F or what seems like forever, the Escanaba and Gladstone girls basketball teams have seemed to fit an archetype.
Escanaba would have the six-footers. The score in the paint and post-up team, the win the battle of the boards team. Gladstone would bring a guard-heavy lineup and seek to muddle things up, create turnovers and generally make life miserable for the opposition.
So that’s why this year seems so strange. Long gone is Jenny Brandt and Haile Waters, Michelle LaFave and Olivia Nash for Escanaba — and no one currently on the roster will take their place, at least not in stature. This year’s Eskymos are practically a five-guard lineup.
Eight miles down the highway, the Gladstone Braves are adjusting to life with a unicorn. When you’re over six feet tall in Gladstone, you get noticed because that kind of height doesn’t come along often. There was sparingly used Izzy Matthews, who actually transferred to Escanaba. Jammie Botruff was 5-foot-10 and had at least four inches on most of her teammates, and that’s about it over the last decade.
So with these roles reversed, what’s in store for this season between storied rival schools?