Houghton girls officially No. 1

HOUGHTON – For the first time since 2009, the Houghton Gremlins are the No. 1 girls’ basketball team in their classification in the U.P.

The vote was made official with the release of this week’s U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association poll today.

The Gremlins earned the position by defeating Marquette 56-47 in Houghton last Monday night, then confirming it with a win over Ontonagon Thursday.

Regardless of the result, Monday’s game at Calumet did not figure into the decision, as voting had already been submitted.

Houghton was last No. 1 in Class ABC at the end of the 2008-09 season, a campaign in which the Gremlins had just one loss (they’re currently 17-1) and in which they took the title by force, in that case winning a 1-vs.-2 game at Kingsford Jan. 29, 2009. The following poll on Feb. 2 also marks the last time the top spot in the ABC girls poll changed hands in mid-season.

Houghton, Marquette and Calumet are 1-2-3 on all ballots, followed by Kingsford, with eight poll points, and Negaunee with seven.

In the Class D girls’ poll, St. Ignace remains No. 1 followed by Superior Central and Forest Park on all ballots.

DeTour (14-1) is fourth with nine points, followed by Bark River-Harris (14-4) with six.

On the boys’ side, there was only one minor change, with Sault Ste. Marie’s losses to Pickford and St. Ignace triggering their exit.

Marquette (13-1) remains No. 1 in Class ABC and Negaunee (14-1) two on all five ballots. The neighbors will clash for a second time Thursday night in Negaunee.

Gwinn, at 11-4, is No. 3, followed by Kingsford (10-3) and Ironwood.

Houghton received a single vote.

In Class D, the Eastern U.P. Conference duo of Cedarville (14-1) and Brimley (13-2) are 1-2 on all ballots, with Ewen-Trout Creek in third with 13 poll points.

North Central (11-2) is fourth with neighbor Carney-Nadeau fifth.