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This Week in Prep Sports, 1/27
January 27, 2009 - Brandon Veale
In this week’s look at the week in prep sports, the biggest game is obviously between Houghton and Kingsford Thursday in Dickinson County.
Prime matchups like this are why I think it’s a good idea for our area basketball teams to consider getting out of the Copper Country for some in-season non-conference games.
This is the only scheduled meeting between the two, and even if the game goes Kingsford’s way, the actual stakes are pretty low, since the teams can’t meet in the postseason (Kingsford is Class B).
Houghton coach Julie Filpus said a big key to the game will be denying dribble penetration to Kelsey and Jaime Roberts, the Flivvers sibling guard tandem (Kelsey is a senior and Jamie a junior).
I think another issue will be establishing position down low. Kingsford has a lot of weapons, but they don’t have Sam Manderfield. If she gets the ball on the block on a regular basis, the game tilts heavily toward the visitors. Only one player has demonstrated the ability to do that this year: Hancock’s Maria Almquist, and she’ll be in Bessemer Thursday.
Of course, that’s not the only game going on Thursday.
As mentioned previously, Hancock is at Bessemer. Until tripping up last night at West Iron County, the Speedgirls hadn’t lost since their Dec. 12 loss at Hancock.
Both L’Anse and Baraga have won five of their last six games, with the Vikings having won five straight since losing the first Baraga County battle in December. They meet Thursday in L’Anse.
Calumet will try for its first three-game win streak of the season Thursday at Jeffers, while Ewen-Trout Creek shoots for three straight at home against Lake Linden-Hubbell. Ontonagon hosts Dollar Bay.
Friday, Calumet looks to repeat its win over Chassell (though maybe without the overtime part), at the Ed Helakoski Memorial Gymnasium.
In high school hockey, Jeffers and Houghton face off at Dee Stadium. The Gremlins played their best game of the season last week, and a win tonight would bring them to the .500 mark and be their fourth straight W. These teams met Dec. 6 at the Joe Bukovich Tourney at the Dee. The teams were tied in the third period before Dan Datto’s natural hat trick.
Calumet is at Negaunee tonight, but back at home Friday against Grosse Pointe North and Saturday against Kingsford. Houghton hosts GP North Saturday afternoon. L’Anse and Jeffers will be playing in Bay Port, Wis. in the Wisigan Tourney with Bay Port and Milwaukee Shaw.
I keep using the term “defensive slugfest” over the last few weeks, and might be looking at another one tonight in boys’ basketball. After letting a chance slip through their fingers on the road, Calumet will be looking to redeem itself against Baraga in the teams’ second matchup in nine days.
The Vikings are finally starting to get some recognition for their great start, as they’re up to third in the U.P. and inside the Michigan Class D top 10. Barring a surprise either tonight or Friday against Ontonagon, we could be on a collision course to a possible 2-vs.-3 matchup on Feb. 13, when the Vikings travel to 7-0 Ewen-Trout Creek.
The Panthers go for win No. 8 tonight in Bessemer. Ontonagon is trying to win on back-to-back nights, but they’ll have to beat the Gremlins in Houghton tonight. Hancock looks for their first league win at West Iron, Jeffers is at L’Anse and winless Republic-Michigamme plays at Chassell.
Friday’s best game is probably Calumet at Houghton, as maybe a favorite for this county’s Class C district will begin to materialize. Chassell has another winless opponent, Wakefield-Marinesco, while undefeated E-TC hosts L’Anse.
Dollar Bay and Lake Linden-Hubbell meet in a Torch Lake tussle, Hancock is at Ironwood and Jeffers hits the road to Watersmeet.
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