Tasty leftovers/The Red Line

Now that I’ve got a little more time on my hands, I’ve tried to challenge myself personally in different ways.

Recently, I read a whole book for fun! (Don’t worry, it was all baseball statistics.) I exercised multiple times in March!

I also enjoy being creative in the kitchen. My personal rule is that I cook for myself on all weeknights – it’s normally thriftier, healthier and fun. A couple weeks ago, I decided that because I am Irish enough to have the red hair I ought to make corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. The primary dish went OK (overcooked the meat), but the leftovers? I had enough beef for leftover reubens and enough cabbage in the fridge to do an adventurous Jameson-glazed cabbage for a later side dish.

The alcohol dissipated in the cooking process (I hope), but the lesson remaining from this story is that sometimes a great meal can be made from combining the original ingredients in a different way.

This column is made from the leftovers of the 2013-14 basketball season, but I think you’ll find it quite tasty.

1. The WestPAC was a heck of a league for girls’ basketball this year. All four Copper Country-based teams won at least two-thirds of their games this season and six players from the league made All-U.P. By comparison, there were five from the Great Northern Conference and three from the Mid-Peninsula.

2. The CCC was pretty good too, landing three players in the All-U.P. Team, all seniors. League champion Dollar Bay was represented by senior Julia Daavettila, but there’s a lot for coach Steve Krahling’s bunch to look forward to in the years to come. In addition to Daavettila’s 17 points per game, three other players averaged at least 9.3. Over the course of the season, Jamie Sertich was three points, Carli Daavettila five and Meagan Kangas 16 shy of a 10-point average, a plateau reached by only 14 players at the area’s 11 schools this season.

3. Many thanks to Mike Ludlum at WLUC-TV6 for providing me a current list of U.P. 1,000-point scorers. Madi Swanson, Elisa Jurmu and Julia Daavettila all joined the bunch. Swanson, penciled in a 1,368, is 45th all-time in the U.P. Among locals, she’d be eighth, between Jennifer Maksym of White Pine and Angela Guisfredi of Lake Linden-Hubbell. Daavettila’s career total of 1,041 is part of a three-way tie including a former Michigan Tech Husky: Jessica Racine.

4. This year’s girls’ Consistent Contributor award goes to Lindsey Johnson of Jeffers, who though she averaged a modest 4.9 points per game, scored in all 21 Jets contests. Houghton’s Sam Bethancourt is the boys’ ‘winner,’ with 4.7 points, but something to show for all 20 games.

5. There were as many overtime games on March 3, the first night of boys’ district tournament play (two, Hancock at Calumet and Ontonagon vs. Dollar Bay), as there were during the entire boys’ regular season (two, Escanaba at Houghton on Feb. 14 and Jeffers at Baraga [2OT] on Feb. 25. There was only one girls’ overtime game all season – Watersmeet at Chassell on Jan. 23.

6. The Calumet boys scored averaged a point a minute or less (32) in regulation during three games this season – and went 2-1 in those games.

7. It’s not a nice thing to say, but the Copper Country Conference was judged on its quality this season, which has a lot to do with why Tyler Roose of Lake Linden-Hubbell was the only CCC player to land in one of the 20 Class D-eligible spots. Set aside the Lakes, whose closest league game was decided by 20 points, and the rest of the league went 3-39 in non-conference games. Two of the three wins were by Jeffers over Watersmeet and the third was by Baraga over the weakest Ewen-Trout Creek team in at least a decade.

Brandon Veale can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at