Tie atop U.P. girls hoops poll
HOUGHTON – After what was probably one of the most disorderly weeks of the U.P. basketball season thus far, a big shake-up took place in the sixth U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association poll of the season.
Not counting L’Anse’s loss to Ishpeming Monday, which took place after the poll had been taken, three of the five teams in this week’s Class ABC vote lost last week.
The most noteworthy of these losses came in Kingsford Friday night. Courtney Qualley drew a foul with two-tenths of a second left, then made the first of two free throws as the Flivvers (7-8) pulled the upset, 48-47 over No. 1 Marquette.
Still, Marquette’s 16 previous wins including one last Monday vs. No. 3 Houghton ensured it remained in a first-place tie with St. Ignace. Marquette received three first-place votes and St. Ignace two. Both teams ended up with 22 poll points.
St. Ignace kept rolling along, defeating last week’s co-No. 5 Sault Ste. Marie 78-51 Friday behind a triple-double of 24 points, 20 rebounds and 15 steals from the Youngstown State-bound senior Kelley Wright.
Houghton and L’Anse are now tied for third, with each side receiving 13 poll points this week.
Despite the loss, Sault High (10-4) is now solo fifth with four points.
Ishpeming (10-4) received the other fifth-place vote.
In Class D, Forest Park (16-0) is now the lone unbeaten in the U.P. and remains unanimously No. 1.
Stephenson (14-1) moves back up into the No. 2 slot.
Not only did the Eagles deal an impressive whipping, 81-47, to a Bark River-Harris squad that finished just outside the top five in last week’s poll, previous No. 2 Superior Central lost 49-31 at Menominee Wednesday.
The Cougars (13-2) landed in third with 16 points, followed by Brimley (12-3, 10 points) and Munising (11-4, three points).
Dollar Bay (11-5) and Watersmeet (8-5) also received single votes.
Not much has changed on the boys’ side. In Class ABC, Marquette is No. 1 on all ballots and 12-0 overall, followed by Negaunee (13-1). The teams meet for the second time this season on Thursday night in Marquette.
Ironwood (13-2) remains in No. 3 by a single point despite dropping a 68-59 decision at Washburn, Wis., Tuesday night.
Ishpeming (10-3) is fourth with 11 poll points, with Escanaba (10-4) fifth with six.
Houghton (10-4) also received a vote. The Eskymos and Gremlins meet Friday night in Houghton.
In Class D, No. 1 North Central (15-0) survived its trip to Carney-Nadeau’s bandbox when Jason Whitens made a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to put the Jets over the Wolves 71-70.
Munising (13-1) is No. 2 with 17 points, passing a Cedarville team that hasn’t lost since December. To their credit, the Mustangs knocked off a solid Class B Menominee team 47-45 Saturday at home.
Cedarville (13-1) is third with 16 points.
Forest Park (12-1) jumped ahead of Lake Linden-Hubbell (13-1) after the Lakes lost their first game of the season to L’Anse Friday.