athletic guard will be called upon to be a leader on both offense and defense this season.
Westwood’s Karlie Patron was a consistent scorer for the 24-2 Patriots last season. The senior averaged 8.3 points and 5.9 rebounds a game, and gave the Patriots an option in the paint. Her midrange shot came up big in several games last season, and made her a challenge for Westwood’s opponents to defend.
Last season, Emma Poirier, battled with an Ishpeming team that got better as the year went on. Now, as a senior, she will be relied on to pick up a lot of the scoring for the Hematites. Porier, an All-UP Honorable Mention selection a season ago, is quick off the dribble and possesses a knack for getting into the lane.
Madison Carter served as Marquette’s third option in the post last season (behind Avery Ledy and Sydney Kivi), but this year, the Redette offense will run through her. The 6-1 post player possesses great footwork and is a force on the glass. She came off the bench last season as Marquette went 20-4 last year.
After coming up part way through her freshman season, Natalie Prophet went on to start and average 8.9 points and 7 rebounds a game. Prophet is a fearless scorer, capable of attacking the paint and hitting 3-pointers. Her strength makes her valuable on defense as well, as she can defend bigger girls in the paint.
In her sophomore season, McKenzie Boyd, a 5-7 sophomore guard, had her way on offense for Ironwood. She averaged 22.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, and was named to the All-UP Large School Second Team. She led Ironwood to a 13-9 record in the 2018-19 season.
St. Ignace junior Emmalee Hart did a little bit of everything for the Saints last season, averaging 7 points, 3 steals and 4 rebounds a game. But her defense really turned heads, as Hart shut down opposing players throughout St. Ignace’s season, which included an appearance in the state title game.
Erin Barrette was just an honorable mention in last season’s All-UP selections, but that will likely change this year for the junior. Barrette will serve as Menominee’s secondary scorer after Emma Anderson. She is an athletic guard with a high basketball IQ.
Anna Malmquist, West Iron County’s senior point guard, was an integral part of the Wykons’ 19-3 record last season. Malmquist is known for being a floor general and skilled passer who can get to the lane off the dribble.
Marissa Delmont was one of the focal points of Gwinn’s offense last season, and that won’t change in her senior campaign. The senior can slash to the basket and finish with contact, or extend her range and shoot the 3-ball.
Hallie Marshall led St. Ignace to a state finals appearance last season, averaging 8 points, 3.7 assists and 3.4 steals. The point guard was instrumental to St. Ignace’s offense as its point guard, and on defense thanks to her lockdown abilities.
Elise Besonen has become an All-UP mainstay since her 8th-grade season. Now, the junior is coming off a All-UP Small School First Team appearance, averaging 12 points, 3 assists and 2 steals a game for the Panthers. The 5-3 point guard is a threat from deep, and in the paint, where she can finish or dish to a teammate.
Brooke Kriegl, a 5-5 senior guard, was Kingsford’s driving force last season. She averaged 14.3 points per game and ran the show as Kingsford’s point guard. She is a threat from beyond the arc and driving to the hoop. Kreigl was named All-UP Large School Second Team last season.
Forrest Park’s Mercedes Simmons averaged a double-double as a junior, earning her a spot on the All-UP Small School First Team. The 6-1 senior center scored 16.9 points per game and grabbed 14.5 rebounds. She will play at Purdue Northwest next year.
Emily Nelson averaged a double-double for West Iron County last season, finishing with 11.4 points and 10.1 rebounds a game. She also recorded 4.8 blocks a contest. The 6-1 senior center, who is signed with Michigan Tech, has a variety of post moves and the ability to extend her defender with a midrange shot.
Michigan Tech signee Aspen Michelin was key to Marquette’s offense last season but deferred to the Redettes’ talented posts. This season she will take on a bigger offensive role after averaging 10.3 points and 3.2 assists last season. The 5-10 guard boasts athleticism, good court vision and a high basketball IQ.
Emma Anderson, a 6-1 junior center, was Menominee’s centerpiece last season, and will continue that role in 2019-2020. She was named to the All-UP Large School Second Team, averaging 16.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game. She was also able to stretch the floor by being a consistent threat from the 3-point line.
At 6-3, Megan Crow is a presence in the paint thanks to her size alone, but the junior is also a skilled scorer, passer, rebounder and shot-blocker. She came alive for the Braves last season, nearly averaging a double-double with 15.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks a game.
Nicole Kamin averaged a double-double for Escanaba last season, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds a game. She also had four blocks a game and is heralded as one of the most athletic players in the UP. The 6-foot junior guard is signed to play at Grand Valley State after graduation.
Madelyn Koski is entering her fourth year as Westwood’s point guard. Last season she was named to the All-UP Dream Team, averaging 15.2 points and boasting a 2-1 assist to turnover ratio. Koski, a Ferris State signee, has earned a reputation as being automatic from the free-throw line, hitting 86 percent of her attempts last season.
Tessa Leece, who recently signed with Michigan Tech, is coming off being named All-UP Division 1-3 Player of the Year last season. The lanky guard averaged 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 3.1 steals a game. She helped lead Westwood to a 24-2 record and quarterfinal appearance.
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