Grand Valley State University commit Nicole Kamin was the only one out of three seniors to play Monday.
“Hopefully we can do this again,” Monkevich said, “but further next time.”
Kamin led the Eskymos with 14 points.
“Both teams played extremely hard,” Portland head coach Jason Haid said. “That’s a well-coached team. Those kids are so tough. They’re gritty; they made things tough for us all game with their ball pressure. They’re a tough team to guard because they have a lot of shooters. (Kamin) is a tremendous athlete and makes things happen. So we told our girls it’s going to take a team effort to stop her; it’s not gonna take one kid. You can tell why she’s going to Grand Valley State. She’s a heck of a ballplayer.”
Bink added 11 for Escanaba and Monkevich nine. Keira Maki scored four and Kaitlyn Stalberger three.
“I’m so proud, so proud of these girls,” Beveridge said. “We’ve got a good program. Our program is developing and we’ve got good young girls coming up, so I’m looking forward to the next couple of years.”
Portland won its last regional in 2010 but claimed district titles in three of the last five seasons. The 2009-10 Raiders advanced to the Final Four, falling to eventual state champion Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
“Obviously these kids were in elementary school when that happened,” Haid said, “so they’re just like super excited to be there.”