Border Bash basketball


For The Daily News

IRONWOOD – The all-stars came to Ironwood Tuesday night, but the one who shined the brightest had the shortest distance to travel.

Ironwood’s Adam Mackey was named Most Valuable Player as Northern Michigan beat Northern Wisconsin 112-89 in Tuesday’s inaugural Kiwanis Classic Border Bash all-star basketball game at the Lindquist Center.

Michigan took the lead early and Wisconsin was climbing from behind all night. Michigan never pulled far away, but Wisconsin never took a lead.

Mackey led Northern Michigan with 23 points, including 14 in the first 24-minute half. It’s on the floor where he will play basketball, at Gogebic Community College, in the fall.

“It feels pretty good,” he said. “Especially playing with all these guys. Some of these guys are playing college ball; some of them are playing here. It’s just fun to play these types of games.”

Northern Wisconsin coach Gary Giancola of Hurley has grown accustomed to Mackey’s high-level performances.

“When I went through the line, I said, “I guarantee you Adam, that’s the last time you’re going to beat us,'” Giancola said.

While Mackey graduated, Giancola also stepped aside as coach of the Midgets. This was a good opportunity for Giancola to take a bow from coaching.

“Really it’s been a special way to go out through this whole process, with the (Hurley) hall of fame coming up, the athletic banquet, and not just going into this all-star game,” Giancola said. “It was special to me. It was all about the kids tonight, what they accomplished. On a personal note, not only to sit and watch the game and coach it, but to reflect on all the opportunities and time and people.”

There was a ton of talent on the floor as the best graduates from both sides of the border competed. Bryant Rowe of Ironwood was Michigan’s second-leading scorer with 15 points. Gwinn’s Justin Nyquist scored 13, L’Anse’s Jimmy Veker had 12 and Houghton’s Trent Keteri had 10. Bessemer’s Ben Zielinski and Tyler Cole of Wakefield-Marenisco both ended with six points.

“I would love to coach a team like that all the time,” Michigan coach Jim Partanen said. “Jimmy Veker, he’s a football player, he played well. Justin Nyquist, he’s a tight end, but he played well.”

Wisconsin’s Malachi Bush of Chequamegon led all scorers with 25 points.

“That kid can play,” Giancola said.

Don Gordon of Bayfield had 11, Tom Whiting of Ashland scored 10. Jake Colassaco of Hurley had nine. Hurley’s Jared Wendt also took part.

“That’s one thing about (Mackey) and Rowe, watching them play against those players, they’re good players,” Giancola said. “Zielinski, Cole, Jake and Jared, we had some talent on the Range this year. I like the idea of promoting basketball in this area.”

Michigan was just able to play an up-tempo game like it wanted, taking an early lead and never letting Wisconsin turn its momentum into a lead.

“I thought we played very well together,” Partanen said. “Everyone knew what they were doing. Everyone contributed. Everyone played really well. We watched the other team practice. We knew they were bigger. That Whiting kid, the kid from Medford. We said we can’t play a half-court game. We wanted to make it an up-tempo game. We wanted to push and take the shots that were there. As a team, I thought we were more athletic.”

They were also physical against Whiting, who is 6-6, Partanen said.

“I thought the Michigan kids were just a little bit more physical getting to the 50-50 balls and they shot the ball pretty well,” Giancola said. “We made a nice run in the second half and got within 10.”

Giancola commended Russ Maki and the Kiwanis Club for putting the event on and for the huge crowd it drew.

“It was nice to interact with kids from other towns, other programs that come here and give up a day to promote the game of basketball and give those kids some recognition,” Giancola said.

Mackey and Zielinski will team up again Saturday in St. Ignace for the North team in the U.P. all-star basketball game.

Michigan – Luke Woods 6, Trent Keteri 10, Adam Mackey 23, Ryan LaBerge 4, Ben Zielinski 6, Bryant Rowe 15, Justin Nyquist 13, Travis Vincent 5, Tyler Cole 6, Trever Ekberg 12, Jimmy Veker 12. FTs: 6-10. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Mackey 3, Veker 2, Ekberg 2, Keteri 2, Woods 1, Nyquist 1.

Wisconsin – Malachi Bush 25, Robert Wilkins 9, Brad Holcomb 9, Jake Colassaco 9, Colton Volkmann 7, Don Gordon 11, Austin Salzgerber 9, Tom Whiting 10. FTs: 12-18. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Salzgerber 3, Gordon 2, Bush 2, Colassaco 1.

Half: Michigan 57-48.


For The Daily News

IRONWOOD – The Northern Michigan Girls overpowered the Northern Wisconsin Girls team 87-68 in the inaugural game of the Kiwanis Classic Border Bash All-Star Game in the steamy GCC Lindquist Center on Tuesday night.

“This was a great experience for the girls,” Northern Michigan and Ishpeming Westwood coach Kurt Corcoran said. “It was a lot of fun and I told the girls this could be the last time they might play or be the start of college basketball for them. I told them to remember the experience and cherish the moment. We had 15 people come from Ishpeming alone. This could be a great recruitment tool for Gogebic.”

All-Star Game promoter, Russ Maki, and the Kiwanis Club started with the idea of having an all-star basketball game of graduated seniors. Northern Michigan included players from Ironwood to Ispeming and Gwinn. They had to be all-conference, All-U.P. or All-State.

Northern Wisconsin players had the same requirements, because the all-star game wanted quality players. Northern Wisconsin players included Hurley and Wisconsin teams from all directions.

Mackenzie Sadowski and Aby Bieles came from Coleman, Wis., 195 miles away.

“We had a very good turnout of fans at a great facility,” Maki said. “We’re hoping to make this an annual event.”

The teams played two 24-minute halves. After Ontonagon’s Brooke Turin made a lay-in to give Northern Michigan a 4-2 advantage, L’Anse’s Madi Swanson tossed in a top-of-the-key 3 and then drove the baseline for a lay-in at the 20:12 mark to put Michigan up 9-4.

Caitlin Hewitt, of Ishpeming Westwood, buried a 3 from the left wing and Taylor Niemi of Ewen-Trout Creek scored to give Northern Michigan a 15-8 lead with 17:15 remaining. Bessemer’s Sarah Trudgeon was fouled hard on a shot and her two free throws kept a seven point lead at 17-10.

But Northern Wisconsin surged behind Ladysmith’s Karleigh Cody’s seven points and out-scored Michigan 11-2 to take a 21-19 lead.

Northern Michigan answered back with a pair of baskets from Turin and Ishpeming Westwood’s Caitlin Hewitt.

At the 9:35 mark, Trudgeon sank two free throws and then made a steal and came downcourt and made an 8-footer. Northern Michigan regained the lead at 31-21.

It was apparent in pregame warm-ups that Northern Wisconsin had the bigger, taller team. But Michigan was the quicker team and began using its quickness on a press that brought Wisconsin to its knees.

Northern Michigan had 20 steals and scored 20 first half points off turnovers to none for Northern Wisconsin.

“The key was our pressure,” Corcoran said. “We were smaller, but we used that to our advantage pressing. We had 25 minutes at practice today to put in the run and jump press and the girls excelled at it. Julia Daavettila (of Dollar Bay) was not even at practice because of a work obligation. and she was the MVP.

“These girls were fundamentally sound and well-coached. It was easier to come together and play together.”

It was steals, turnovers and lay-ups and Northern Michigan led 50-32 by half-time.

Daavettila started the second half with a deep 3 from the left corner and Northern Michigan never looked back.

“It was a little nerve-wracking at the start, but once we got going it was a lot better,” Turin said. “It’s a little different playing with new people, but once we got in the flow, we were real good as a team. We meshed well together and pushed the ball well.”

Turin will continue her education and play basketball at Finlandia University.

With 12:28 left in the second half, Trudgeon made a left-handed lay-in from the lane. The lead increased to 85-43 and running clock kicked in.

“I’m really excited and this was really a good experience,” Trudgeon said. “There was a lot of good competition, but we played harder and wanted it more.”

Trudgeon will attend GCC and join the basketball program for the 2014-15 seasons.

Northern Michigan also scored 27 points off three-point shots to three for Northern Wisconsin.

All the Northern Michigan players scored in the game with Daavettila leading the offensive attack with 15 points. Hewitt notched 13 points and Trudgeon added 10. Turin and Lizzy Dauphinais-Van Buren chipped in with nine points.

Sadowski was Northern Wisconsin’s top gun with 15 points and Cody reached double figures with 13.

Northern Wisconsin – Sophie Habas 8, Carly Ridderbush 4, Tylor Kruse 1, Mariah Stoll 5, Janice Anderson 5, Ashley Volkmann 11, Abby Bieber 2, Karleigh Cody 13, Mackenzie Sadowski 17, Ashley Mai 2. FTs: 23-33. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: none. 3-pointers: Stoll 1.

Northern Michigan – Michaela Burke 2, Madi Swanson 7, Valerie Rajala 7, Caitlin Hewitt 13, Taylor Niemi 5, Julia Daavettila 15, Brooke Turin 9, Sarah Trudgeon 10, Lizzy Dauphinais-Van Buren 9, Kelsie Richards 7. FTs: 6-11. Fouls: 23. Fouled out: Sarah Trudgeon. 3-pointers: Daavettila 3, Turin 1, Swanson 1, Hewitt 1, Niemi 1, Dauphinais-Van Buren 1.

Northern Michigan: 50-32, half