Boys Basketball

Feature

Foster Wonders: The UP's most intriguing recruit

Foster Wonders: The UP's most intriguing recruit

Foster Wonders: The UP's most intriguing recruit

1/8/2019 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin |

There are numerous anecdotes that go into Foster Wonders being the most interesting UP recruit in recent history. There’s the one about him scrimmaging against the Michigan Tech men as an eighth-grader, pitting him against college athletes before he played his first high school game — and holding his own, at that. There’s the full scholarship offer he received from...

Game Recap

No. 1 Iron Mountain refuses to be complacent, dominates Hancock

2/16/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

The Iron Mountain Mountaineers have every reason to feel a sense of complacency at this point in the season. They boast a perfect 17-0 record, all while defeating every team they have played since Dec. 7 by 10 points or more. With arguably the two best players in the UP in Marcus Johnson and Foster Wonders, it would seem the...

Game Recap

No. 5 Calumet continues hot streak, beats Gwinn for 9th straight win

2/16/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

After nearly shocking the UP in an overtime loss to Iron Mountain on Dec. 7, Calumet started to feel itself. To this day, the 71 points the No. 3 team in the state allowed to the Copper Kings is the most the Mountaineers have surrendered. And in the three blowout wins following that contest, Calumet averaged 71 points. The program...

Game Recap

Escanaba uses depth, size to top Houghton

2/16/2019 | Game Recap | By Keith Shelton |

It was obvious in the preseason that Escanaba's size would prove difficult for anyone in the Upper Peninsula to match. But the real key for the Eskymos is their depth.  It was all rolling in eye-popping fashion, Friday night as Escanaba dominated a drained Houghton squad 57-36.

Game Recap

2-15 boys roundups: No. 1 Brimley survives Pickford's upset bid

2/16/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The No. 1 Brimley Bays had four of their five scorers reach double figures to help them defeat the Pickford Panthers 74-68. Tristen Lyons led the Bays with 25 points, including seven of those points coming from the free-throw line. Dylan Carrick added 18 points, and Marcus Harris chipped in with 14 points. The Bays pulled away in the final...

Game Recap

No. 2 Marquette dominates No. 4 Negaunee, 67-36

2/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Dan Waterman emerged from the Negaunee locker room, smiled and shrugged his shoulders before saying, “It is what it is.” The statement of resignation was understandable, because when Marquette’s depth and talent play with a great level of intensity, its athleticism and speed are only amplified. And then really, what can you do? There may be no harder team to...

Game Recap

Twardzik's free throw gives Calumet 45-44 win over Westwood

2/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

The Calumet Copper Kings found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard for most of Thursday night’s contest with the Westwood Patriots, trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the third quarter. Their shots did not fall, they were being outrebounded, and the Patriots were having a terrific shooting night against their 2-3 zone defense, maintaining control...

Game Recap

2-14 boys roundups: Bessemer, Kingsford, Rudyard tally victories

2/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Bessemer Speedboys had two different players eclipse the 20 point mark, as Cade Mazzon scored 22 and Tyler Busch added 21 to help lead them past the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes, 78-55, Thursday in Lake Linden. Mazzon's night was book-ended by two 3s in both the first and fourth quarter, part of his team's six 3s overall. The Speedboys received...

Game Recap

Wakefield-Marenisco edges LL-H 68-65

2/14/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Lake Linden-Hubbell is in fourth place in its division, but they handed Chassell its only Copper Mountain Conference loss. Wakefield-Marenisco has three more conference losses than Bessemer, but the Cardinals are the only team to have beaten the Speedboys in the league. A close game between Copper Mountain teams shouldn’t surprise anyone this year and Wednesday night’s game was another...

Game Recap

No. 3 Negaunee defeats Iron Mountain

2/14/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Mackenzie Karki may not be the biggest player on the floor.  In fact, she is often the smallest person on the floor in most games that the Negaunee Miners compete in. When watching her play, however, the thoughts of her size tend to go out the window, instead focusing on the intense, fiery play that she brings to every possession....

Game Recap

2-13 boys roundup: C-N, Norway win close games; Dollar Bay, Westwood win big

2/14/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

After a back-and-forth contest, Carney-Nadeau was able to defeat North Central 55-53 on Wednesday in Powers. The Wolves snapped a two-game losing streak with the win. Brett LaFord finished with 21 points, while Riley Corrigan added 12 for C-N. For North Central, Griffin Johnson scored 21 points, including 11 in the third quarter, which helped the Jets bounce back from...

Game Recap

Lindberg continues hot streak, No. 4 Negaunee shuts down No. 3 Gladstone

2/14/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Drew Lindberg is as stoic as it gets. In Negaunee’s 17 games, he has yet to show any semblance of emotion — good or bad. There was the Dec. 21 loss against Marquette when he struggled just to get the ball — let alone get a shot off — but there wasn’t a hint of frustration across his face. And...

Game Recap

No. 5 Bessemer holds off E-TC's late rally

2/13/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Bessemer was happy to see its losing streak come to end.  Ewen-Trout Creek was happy to see how far they’ve come. The Speedboys survived for a 44-43 win, holding off the Panthers’ fourth-quarter surge in Tuesday night’s Copper Mountain Conference game. Bessemer had lost its last two games and slipped to a fifth-place tie in this week’s U.P. poll.  “Not...

Game Recap

2-12 boys roundup: Calumet throttles L'Anse; Brimley remains unbeaten

2/13/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Matt Ojala had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and Eli McParlan added 15 points as Calumet defeated L’Anse 71-52 on Tuesday in Calumet. Travis Ojala also chipped in with 11 points of his own. Calumet was able to limit L’Anse’s scoring, as no player scored more than 10 points. Louie Bogda and Cooper LaPlante led L’Anse with 10...

Boys Basketball

Sixth UPSSA Poll: shakeup in Division 4 boys poll

2/12/2019 | Boys Basketball | By Staff

The girls' side of the poll remains relatively similar to last week's, and boys Divisions 1-3 also didn't see changes. However, boys Divison 4 shook up quite a bit, with several teams moving around. Here is the sixth poll of the season.

Game Recap

2-11 boys roundup: Dollar Bay, Munising earn blowout wins

2/12/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Dollar Bay Blue Bolts won their sixth game in a row, topping Watersmeet 92-65 on Monday in Watersmeet. The game was a makeup for a contest previously postponed due to weather. Ashton Jake led the way with 25 points on seven 3-pointers, and the Blue Bolts had five double-digit scorers. Brendan LeClaire added 18, Drake Schmitz had 17, Connor...

Game Recap

No. 1 Iron Mountain has efficient outing in win over Westwood

2/12/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

There’s a chance that Foster Wonders and Marcus Johnson’s talents will be enough to carry Iron Mountain to East Lansing; they’re good enough to do it. When you see Wonders convert 9 of 12 shots for 25 points in Monday’s 67-40 win over Westwood, or Johnson connect on three 3s and orchestrate an offense to a degree of efficiency that...

Column

Boys rankings: Iron Mountain, Brimley remain No. 1; Cedarville jumps to No. 2

2/11/2019 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

The inclement weather has been so severe to the point where coaches with decades of experience in the UP say they’ve never seen anything like it as far as games postponed and rescheduled. With the weather canceling practices and some games, it’ll be interesting to see how teams handle their preparation as the postseason approaches. The boys are now two...

Game Recap

2-9 boys roundup: Dollar Bay, Munising, Engadine all win

2/10/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

It took overtime for Dollar Bay and Ontonagon to decide a winner after a tight contest, but the Blue Bolts squeaked by with a win, 47-44 on Saturday in Ontonagon. “We had to grind out a win tonight in Ontonagon,” coach Jesse Kentala said. “I felt our energy was low all night and we were careless with the ball, which...

Game Recap

No. 4 Negaunee gets hot, makes key plays to beat Ishpeming

2/9/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

The moment Jason Waterman’s 3 went up, you couldn’t help but wonder what was going through Dan Waterman’s mind. The Negaunee coach is one of the more emotional in the UP, and his son just launched a shot that went against every basketball rule there is. Up two, just over a minute left, and a 3 is shot?  “There’s two...

Game Recap

2-8 boys roundup: Escanaba, Iron Mountain, Houghton earn wins

2/9/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Two of Escanaba's big men had big nights, as Jared Nash and Austin Willette both scored 21 points to lead their team to a 72-53 win over Rapid River on Friday in Rapid. To go along with Nash and Willette's performances, Craig Kamin and Carter Hudson both reached double figures with 10 and 14 points, respectively. The Rockets were led...

Game Recap

Darr steps up for No. 2 Marquette in win over Kingsford

2/9/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

When Marquette defeated Kingsford 82-58 on Friday, it wasn’t just a blowout win. No, this was a redemption story. But to figure out why we have to backpedal a bit. Liam Darr has always been a good shooter. Then, during his sophomore year, he learned to stop using the thumb on his guide hand to help him propel the ball...

Feature

NIT tournament set to return

2/7/2019 | Feature | By Jason Sutherland

The Negaunee Invitational Tournament has meant a lot to the people of Negaunee, and the entire UP for that matter. Starting in 1964, the tournament has had around 100 teams from all around the Midwest attend each year, providing a chance for everyone from the weekend warriors to the most polished basketball players to compete against one another. Now, after...

Game Recap

Ontonagon stuffs E-TC's game-winning attempts

2/7/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Ontonagon’s six-point lead with less than a minute on the clock was big enough in Wednesday’s game at Ewen-Trout Creek. Barely. E-TC had the ball with nine seconds left and a chance to win, but 6-foot-5 Eddy Polakowski came up big and the Gladiators escaped with a 57-56 Copper Mountain Conference victory.

Game Recap

Houghton tops Ishpeming 75-65, but still has work to be done

2/7/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

The Houghton Gremlins’ formula for success this season has not varied much since the opening night. George Butvilas and Brad Sirard must score, and they must score a lot. And, the 1-2-2 defense needs to effectively pack in the paint while not losing the ability to close out on the perimeter. The Gremlins did both of these things in spurts,...

Game Recap

No. 4 Negaunee grinds out win over Westwood

2/7/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

There’s been more than one occasion this season where Negaunee coach Dan Waterman has questioned his team’s effort, which from the outside can seem surprising for a group that’s led by the fiery coach. Nonetheless, it’s happened. The slow start against rival Ishpeming and the loss against Gladstone were two notable instances.  And if there’s a school that demands an...

Game Recap

No. 1 Iron Mountain continues to click, tops WIC

2/7/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

There’s a basketball cliche — one of the oldest in the book — that a good team is like a wheel. All the spokes work together to make the wheel turn. It’s become a cliche because it’s true, and Iron Mountain is the perfect example. The five players on the court work so well together that at one point, a...

Game Recap

2-5: Divisions 1-3 boys roundup: Houghton rolls over Jeffers, Calumet defeats Chassell

2/6/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Houghton Gremlins received a huge scoring night from George Butvilas, who poured in 34 points in their 79-57 win over Jeffers Tuesday night in Houghton. Despite the win, Houghton coach Jared Lawson still saw some room for improvement on the defensive end from his team. "I thought Jeffers shot the ball really well tonight," he said. "A part of...

Game Recap

2-5 Division 4 boys roundup: Norway defeats C-N; Dollar Bay, Brimley dominate

2/6/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Kody Hendricks scored 15 points, Mitch LeGrave added 12, and Jeffrey Van Holla added 10 as Norway defeated No. 2 Carney-Nadeau 48-38 on Tuesday in Norway. "Our effort was fantastic," Norway coach Jeff Gallino said. "They played inspired. We switched up our defenses and guys were flying around. We needed this. The boys were getting down on themselves. "We took...

Game Recap

No. 2 Marquette goes off in 66-44 win over No. 3 Gladstone

2/6/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

The ball fell through the hoop, kicking up the net and igniting the Marquette student section. When the fans quieted down a voice projected across the court. “I guess we only shoot 3s now.” Marquette is certainly not a 3-point team, and the Redmen aren’t likely to change their approach any time soon, but for one quarter that anonymous voice...

Feature

Fifth UPSSA Poll: Top teams retain spots

2/5/2019 | Feature | By Staff

This week's poll saw few changes, especially ones of importance. There were a few shifts at the bottom part of the polls, but the top teams remained the same. Here is the fifth poll of the season.

Column

Boys rankings: Big five remain same, C-N up to No. 2 in Division 4

2/5/2019 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

At least we all survived that cold spell, which means we no longer have to endure someone in sports media saying or writing “It may be cold outside, but (team name) was heating up!” when a group is shooting well. But the inclement weather did affect the number of games played, meaning there’s less change in this week’s rankings.  Here’s...

Game Recap

Ironwood survives test, defeats Hurley

2/2/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Nights like this are what players remember: Beating your archrival to stay unbeaten in front of a standing-room-only crowd that Ironwood coach Pete Lewinski compared to those of the 1960s and 1970s. The Red Devils defeated Hurley 62-54 in Friday night’s Indianhead Conference contest, improving to 13-0 while snapping Hurley’s six-game winning streak.

Game Recap

Jason Waterman carries Negaunee early, Miners beat Gwinn

2/2/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Jason Waterman could tell there was something wrong with his shot — nothing major, but something small was affecting his production. So, when the cold weather hit Waterman hunkered down at home and started going through film. He played detective and shot doctor at the same time, watching games from his freshman and sophomore years, determined to figure out the...

Game Recap

Wonders returns from injury, guides No. 1 Iron Mountain over Ishpeming

2/2/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Foster Wonders got punched in the mouth. That’s not hyperbole or some kind of figure of speech. In the midst of battling for a rebound, his teammate clocked him and jarred his front tooth loose.  The game was stopped and he slowly made his way to the bench with his hands over his mouth at a point when Iron Mountain’s...

Game Recap

Division 1-3 boys roundup: No. 2 Marquette tops Menominee; Westwood, L'Anse get wins

2/2/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Marius Grazulis scored 16 points, Raffy Millado added 13 and Bryce Brazeau had 11 as Marquette coasted to an 80-32 win over Menominee on Friday in Menominee. All 11 of the Redmen scored in the contest. Marquette jumped out to a 25-9 lead after one period and proceeded to hold Menominee to single-digits in all but one quarter. UP NEXT...

Game Recap

2-1 Division 4 boys roundup: No. 1 Brimley tops Rudyard

2/2/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Brimley has spent the season blowing teams out, but the Bays played one of their closer games on Friday, coming away with an 89-78 win over Rudyard. Brimley built its lead in the second quarter, outscoring Rudyard 28-13. From there, Rudyard kept up with the high-tempo Bays, but the early deficit was too much to overcome. Zach Gross led the...

Game Recap

Ojala's double-double sends Calumet past Houghton

1/31/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

At this point, it is clear that Matt Ojala can score the ball. Night in and night out, he scores anywhere from 15 to 30 points, all while averaging around 10 assists per game. However, over the course of the past offseason, both he and his father agreed that he could work on his rebounding to bring his game to...

Feature

Baraga fires head coach Chris Loonsfoot

1/31/2019 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin

Chris Loonsfoot knew there would be challenges when he took over the Baraga boys basketball program following an 0-21 season. He envisioned a long-term turnaround for his alma mater — similar to what Dollar Bay has achieved — but after an 0-14 start in his second season, Loonsfoot was told he was fired from Baraga Athletic Director Amy Kraft-Lake after...

Feature

Dynamic Ogea makes his return for Marquette

1/30/2019 | Feature | By Eden Laase |

For a while, it felt like Luke Ogea might never play. First, it was a nasty ankle sprain. Then a concussion. Then, just when he was ready to get back on the court, mononucleosis took over.  It’s been almost a year since he played in a varsity game, and he only started practicing for real a week ago — but...

Game Recap

No. 2 Marquette shuts down Westwood in Ogea's return

1/30/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Facing Marquette’s defense is a test of one’s mental fortitude. There are the seven perimeter defenders who utilize their quickness to play up into you and pressure over the course of 32 minutes. And even if you manage to beat them off the dribble, Marius Grazulis protects the rim and you’re forced to contort your body to finish around his...

Game Recap

1-29 boys roundup: Engadine's Blanchard reaches 1,000 points, L'Anse beats Baraga

1/30/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Andrew Blanchard scored 13 points to become a 1,000-point scorer in Engadine’s 76-35 road win over Big Bay on Tuesday. “For Engadine, it is a huge accomplishment as we only have a small handful of guys who have done it,” coach Walter Hanson said. Blanchard also grabbed eight rebounds.

Game Recap

No. 2 Bessemer falls to Hurley 48-46

1/29/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

The question posed to Hurley coach Mike Swartz didn’t have a clear answer, but the fact he was being asked which of his team’s upset wins in the last 10 days was bigger shows how far the team has come from a 2-6 start to the season. Hurley upset the Upper Peninsula’s No. 2 ranked team, Bessemer, Monday night, winning...

Feature

Fourth UPSSA Poll: Few minor changes

1/29/2019 | Feature | By Staff

Last week saw a shakeup in the UPSSA poll due to several upsets, but this week things stayed relatively the same. A few teams moved up or down a spot, but nothing major. Here is the fourth poll of the season:

Game Recap

1-28 boys roundup: Dollar Bay tops E-TC on Brendan LeClaire layup

1/29/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Brendan LeClaire decided the Blue Bolts weren’t going to lose. In the closing seconds of Dollar Bay’s matchup with Ewen-Trout Creek, the senior guard converted a Euro-step reverse layup to give his team a 2-point lead. Then, to make sure Dollar Bay ended up on top, he stole the inbounds pass on E-TC’s last possession and iced the victory, 48-46.

Column

Boys rankings: Large schools stay the same; Engadine cracks top 5

1/28/2019 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

Before Thursday, we were doing pretty well as far as inclement weather. But then a snowstorm hit and numerous games were postponed. And now with the polar vortex arriving this week, it’s anyone’s guess how many games will be played. For any coaches or athletic directors reading this, feel free to reach out to let us know of postponements and...

Game Recap

No. 5 North Central earns OT win over BR-H

1/26/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

There are 11 miles between Powers and Bark River, and despite being long involved in their respective programs, Marc Zawacki and Mike Malone had never met.  But as luck would have it, the two first-year varsity coaches ran into each other at the casino not long before they played. They sat down and talked basketball. That was their first introduction. ...

Game Recap

1-25 D1-3 boys roundup: Negaunee, Gladstone, L'Anse record wins

1/26/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Negaunee Miners got strong performances out of their three key players, Jakson Sager, Jason Waterman and Drew Lindberg as the Miners topped Manistique 52-45 on Friday in Negaunee. Sager had 15, Lindberg scored 13 and Waterman finished with 12 points. Sager and Waterman combined to score all 13 of Negaunee’s fourth-quarter points, as the Miners outscored Manistique 13-6 in...

Game Recap

1-25 Division 4 boys roundup: C-N hits 16 3s; Dollar Bay routs LL-H

1/26/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Dollar Bay built a 26-point first quarter lead as the Blue Bolts coasted to a 79-57 win over Lake Linden-Hubbell on Friday. Ashton Janke led the charge with 27 points, Davin Hill scored 17, and Connor LeClaire added 16 in the victory. The Blue Bolts made 12 3-pointers, with five coming in the first quarter as they built the lopsided...

Game Recap

No. 1 Brimley challenged but perseveres over Engadine

1/26/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Joel Moore joked he thought he was going to have a stroke. Marcus Harris said he loved it, but admitted “there were times that sucked.” But despite the wave of emotions, the Brimley Bays likely needed a night like this. They needed to feel the weight of meaningful possessions late in the fourth quarter. Because as fun as it is...

Feature

How Engadine is trying to shake things up with its own system

1/24/2019 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin |

Even now in its tamer state, in order to understand Engadine’s system, you have to throw out all prior notions you had about basketball. The quick 3 that came within the first five seconds? That’s by design. The platoon substitutions are, too. So is the constant full-court pressure that can turn any game into straight mayhem and a nightmare for...

Game Recap

No. 5 Ironwood defeats Washburn for key win

1/23/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Ironwood has been living on the edge throughout the Indianhead Conference schedule.   A double-overtime win over Mellen. A 13-point halftime deficit at Solon Springs. Losing to Washburn much of the game at home.  But in what looked to be the toughest road test to their undefeated record, a Tuesday night trip to second-place Washburn, the Red Devils controlled almost...

Game Recap

No. 2 Marquette displays versatility in win over Houghton

1/23/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

The No. 2 Marquette Redmen are a dangerous team when Marius Grazulis is on the floor. With his big frame, Grazulis makes up for a lot of the mistakes that his team makes, whether it be a blown assignment on the defensive perimeter, or a poor shot or pass on offense. Marquette coach Brad Nelson realizes the benefits that come...

Game Recap

1-22 Division 4 boys roundups: Carney-Nadeau beats SC; E-TC beats LL-H

1/23/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Carney-Nadeau Wolves overcame a slow second quarter in which they made just one field goal to defeat the Superior Central Cougars 56-48 Tuesday night in Eben Junction. The Wolves were led by Brett LaFord with 19 points, and Max Baumler added 16 points. Superior Central was led by Beau Rondeau with 14 points. UP NEXT C-N (9-3) hosts Forest...

Game Recap

1-22 Division 1-3 boys roundups: Calumet wins big; L'Anse tops Chassell

1/23/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Calumet Copper Kings had a whole team effort to defeat the Jeffers Jets 51-30 Tuesday night in Painesdale. The Copper Kings were without their best scorer Matt Ojala (ankle), but received solid nights from Travis Ojala and Eli McParlan who scored 17 points and 16 points. Calumet held the Jets to single digits in every quarter except the fourth...

Game Recap

No. 4 Gladstone makes it six in a row with victory over Ishpeming

1/23/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

By this point pretty much everyone gets it. Gladstone has been reborn. The Braves lost five of their first seven games, and the season looked to be going nowhere fast. Then, they found themselves, found their style and found out how to win. The latest victim of Gladstone 2.0: Ishpeming. 

Game Recap

Defense ignites No. 1 Iron Mountain over No. 3 Negaunee

1/23/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Negaunee can test you in certain ways. Even for a team as talented and athletic as No. 1 Iron Mountain. The No. 3 Miners run methodical halfcourt sets with multiple options that can wear on your defense, and they defend with discipline, usually backed by some unique scheme from coach Dan Waterman. So really, it can feel like a postseason...

Game Recap

BR-H utilizes press to edge Norway

1/22/2019 | Game Recap | By Keith Shelton |

Bark River-Harris head coach Marc Zawacki bided his time.  Playing catch up but delivering a counter punch to each of Norway's mini-runs, the physical Broncos were never out of a game that was tied after each of the first three quarters. And when the time was right, Zawacki and the Broncos exposed Norway's weakness and capitalized for a hard-fought 42-33...

Game Recap

1-21 Division 4 boys roundup: Engadine wins thriller over Munising, E-TC blows out R-M

1/22/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Andrew Blanchard had 30 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals to lead the Engadine Eagles to a thrilling 77-70 victory over the Munising Mustangs Monday in Engadine. The victory marked the Eagles’ (9-3) sixth consecutive win of the season.

Game Recap

Third UPSSA poll: West Iron County girls now No. 1

1/22/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff

With plenty of upsets in the UP this past week, the UPSSA poll underwent numerous changes. Thanks to Negaunee beating Westwood 46-36 on Friday, West Iron County is now No. 1 in Division 1-3 Girls. The Munising boys jumped to No. 3, thanks to its 73-48 win over Carney-Nadeau on Jan. 14. Check out the rest of the poll below.

Column

Boys rankings: Gladstone, Munising make jump to No. 3

1/21/2019 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

With upsets and losses within the top five, this week should see the most shakeup in the UPSSA poll. Weeks like this are expected at some point, because not every team is going 20-0. But with all the shakeup, comes more debate with who should go where. Here’s how I have it for the boys this week:

Game Recap

Chassell tops LL-H in physical affair

1/19/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Rafael Soumis saw two different versions of his Chassell Panthers team on Saturday afternoon. One version ran the floor effectively, found the open man and finished their shots well despite heavy pressure. The other, less appealing version, did virtually the exact opposite, turning the ball over regularly while running through monotonous sets of offense that yielded few results. Fortunately for...

Game Recap

No. 3 Bessemer holds off Dollar Bay despite Busch's absence

1/19/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

No. 3 Bessemer didn’t score the last three minutes of the first half, and the Speedboys went into the locker room Friday night facing a 9-point deficit with their big man in the middle, Tyler Busch, in street clothes. Coach Richard Matrella talked about better defense against a good Dollar Bay team and about how they settled for too many...

Game Recap

1-17: Division 1-3 boys roundup: Iron Mountain, Calumet, Ishpeming all earn wins

1/18/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Iron Mountain Mountaineers used a 27-point night by Marcus Johnson to help them defeat the Manistique Emeralds 75-52 Thursday night in Manistique. Johnson hit five 3-pointers on the evening and was a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line. Foster Wonders added 20 points for the Mountaineers. Manistique was led by Schyler Andersen with 21 points. UP NEXT Iron Mountain...

Game Recap

1-17 Division 4 boys roundup: Rapid River wins, Chassell escapes E-TC, Brimley improves to 13-0

1/18/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Tyler Sundling’s 24 points helped Rapid River defeat Bark River-Harris 63-48 on Thursday in Harris. Tony DeMars added 15 points in the victory. Rapid River trailed 30-26 at the half before outscoring the Broncos 37-18 in the second half. For BR-H, Hunter Debelak had 16 points. UP NEXT Rapid River (5-4) goes to Stephenson on Monday. BR-H (5-6) hosts Norway...

Game Recap

Gladstone's role players continue to shine, top Negaunee

1/18/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Having Reece Castor gives the Gladstone Braves a chance on any given night. He can score from anywhere on the floor and can serve as a one-man press break with his ballhandling and vision, which are as sound as you’ll see in the UP. It’s not a cliche to say he can do it all because, well, he can.  But...

Game Recap

Munising edges Manistique 55-48

1/16/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Munising Mustangs won their fourth game in a row with a 55-48 victory over the Manistique Emeralds Wednesday in Munising.

Game Recap

1-15 boys roundup: Ishpeming upsets Marquette, Brimley tops Cedarville

1/16/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

After two close home losses, Ishpeming bounced back in a big way: By upsetting No. 2 Marquette 64-59 in double overtime on Tuesday. “It feels great to get a win after a couple of tough losses here,” coach Anthony Katona said. “It was just a tough start to the season. It didn’t help we started later than everyone and were...

Game Recap

Gerhard sets tone for Iron Mountain in win over Kingsford

1/16/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Charlie Gerhard leaps in the air, grabs a floating lob and shoots the ball off the glass. It drops through the hoop giving Iron Mountain two easy points on the first possession of the game. Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be then? Yeah, that’s exactly how it’s going to be. Gerhard set the tone for the Mountaineers, and...

Game Recap

Janke scores 23 to lead Dollar Bay past Wakefield-Marenisco

1/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Ashton Janke was in a unique position against the Wakefield-Marenisco Cardinals on Monday night. The Cardinals feature four starters that are 6-feet or taller, something that he had not seen at all during the season thus far. Even though he was being pounded all night long by the W-M post combo of Brett Heil and Logan Hamel, Janke was able...

Game Recap

Second UPSSA basketball poll

1/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff

This is the second edition of the UPSSA basketball poll, which will be released every week.

Game Recap

Munising routs No. 2 Carney-Nadeau

1/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Keith Shelton |

Lesson No. 1 when playing the Carney-Nadeau Wolves: keep them off the perimeter.  Jesse Matson and the Munising Mustangs paid attention in practice this week and their rock solid man defense put it into action as Munising dominated Carney-Nadeau 73-48 Monday night. 

Game Recap

1-14 Division 4 boys roundup: Superior Central defeats Republic-Michigamme

1/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Jeremy Koski had 12 points as Superior Central went on the road and defeated Republic-Michigamme 42-38 on Monday. The Cougars had a balanced effort as DJ Johns recorded eight points and three other players scored six points. For Republic-Michigamme Eli Loukkala scored 14 points. Up next, Superior Central (3-6) hosts Stepehson on Friday. Republic-Michigamme (1-7) hosts Ewen-Trout Creek on Monday.

Game Recap

1-14 Division 1-3 boys roundup: Negaunee tops Hancock, L'Anse beats E-TC

1/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Negaunee topped Hancock 62-30 on Monday at home thanks to double-digit scoring from three players. Jason Waterman scored 13 points, Jakson Sager had 11 and Drew Lindberg added 10. The Miners were also 9-10 at the free throw line. “I was really happy with our energy level and execution,” Negaunee coach Dan Waterman said. “I was really happy for our...

Game Recap

Rapid River earns convincing win over No. 4 North Central

1/15/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

This was more like it. This was a Rapid River program that looked every bit like the two-time defending district champions that it is. Tyler Sundling was the best player on the court. Tony DeMars and Sam Orth utilized their size to dominate the post. Other perimeter players hit shots. And the ball movement was so crisp and accurate that...

Column

Boys rankings: Negaunee grinds out win; new teams at No. 5

1/14/2019 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

After looking at the first poll, there wasn’t anything major I would deem that out of place. One voter didn’t put the Ontonagon girls in its top five, which I guess is fine if the basis used was the Gladiators don’t play anyone, leaving them undeserving of a top five spot despite being undefeated when the poll dropped. I didn’t...

Game Recap

Carney-Nadeau falls short to Destiny

1/13/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Carney-Nadeau Wolves came up short to Destiny 71-66 Saturday in Milwaukee. C-N (8-2) was led by Max Baumler, who finished with 25 points and converted six 3s. Brett LaFord added 16 points, and Beau Koffman scored 13 points. As a team, C-N converted 12 3s. UP NEXT C-N hosts Munising Monday.

Game Recap

Sirard scores 27 as Houghton defeats L'Anse

1/12/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

By this point in the season, it is no secret that Houghton’s Brad Sirard can score. The question is, how have teams not adjusted to him? The junior, fresh off of a 25-point performance against Gwinn was up against a team and coach who know him very well, and have already defeated him and his team once this year, so...

Game Recap

Westwood outlasts Ishpeming, snapping two-game losing streak

1/12/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Enough was enough. Westwood coach Chad Hewitt likes to keep a hands-off approach with his players, allowing them to dictate how their season progresses. But after two blowout losses, it was time to step in. The Patriots pride themselves on their defense, but after giving up just 39 points a game, they allowed Iron Mountain to score 60 and Gladstone...

Game Recap

No. 1 Iron Mountain pounds boards, tops Gwinn

1/12/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

To the Gwinn Modeltowners credit, they challenged No. 1 Iron Mountain in their own way. They stuck hands in the face of attempted jumpers, bodied the Mountaineers in the paint and even engaged in some back-and-forth trash talk throughout the contest. Following a layup as he was fouled, Tucker Taylor flexed his bicep and nodded toward his bench. Gwinn came...

Game Recap

1-11 boys roundup: BR-H, Marquette win big

1/12/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Hunter Debelak scored 17 points and Gage Degrave added 13 as Bark River-Harris cruised to a 54-34 win over Norway on Friday in Norway. The Broncos led 23-16 at halftime after limiting Norway to just four points in the second quarter. The Knights were led by Kody Hendricks with 13 points. Up next, BR-H (5-4) travels to Forest Park on...

Game Recap

Ontonagon tops Wakefield-Marenisco for key win

1/11/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Ontonagon has played all of the top teams in the Copper Mountain Conference tough, but they didn’t have a big win to show for it, until Thursday night. The Gladiators gave up a 10-point halftime lead, but they outplayed the Cardinals in the fourth quarter for a 54-48 win. Both teams are now 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the conference.

Game Recap

Boys: Engadine outlasts Rudyard 77-72

1/11/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Engadine's Andrew Blanchard had 27 points, but it almost wasn't enough to hold off a pesky Rudyard team. Engadine won 77-74, but not without a little drama.

Game Recap

Reinvented Gladstone defeats Kingsford for 3rd straight win

1/11/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

The biggest difference with the Gladstone Braves is that they’re fun. Their uptempo style is fun to watch, they appear to be having more fun and it’s always fun when you win. There are more smiles now when the players visit with friends and family after games, and the source of it all can be traced back to the Christmas...

Game Recap

1-10 boys roundup: C-N tops Mid-Pen, E-TC's Nordine scores 30

1/11/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Max Baumler scored 28 points, and Brett LaFord added 24 as Carney-Nadeau cruised to an 85-39 win over Mid-Peninsula on Thursday in Rock. The Wolves (8-1) also got 13 points from Beau Koffman. Mid-Pen (0-8) was led by Zach England, who scored 18 points. Up next, C-N goes to Milwaukee Bay View (WI) on Saturday, and Mid-Pen hosts Big Bay...

Game Recap

Gwinn defeats Houghton in double-overtime thriller

1/10/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Gwinn has everything Houghton is missing. And Houghton has everything Gwinn lacks.  Gwinn has quick guards. Houghton has big guards. Gwinn likes to run. Houghton likes to play slow. Gwinn has a big post presence. Houghton relies on its backcourt. And so on, and so on. The two teams clash so perfectly that one regulation contest wasn’t enough to decide...

Game Recap

No. 4 Negaunee responds to Waterman's challenge, beats Ishpeming

1/10/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Even through the rose-colored glasses one uses when analyzing high school sports — I mean, they are just kids — it was hard to find positives about Negaunee’s offensive first half Wednesday in Ishpeming. The No. 4 Miners missed shots, appeared hesitant and were getting bodied by a bigger and stronger Hematites team that played with a defensive vigor expected...

Game Recap

Big Wakefield-Marenisco overpowers E-TC

1/9/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Wakefield-Marenisco used its size advantage to complete the season sweep of Ewen-Trout Creek in a 62-52 Copper Mountain Conference victory Tuesday night. “It was a good win for us tonight,” W-M coach Terry Fetters said. E-TC coach Brad Besonen was disappointed his team didn’t take advantage of its quickness to counteract W-M’s size. But mostly, he didn’t like how his...

Game Recap

1-8 boys roundup: No. 1 Brimley, No. 2 Carney-Nadeau win easily

1/9/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Carney-Nadeau Wolves defeated the Big Bay de Noc Black Bears 90-36 Tuesday night in Big Bay. The Wolves (7-1) put on a shooting clinic from deep as they connected on 15 3-pointers, with Max Baumler and Beau Koffman providing five apiece. C-N was led by Baumler with 26 points, with Koffman not far behind with 23 points. Brett LaFord...

Game Recap

Ironwood wins double OT thriller to remain unbeaten

1/8/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

When you’re undefeated, you’re going to get everybody’s best game. And to stay on top, sometimes you have to just find a way to survive even when everything is going against you. And everything was going against Ironwood Monday night. The Red Devils didn’t have their leading scorer or point guard for either overtime. Ironwood gave up leads that took...

Feature

Foster Wonders: The UP's most intriguing recruit

1/8/2019 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin |

There are numerous anecdotes that go into Foster Wonders being the most interesting UP recruit in recent history. There’s the one about him scrimmaging against the Michigan Tech men as an eighth-grader, pitting him against college athletes before he played his first high school game — and holding his own, at that. There’s the full scholarship offer he received from...

Boys Basketball

First UPSSA basketball poll

1/8/2019 | Boys Basketball | By Staff

This is the first edition of the UPSSA basketball poll, which will be released every week.

Column

Boys rankings: Iron Mountain No. 1; Negaunee, Rapid River crack top 5

1/7/2019 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about Upbeat is being able to see more teams across the UP. It goes without saying that it makes doing this poll a lot easier with being able to lean on seeing these teams in person, along with being able to draw more sources from different parts of the UP. The same goes when...

Game Recap

Manistique boys bounce back to defeat Big Bay de Noc; BBdN girls win

1/6/2019 | Game Recap | By Keith Shelton |

The Manistique Emeralds can be a handful. Strong, quick, and athletic, they can win in a variety of ways, but especially so, when they get a start like they did Saturday evening against rival Big Bay de Noc.  Getting out to a 16-0 lead just halfway through the first quarter certainly helped the Emeralds' case in a 71-47 victory over...

Game Recap

Brimley blows out Flint International Academy

1/5/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Brimley Bays earned a dominating 86-52 over Flint International Academy Saturday. The victory gives the Bays a perfect 9-0 start to the season. Zach Gross led the winners with 28 points, while Marcus Harris knocked down six 3s en route to scoring 20 points. Tristen Lyons added 14 points. UP NEXT Brimley travels to DeTour on Tuesday before hosting...

Game Recap

1-4 boys roundup: Ishpeming, Munising earn wins

1/5/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Ishpeming Hematites (3-3) defeated the Manistique Emeralds 69-44 Friday night in Manistique. The Hematites had a big game from Gavin Sunberg, who poured in 26 points with 12 of them coming in the third quarter alone. Darius Yohe added 12 points, and Hunter Smith chipped in with 10 points.  The Emeralds (2-5) were led by Kanton Lauzon with 12...

Game Recap

Castor sets school's all-time leading scoring mark, Gladstone snaps skid

1/5/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Ask Reece Castor about becoming Gladstone’s all-time leading scorer and he dismisses the accomplishment nonchalantly. He’s not rude or annoyed, just indifferent about it. Perhaps it’s the result of scoring 1,477 points. At some point, you just become numb to the accolades.  But what he will open up about is how he’s attempted to deal with the overwhelming defensive attention...

Game Recap

1-3 boys roundup: Dollar Bay routs LL-H; C-N holds off BR-H

1/4/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Jeffers picked up its second win of the season with a 51-33 road victory over Baraga on Thursday. The Jets (2-7) were led by Christian Hocking who scored 21 points, hitting three 3-pointers and going 6-8 from the free throw line. Brett Hill added 15 points in the win. For Baraga (0-8), Steele Jondreau led with 13 points. Up next,...

Game Recap

Waterman gets back on track, Negaunee defeats Houghton

1/4/2019 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Before Christmas break, Jason Waterman lost his swagger. In his last two games, he managed a combined 12 points, including a two-point performance against rival Marquette. Waterman felt like he had met his match against the Redmen, and it seemed as if he had lost his stroke. “[Marquette] knows who I am,” Waterman said. “They have locked me up through...

Game Recap

Marquette's Brazeau shows off scoring ability in victory against Kingsford

1/4/2019 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Scan a stat sheet from a Marquette game last season and you might not see much of Bryce Brazeau. Even now the senior point guard doesn’t do anything to make most people take a second look. In fact, as Brazeau emerges from the locker room, perhaps the most eye-catching thing about him is the pair of yellow Spongebob socks he’s...

Game Recap

Iron Mountain makes resounding defensive statement in win over Westwood

1/4/2019 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Well, so much for the showdown. Thursday was meant to showcase the matchup between a gritty blue-collared Westwood team that came in allowing just 38 points a game, and the electrifying scoring duo of Iron Mountain’s Marcus Johnson and Foster Wonders. It was a battle of two teams who excel on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Patriots, who play...

Feature

Marcus Harris does it all for Brimley

1/3/2019 | Feature | By Eden Laase |

Marcus Harris has a lot going on.  First, there’s his look. Carmel-hued curls bouncing atop his head, mid-calf socks covered in different colored stars, and purple and yellow Kobes on his feet. If that’s not enough to get your attention, the way Harris plays will. When it comes to the 8-0 Bays, it’s hard to nail down Harris’ role on...

Game Recap

1-2 boys roundup: Rapid River defeats Munising

1/3/2019 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Rapid River Rockets (3-3) defeated the Munising Mustangs 68-59 Wednesday night in Munising. The Rockets were led by Tyler Sundling with 22 points, but also had three other players reach double figures, as Bradon Moss had 10 points, Tony DeMars had 14 points and Brent Lundquist added 15 points. The Rockets jumped out to an 18-8 first-quarter lead and...

Column

Boys rankings: Iron Mountain No. 1, Houghton rises, Munising cracks top 5

1/2/2019 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

We’re close to the debut of the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association basketball poll. The first one will drop on Jan. 8, and the soonest outlets are allowed to post it is 6 a.m. each Tuesday. I will still release my rankings columns on Mondays, so at least by then, you’ll know how I voted for the poll.  There’s...

Game Recap

Escanaba gets all-around effort, defeats Menominee

12/29/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

The Escanaba Eskymos have been pretty one dimensional throughout the season to this point, relying on their abundance of height and length to have success. Although their big men played extremely well, it was the perimeter play of the Eskymos that propelled them to a 78-69 victory over Menominee Friday night in the consolation championship of the Carney-Nadeau Holiday Tournament.

Game Recap

Young Coggs Preps tops Carney-Nadeau to win Holiday Tournament

12/29/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Jerome Gray wasn't exactly sure what to expect when his team came from Milwaukee to compete in the Carney-Nadeau Holiday Tournament. Young Coggs Prep had not played against any of the teams that were participating and shared no common opponents. Sure, the Eagles had watched some film on the other teams, but film can only prepare a team to a...

Game Recap

Defense propels Carney-Nadeau past Menominee 51-46

12/28/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

When the Carney-Nadeau Wolves are on from the 3-point line, they are one of the most dangerous teams in the UP. C-N coach Jake Polfus has developed a reputation for his team’s fire-at-will philosophy, as opposing coaches prepare for a barrage of 3s when they scout the Wolves. On a night where C-N was far from perfect from deep, its...

Game Recap

Young Coggs Prep holds off Escanaba 86-82

12/28/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

The Young Coggs Prep Eagles came into Thursday night’s game against Escanaba with a significant disadvantage in height. With the Eskymos featuring four players 6-foot-5 and above, the Eagles knew that they had their work cut out for them well before they made the 205-mile journey to Carney for the Carney-Nadeau Holiday Tournament. Young Coggs' talented guard Jalen Tolliver, however,...

Feature

Carney-Nadeau hopes to find shooting stroke in Holiday Tournament

12/27/2018 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin |

It’s a hypothetical that typically doesn’t need to be asked when discussing successful Carney-Nadeau teams: How good can this group be when it’s on from outside? And yet, it’s perhaps one of the biggest glaring issues for a Wolves team that’s 4-0.

Feature

How Young Coggs Prep found its way to the UP

12/27/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase |

Recently Young Coggs Prep, a small Christian school in Milwaukee, added a new 3D art program to its list of classes. While that has been an innovative and exciting course for the students, it doesn’t seem like something that would affect UP basketball — but it does.

Feature

Rebuilding: Menominee aims to continue growth

12/26/2018 | Feature | By Jason Sutherland |

The Menominee Maroons have had a tough start to their season, but coach Sam Larson is not concerned, or at least he does not show it. Larson, in his second year as the head coach of the Maroons, has a young team — one that relies on its underclassmen to handle most of the workload due to only having two...

Feature

Escanaba prepares for speed of Young Coggs Prep

12/26/2018 | Feature | By Keith Shelton |

For the Escanaba Eskymos to win the Carney-Nadeau Holiday Tournament, first they'll have to face their demons.  Young Coggs Prep appears to be everything Escanaba isn't, and that will pose plenty of challenges for head coach Tracy Hudson and the Eskymos when they face off at 5:15 p.m. CST, Thursday. The host team will play Menominee at approximately 7 p.m.

Game Recap

Borseth scores 39, E-TC defeats Chassell

12/22/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Ewen-Trout Creek coach Brad Besonen figured standout freshman Jaden Borseth was good for a couple of 30-point games this year, his second season on the varsity team. But his effort Friday night exceeded his expectations. Borseth scored 39 points to lead E-TC to an exciting 74-73 non-conference win over Chassell.

Game Recap

Negaunee: Sager's output not enough in loss to Marquette

12/22/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Negaunee’s stark reality was it needed career games from its talented backcourt if the Miners were going to upset rival Marquette. Because there’s only so much scheming even Dan Waterman can do to compensate for the length and athleticism of the 6-10 Marius Grazulis. You’re not going to block his shot, and he’s probably going to block yours and alter...

Game Recap

Marquette: Paint proves to be key in victory over Negaunee

12/22/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Twelve feet wide by 18 feet and 10 inches long. Or 144 inches by 226 inches. One patch of brown floorboards outlined with red. The paint, the key, the lane. It doesn’t matter what you call it.  White jerseys and yellow jerseys spent 32 minutes battling for ownership of the small sliver of court. And that space was the difference...

Game Recap

12-21 boys roundup: Fast start propels BR-H past Big Bay

12/22/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Bark River-Harris Broncos (4-3) defeated the Big Bay de Noc Black Bears 59-50 Friday night in Big Bay. The Broncos jumped out to a fast start, opening up an 18-8 opening quarter, and led 32-16 at the half. The Black Bears (0-5) were able to chip away at the lead, led by Alex LaLonde and his 16 points, with...

Game Recap

Ironwood defeats Hurley to remain unbeaten

12/21/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Ironwood came in the heavy favorite, but Hurley did what rivals do, they hung around and made a game of it. And Ironwood senior Griffen Revoyr did what great players do, he took control of the game in the second half, scoring 20 of his 30 points to lead the Red Devils past the Midgets 65-52 Thursday night.

Game Recap

Zoned out: Houghton stumps Calumet

12/21/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

A skeptic could look at Houghton’s wins over Westwood and Escanaba and still question the longterm effectiveness of its 1-2-2 packline zone defense. Sure, Westwood has athletic guards with the ability to slash to the hole, and Escanaba has one of the biggest frontcourts in the UP — but neither team is known for its perimeter shooting. Esky was 6...

Game Recap

12-20 boys roundup: Westwood wins, IM remains undefeated

12/21/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Westwood Patriots (6-1) defeated the Gwinn Modeltowners 44-39 Thursday night in Ishpeming. The Patriots featured a balanced scoring attack that included seven players tallying points, led by Blake Hewitt with 12 points. They trailed at 24-22 at the half but were able to stave off the Modeltowners (3-3) by holding them to just four third-quarter points. "It was a...

Game Recap

Boys roundup: Brimley routs Newberry, now 8-0

12/20/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Brimley Bays are now 8-0 after an 83-55 win over Newberry Wednesday in Brimley. The Bays led 28-12 after the first quarter and eventually built a 52-29 halftime lead.

Game Recap

Raffy Millado leads Marquette past Escanaba

12/19/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

When opposing teams scout the Marquette Redmen, they typically focus on their dominant 6-foot-10 senior Marius Grazulis, who draws double teams regularly with a third defender usually necessary to limit his presence around the rim. The Escanaba Eskymos did their best to limit Grazulis, but they did not account for the unlikely hero for the Redmen: senior point guard Raffy...

Game Recap

12-18 boys roundup: Negaunee, Manistique pick up wins

12/19/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Jason Waterman stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot as Negaunee went on the road and defeated Gwinn 65-41. Drew Lindberg led the Miners in scoring with 21, and point guard Jakson Sager had eight points, nine assists and five steals. "Our full court pressure was the key as we...

Game Recap

No doubt about it: Iron Mountain's defense smothers Gladstone

12/19/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

The questions, Foster Wonders admits, were annoying. “Why’d you let them back in the game?”  “How did it end up so close?” “I know you won, but what went wrong down the stretch?” The last time Iron Mountain faced Gladstone, for the first game of the season, the Mountaineers built what seemed like a comfy lead before letting the Braves...

Game Recap

Chassell beats Dollar Bay for first time in last seven meetings

12/18/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

The end was fitting. After Chassell beat Dollar Bay on the same play over and over again, it made sense that as precious seconds ticked off the clock, the Panthers did it again. This time to seal the game. Dollar Bay tried to put on its press, but applied too much pressure on the front end, and Blade Warren snuck...

Game Recap

12-17 boys roundup: Houghton tops WIC in overtime

12/18/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Houghton’s scoring duo of Brad Sirard and George Butvilas propelled the Gremlins to a 42-40 overtime win over West Iron County on Monday in Iron River. Butvilas had 16 points and Sirard scored 15. Sam Keskimaki added eight. “It is always a bugger to play down in Iron River,” Houghton coach Jared Lawson said. “We had struggles on offense and...

Column

Boys rankings: Not many changes, recruitment of Calumet's Matt Ojala

12/17/2018 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

After the debut of the weekly rankings, we’re back at it again.  If you missed the first one, the premise of this column is to rank the top five teams in the UP based on divisions. The first official Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Poll will not be released until Jan. 8, but we’re already ranking the teams on...

Game Recap

12-15 roundup: Brimley boys, girls sweep Superior Central

12/16/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

The Brimley Bays were able to overcome various ailments to key players to remain unbeaten for a 69-57 win over the Superior Central Cougars Saturday in Brimley.

Game Recap

Hot start enough for Marquette over TC West

12/16/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Sometimes basketball isn’t dramatic. Sometimes there is no intense storyline, heart-warming victory or soul-crushing defeat. Sometimes it’s just about doing enough of the right things at enough of the right times. No flash, no highlight-reel plays, just basketball. And on Saturday, Marquette earned a no-nonsense, plain old victory, 60-54 on the road against Traverse City West.

Game Recap

Marquette's late rally comes up short against TC Central

12/15/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Traverse City Central knew exactly how to play Marius Grazulis. It was an inside job, pun intended. TC Central head coach Travis Schuba coached Grazulis in AAU basketball this year, and 6-foot-6 Jack Sherwin was able to battle the 6-10 Grazulis to a near standstill as the rest of the Trojans finished the job in a 58-55 win over Marquette.

Game Recap

Iron Mountain routs Norway 76-31

12/15/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Nights like Friday are what you expect from juggernauts, with sharpshooting from deep, crisp passing and an overwhelming quickness on defense. This is Iron Mountain at its peak.  And no, the dominant 76-31 win over the young Norway Knights doesn’t hold the same weight as it would against, say, a hard-nosed Negaunee squad. But after the opening gauntlet the Mountaineers...

Game Recap

12-14 boys roundup: Gwinn narrowly defeats Manistique

12/15/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Game Recap

Escanaba uses height to defeat Gladstone

12/15/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

When it comes to the historic rivalry between Escanaba and Gladstone, there is a three-step process to determine which team gets to be crowned victorious, according to Esky coach Tracy Hudson. The first is the rivalry game: A classic matchup between two teams with a whole lot of history. The second, he calls judgment night. This happens when the teams...

Game Recap

Dollar Bay holds off Ontonagon 56-55

12/14/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

The Dollar Bay Blue Bolts seemed a bit sluggish to start Thursday night’s game against Ontonagon. They were coming off of their first regular-season defeat since the 2016-17 season earlier this week at the hands of Bessemer and the funk seemed to carry over. Fortunately for coach Jesse Kentala, his team snapped out of an uncharacteristic opening eight minutes by...

Game Recap

Defensive state of mind: Carney-Nadeau stifles North Central to start 4-0

12/14/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Eventually the shots will fall. That’s what the historic precedent for successful Carney-Nadeau teams tells us, so why should this be any different? But to a degree, the numbers are concerning at this point. After C-N’s 61-43 win over the North Central Jets Thursday in Carney, the Wolves (4-0) are now just 27 of 108 from 3 on the season...

Game Recap

12-13 boys roundup: Ojala gets triple-double

12/14/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Rapid River defeated Forest Park Thursday night 59-50 behind 17 points from Tyler Sundling, who scored 13 of those points in the first half. Rapid River pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring Forest Park 18-9. The Rockets also had solid showings from Brandon Moss and Sam Orth who added 11 and 12 points, respectively. The Trojans were led by...

Feature

Carney-Nadeau's Jake Polfus is right at home

12/13/2018 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin |

It’s nearly a month before Carney-Nadeau’s season opener against Rapid River and Jake Polfus is ready to reflect as he prepares for his 11th season as C-N’s head coach. He comfortably leans back in his chair inside an office, just steps away from the entrance to the hallowed gym as balls bounce and shots are thrown up by those still...

Game Recap

Gwinn survives late-game surge, defeats Ishpeming

12/13/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

The Gwinn Modeltowners are falling apart — literally.  During football season senior Austin Forbes planted his leg and an opposing player smashed into him, tearing his ACL, meniscus, and potentially LCL as well. But it didn’t sideline him. Instead, he finished out the season and then chose to postpone the inevitable surgery even further so he could play basketball. 

Game Recap

12-12 boys roundup: Munising dominates Superior Central

12/13/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Anthony Mattson scored 19 points, and Austin Killips added 18 as the Mustangs cruised to a 71-30 win on the road against Superior Central. Munising (4-1) held all of the Superior Central (2-3) players to single-digit scoring. Next up, Munising hosts North Dickinson on Monday, and SC goes to Brimley on Saturday.

Game Recap

Houghton's zone shuts down Escanaba for 60-52 victory

12/12/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Last week, Houghton coach Jared Lawson saw something he did not like. His team, who established its stingy 1-2-2 pack line defense in the first game of the season in a win against Westwood, did not produce the same defensive efforts in its following games against Kingsford and L’Anse. With the Escanaba Eskymos bringing a potent offense into Tuesday night’s...

Game Recap

Grazulis takes over, Marquette holds off Gladstone 61-47

12/12/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Sometimes things are as simple as they seem. For instance, there is likely not a defender in the UP who can check Marius Grazulis when he catches the ball on the block. He’s 6-10 and his limbs seem to extend forever. He has the coordination and athleticism to feature one of the most advanced skill sets in the post, and...

Game Recap

Rapid River snaps skid, defeats BR-H

12/11/2018 | Game Recap | By Keith Shelton |

Staring 0-4 in the face after a sloppy first half of basketball, the Rapid River Rockets were down to put up or shut up time. Their star player, Tyler Sundling, had a hand on every play but had little to show for it offensively. In fact, there were nearly as many turnovers as the Rockets had points and most of...

Game Recap

Ironwood remains unbeaten, now 5-0

12/11/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Ironwood coach Pete Lewinski isn’t ready to accept the hype around his Red Devils as one of the top teams in the Indianhead Conference, much less the favorite, as many consider them to be. They have a rivalry game in Hurley next week. They have road games in several tough places to play still on the schedule. But he did...

Game Recap

Negaunee defeats L'Anse for first win of season

12/11/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Moral victories are not for Dan Waterman and the Negaunee Miners. That would imply accepting some form of a less than desirable result. And for a program that expects to be amongst the UP’s elite, well, that’s simply not enough.  So while losing by a combined 16 points against three of the top teams in the UP to open the...

Game Recap

12-10 boys roundup: Calumet dominates E-TC

12/11/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

After losing a close matchup with Iron Mountain, Calumet bounced back in a big way, with a 72-39 win over Ewen-Trout Creek (2-2). The Copper Kings (3-1) had three scorers in double figures. Eli McParlan scored 25, Matt Ojala had 14 and Matt Ojala added 10. McParlan had eight rebounds, and Matt Ojala grabbed eight boards and dished out six...

Game Recap

Bessemer gets hot, limits Dollar Bay for key win

12/11/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Bessemer’s Uriah Aili has served as his team’s defensive stopper for most of this season, always earning the toughest defensive draw week in and week out. With Bessemer in a matchup with an undefeated Dollar Bay team with speed to burn, Aili was put in a difficult situation guarding the Blue Bolts’ versatile Brendan LeClaire. All Aili did was lead...

Column

Ranking the top boys teams after 2 weeks

12/10/2018 | Column | By Bryce Derouin |

The first Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Poll won’t be released until Jan. 8, but I figured we can start breaking teams down with early-season rankings. Those that followed my work at the Daily Mining Gazette will be familiar with this weekly column. For those of you that are new, I would rank the local teams in our coverage...

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Ojala, Johnson's PG battles go way back

12/10/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase |

There was a lot going on in Iron Mountain’s 78-71 win over Calumet on Friday. From Foster Wonder’s game-tying buzzer beater to Brevin Antilla’s 3-point shooting, to Iron Mountain’s 3-2 defense and Calumet’s end-of-regulation run, it was insanity all around. But in the midst of all that drama were two of the best point guards in the UP: Matt Ojala...

Game Recap

Beckman sends Westwood over Ishpeming 47-44

12/8/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

There’s a certain naturalness to the way Nathan Beckman leads. He commands the ball with confidence in the face of pressure — each dribble is pounded into the floor with authority — and he’s direct and decisive with every orchestrated pass and shot. Then there’s the other stuff people typically associate with leadership. When he speaks, it’s more encouraging than...

Game Recap

Iron Mountain survives OT thriller against Calumet

12/8/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Was any of that real? Or was the entire Calumet gym caught in some bizarre dream sequence, full of late-game heroics, implausible events and highlight-reel plays? There was a 6-5 sophomore knocking down a contested jumper at the buzzer. There was a first-year varsity player shooting the 3 like he was born to do it. There were made free throws...

Game Recap

Manistique shocks Gladstone 68-65

12/8/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Despite a 29-point loss to Iron Mountain on Tuesday and a 43-point defeat to Gladstone in the season opener, Manistique coach Bill Boddy still believed in the potential of his Emeralds. In the locker room in Iron Mountain, he let them know that. “I looked every one of the kids in the eye and told them that we could do...

Game Recap

Bessemer defense leads to 54-41 win over W-M

12/7/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

The way Bessemer defended Wakefield-Marenisco’s premier guard, Mason Saubert, Thursday night, the Speedboys could withstand 23 points and a stellar game from Brett Heil. Bessemer pulled away late in the third quarter for a 54-41 win over the Cardinals. Nick Trudgeon led Bessemer with 16 points and Cade Mazzon had 14. “We made more shots, we had a second scorer,”...

Game Recap

Brimley outraces Engadine for 104-70 win

12/7/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

For the first time in four years, there was no clear-cut preseason favorite in Division 4. For three seasons, the North Central Jets were perennial favorites and delivered on expectations with state titles each time. And even last year, with its returning core, Dollar Bay was viewed as one of the top contenders before earning a trip to East Lansing....

Game Recap

12-6 boys roundup: C-N handles ND

12/7/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Brett LaFord scored 30 points as Carney-Nadeau (2-0) cruised to a 67-48 win over North Dickinson (1-2) on Thursday. Carney jumped out to a 16-6 lead in the first quarter and North Dickinson couldn't get back in the game. Max Baumler added 19 points for the Wolves, and Joe Roell led North Dickinson with 23. Next up, Carney hosts Stephenson...

Game Recap

Norway rallies late, beats Rapid River 45-43

12/6/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Game experience is limited for a Norway Knights squad that features just two seniors in its current rotation. There will certainly be frustrations and lessons to be had as this group gets acclimated to each other and the varsity level of competition, but the trials and tribulations of a 20-game season often reveal certain qualities about individuals and teams throughout...

Game Recap

12-4 boys roundup: Marcus Johnson scores 1,000th point

12/5/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Marcus Johnson scored 24 points as Iron Mountain coasted to a 77-48 win over Manistique on Tuesday in Iron Mountain. The scoring effort gave Johnson, a junior, 1,000 career points. Of his 24, 18 came from behind the 3-point line. Also for Iron Mountain, Foster Wonders led all scorers with 27 points, and Jaden Vicenzi chipped in with 14. For...

Game Recap

Castor hits game-winner to top Ishpeming, scores 35

12/5/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

In most games, you can feel the momentum shift, an unseen force controlling the results. But not this time. As Gladstone and Ishpeming traded baskets the outcome was unclear: The Braves would make a bucket and you could hear the Gladstone fans breathe a sigh of relief, surely that would turn the tides. Or a steal by Ishpeming would ignite...

Game Recap

C-N recovers from slow start for 68-41 win over Rapid River

12/4/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Carney-Nadeau came out and did what Carney-Nadeau does. The Wolves launched 3 after 3 with confidence and little hesitation as is their custom. But high school kids are typically victims of the moment, and this was no different for an ambitious Carney-Nadeau group that dreams of a season opener the day the previous season ends in March. So the Wolves...

Feature

Versatile Nash prepared to lead Escanaba

12/2/2018 | Feature | By Keith Shelton |

The Escanaba Eskymos are pressed for time. "Push it," shouts veteran head coach Tracy Hudson from across the gym floor. The Eskymos have a short window to prepare for the season due to a lengthy postseason football run, and Hudson begins to shout another command, but from a certain vantage point, it's hard to tell what it is. Hudson is...

Game Recap

Marquette tops Petoskey to win Tip-off Classic

12/2/2018 | Game Recap | By Drew Kochanny |

On Friday night when the Marquette boys opened their 2018-19 season, Marquette coach Brad Nelson knew his team left way too many chances for stops on the defensive end on the floor.  Though they came away with an overtime victory over Brighton, Nelson needed to see his team take a step forward defensively.  The Redmen got their chance with a...

Game Recap

Revoyr's 45 points propel Ironwood to win over Bayfield

12/1/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

The Red Devils didn’t need a half-court buzzer beater to win Friday night. But they did need a career night from Griffen Revoyr. The versatile 6-4 senior led Ironwood with 45 points to will the Devils to a 71-58 win over a Bayfield team that wouldn’t go away in the Indianhead Conference favorite’s house. Nobody else scored more than eight...

Game Recap

11-30 boys roundup: Engadine, West Iron County record wins

12/1/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

Andrew Blanchard dropped 32 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists as Engadine (2-0) defeated visiting Newberry 91-73 in an offensive showdown. Blanchard scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter when the Eagles scored 36 points to seal the win. He was also 13-15 at the free throw line. Drake Dewyse made five 3-pointers and added...

Game Recap

Houghton earns statement win over Westwood

12/1/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

It was a bit of a culture shock when Jared Lawson moved to Houghton. He was accustomed to a community that rallies around its basketball team every winter — where it’s never a doubt the bleachers will fill for every Friday night home game, and you’re the talk of the town on a regular basis. That’s the kind of environment...

Game Recap

Marquette guts out season-opening OT win over Brighton

12/1/2018 | Game Recap | By Drew Kochanny |

In the past three years of Marquette making the trip down to the annual Petoskey boys basketball Tip-off Classic, the opening game hasn’t been kind to the Redmen.  In all three, Marquette had walked away with a loss in the opener. That changed on Friday, when the Redmen opened the season with a 63-58 overtime win over Brighton, while picking...

Game Recap

Vicenzi's defense leads Iron Mountain past Negaunee

12/1/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

With the ball being inbounded on the other end of the court, Jaden Vicenzi and Jason Waterman are face-to-face. Vicenzi looks up at his opponent and says something. Vicenzi isn’t talking trash, or trying to get in Waterman’s head; that isn’t part of his game. Instead, the two share a laugh. “This is going to be a long game,” Vicenzi...

Game Recap

BR-H shuts down Superior Central for Zawacki's first win

11/30/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

The significance of coaching at Bark River-Harris is not lost on Marc Zawacki. He grew up here, excelled at sports during his high school career in front of a passionate community, and after college, set out with the goal of returning to live in his hometown. So when he walked off the court following his team’s 58-38 win over Superior...

Game Recap

Bessemer bounces back with 67-46 win over E-TC

11/30/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

Bessemer showed no ill effects two days after losing a heartbreaker to Ironwood. Instead, it showed why Ewen-Trout Creek coach Brad Besonen’s pick for the Copper Mountain Conference may just be right. The Speedboys jumped out to an 18-point first-quarter lead and went on to beat the Panthers 67-46 Thursday night. Bessemer is a balanced team and played like it...

Game Recap

LL-H stifles Chassell, wins 70-52

11/30/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

In the preseason, Lake Linden-Hubbell head coach Jack Kumpula was not sure about the immediate future of his team. He knew the Lakes were talented, but there was no denying their youth would play a factor in the season with his team only starting one senior. He was optimistic they would compete against top teams in the Copper Mountain Conference...

Game Recap

11-29 boys roundup: Ojala, Castor hit milestones

11/30/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

It was a big day for Matt Ojala. The senior scored 17 points and dished out 10 assists as Calumet (2-0) defeated Hancock (0-2) 63-47, while also surpassing the 1,000-point scoring mark. With 1,001 points, Ojala is now the third person to reach the milestone, joining Josh Cone and Tom Mattson. The best part? Now people will stop asking him about...

Game Recap

Dollar Bay continues to roll

11/30/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

The folding table in front of the Dollar Bay gym is covered with white programs for spectators to take as they walk in. On the outside, last year’s Blue Bolts stand proudly, smiles spread across their faces as they hold the district championship trophy. On the inside, this year’s roster lists the eight players tasked with following the best season...

Game Recap

11-27 boys roundup: Dollar Bay tops R-M

11/28/2018 | Game Recap | By Staff |

DOLLAR BAY — The Dollar Bay Blue Bolts opened the season with a 71-37 win over the Republic-Michigamme Hawks. Sophomore Connor LeClaire led the Blue Bolts with 21 points, while sophomore Davin Hill scored 16 and junior Ashton Janke added 12. “Our sophomores were solid and scored efficiently,” Dollar Bay coach Jesse Kentala said. “Brendan LeClaire was an absolute beast...

Game Recap

W-M defeats E-TC on the road for first time since 2013-14

11/28/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Juno (Daily Globe) |

When Wakefield-Marenisco came into Ewen for Tuesday night’s season opener, its offensive game plan didn’t focus around one of the best guards in the Upper Peninsula, Mason Saubert. It was all about taking advantage of the fact that Jake Witt — and his 6-7, 240-pound frame — is at Michigan Tech. The last four years, the Panthers never had to worry...

Game Recap

Matt Ojala's 12 assists propel Calumet to a 63-60 win over Negaunee

11/28/2018 | Game Recap | By Jason Sutherland |

Matt Ojala is well-known, in part, for putting up big scoring numbers, averaging 19.8 PPG over the last season. The Calumet Copper Kings have relied on him to do so for the vast majority of games over his career. When he was off, the team often followed, like in last season's defeat to Iron Mountain in the regional final, where...

Game Recap

Brimley routs Cedarville behind Lipponen's career-high

11/28/2018 | Game Recap | By Eden Laase |

Two Cedarville defenders stand in the paint, shoulder to shoulder, hands up and feet set. There appears to be no way around, and certainly no way through them. Hunter Lipponen disagrees.  The senior guard attacks, turns his body and manages to slip through a seemingly nonexistent space. He splits the defense, floats a scoop shot off the backboard and then...

Game Recap

Iron Mountain's Wonders, Johnson outduel Gladstone's Castor

11/28/2018 | Game Recap | By Bryce Derouin |

Bucky Johnson isn’t afraid to mince words when discussing this season’s Iron Mountain squad, already claiming this group as one of the most talented he’s had in 29 years of coaching. However, even a historically talented team is not immune to the rust that’s typical in season openers. The Mountaineers started just 1 of 9 from the field against Gladstone...

Feature

Quigley, Gladstone ready to build on last season's success

11/27/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

When Dane Quigly was tabbed as the Gladstone varsity coach last season there weren’t any nerves or fears. After all, he had made the jump from JV to varsity before, and this time, he was much more prepared. 

Feature

LL-H aims to make strides after 4-17 season

11/27/2018 | Feature | By Jason Sutherland

There is a feeling of optimism surrounding the Lake Linden-Hubbell boys basketball team. That may be surprising, considering the Lakes are coming off their worst season since 2010-11. “We didn’t have success last year, and that’s my concern,” head coach Jack Kumpula said. “We need to get started fast and get things going on and put last year behind us.”

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Onto's Polakowski looks to continue program's tradition of talented bigs

11/27/2018 | Feature | By Jason Sutherland

Ontonagon has a rich history of boys basketball players, especially players of great size and strength. Growing up in the Copper Country, you are bound to hear stories about the incredible size that the teams from Ontonagon invariably had year to year — kids who were just bigger and stronger than everyone else. This season, after graduating six seniors, the...

Feature

A quiet talent: Matt Ojala looks to cement legacy at Calumet

11/26/2018 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin

Labeling anyone the best at anything is tricky business. You assuredly will be met with some sort of counter-argument when using terms such as “greatest” or any other phrase marking someone as the finest at their craft. But, there are exceptions. Those are the individuals who warrant the discussion based on their impressive resumes that can stand up against others’...

Feature

Rapid River's Sundling ready to take next step

11/26/2018 | Feature | By Keith Shelton

Tyler Sundling is riding high these days. Just over a week ago, he was the hero for the Rapid River Rockets' first eight-person football state title. Sundling scored two touchdowns and rushed for over 100 yards in the championship game against Onekama. Now in his junior season, Sundling will officially take command of the Rockets basketball team. Sundling has enjoyed...

Feature

Iron Mountain's Marcus Johnson doesn't care what you think

11/26/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

We all feel emotional pain differently. Some get over the feeling quickly, some take a slow and steady approach, and others allow that pain to make a home inside them; motivating, influencing and dictating everything they do. When Marcus Johnson was 14 he watched his older brother Kyle lose his last high school game — a devastating 51-46 defeat at...

Column

Analyzing the Boys Dream Team possibilities

11/25/2018 | Column | By Bryce Derouin

The Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association will meet on March 27 to select the All-UP basketball teams. But why wait until then to start the Dream Team discussion? There’s enough returning talent on the boys side that we can begin to project where certain players may end up, so let’s run through the possibilities. But first, a couple things:...

Feature

Iron Mountain's role players make Mountaineers elite

11/25/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

After 29 years of coaching at Iron Mountain, and 19 as a head coach, Bucky Johnson can be considered an authority on Mountaineers basketball. He’s seen good teams, bad teams, great teams and everything in between, but he’s never seen anything like this.  “I would have to say that the last time I saw a team with this much talent...

Feature

Top 25 boys countdown

11/25/2018 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin

For the first time, a preseason player rankings poll was conducted to rate the top 25 boys and girls basketball players in the UP. Six coaches and Bryce Derouin of Upbeat ranked the boys on a 25-point scale. A first-place vote warranted 25 points, while second-place was worth 24 and so on. The coaches included two from the Copper Country,...

Feature

Zawacki aiming to continue strong BR-H tradition

11/24/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

Almost everything is new for the Bark River-Harris Broncos this season: A new coach, a new cast of players and a new division.  The coach is BR-H grad and long-time resident Marc Zawacki. The players are six seniors that didn’t see significant varsity time last season, and the division is Division 3 — a change for a team that has...

Feature

Chassell sets sights on district title

11/23/2018 | Feature | By Jason Sutherland

The Chassell Panthers have one thing on the mind these days: a district championship. With a roster mostly made up of returning players from last year’s 12-8 team and a few potential contributors coming up from the junior varsity team, the question asked was a simple one: Why not? With many teams in the conference graduating talented players, the Panthers...

Feature

Gladstone's Reece Castor is ready for anything

11/23/2018 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin

Reece Castor’s indoctrination to basketball occurred before he could learn proper shooting technique or how to dribble with his opposite hand. It happened at a time when most toddlers his age could be entertained with cartoons and toys. But for Reece, he found his joy in basketball. It started with his dad, Clayton, bringing little Reece to his men’s league...

Feature

The makings of Marquette's Marius Grazulis

11/19/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

At 2:20 p.m., the Marquette high school bell rings and students flood the halls, ready to head home after a long day of learning. Mere moments after the sound echoes through the school, Marius Grazulis is already dressed for basketball practice. He’s ready so early, in fact, that coach Brad Nelson hasn’t even arrived, so there isn’t a basketball in...

Feature

Gwinn's athletic Taylor ready to show off expanded game

11/18/2018 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin

You notice Tucker Taylor when he steps onto a basketball court. His chiseled 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame is akin to a college middle linebacker. Then you see him move — there’s an explosive first step and a quick-twitch spring when he elevates into the air.   It’s not hyperbole to suggest that no other player this season will possess the equivalence...

Feature

Negaunee's backcourt of Waterman, Sager will be key to success

11/18/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

The quick handle, the explosive drives to the lane, the impeccable court vision — it all looks a little too familiar to Dan Waterman.  It takes him back to a different time, a different court, a different uniform. Then, he hated that lethal combination of skills.  Now, he loves it. It’s a cold evening in early November. A light dusting...

Feature

After dramatic offseason, Negaunee's Waterman sets out to change

11/16/2018 | Feature | By Bryce Derouin

Dan Waterman doesn’t like what he sees, but it’s what he can’t hear that bothers him most. He stops the intrasquad scrimmage and his deep voice bellows out across the Negaunee middle school gym. “The biggest difference between college basketball and high school is the communication on defense,” he says. “If you don’t talk at the college level, you don’t...

Feature

Boddy aims to turn around Manistique

11/15/2018 | Feature | By Keith Shelton

Prototypical basketball teams fit the standard archetype. An adept distributor at point guard, a hot shooting wing, a lane-clogging rebounder, and a couple posts down low. Many coaches would ideally pick a team that fits those molds. But high school athletics have always had a luck of the draw component. A technique can be taught, but genetics? You get what you...

Feature

Energetic Malone ready to lead North Central program

11/14/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

The feet move quickly. In, out, in, out: barely touching the ground as they complete a ladder drill designed to improve athletes’ quickness. Then the feet shuffle along the 3-point line and curl around a metal chair. They plant at the free throw line, creating a base for the perfect jump shot. The ball falls through the hoop and a line of North...

Feature

Jake Witt: The UP's biggest star is ready for his next stage

11/6/2018 | Feature | By Eden Laase

Tandlund Lake Road looks like it could go on forever. It’s covered in gravel and marked with gentle bumps and divots, lined with storybook-style trees — tall and full and perfectly green. But before one can explore the potential infinity of the road, there’s a little turnoff. After a few soft corners, the road opens up to reveal Tandlund Lake...