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An extended look at the U.P. poll
February 10, 2009 - Brandon Veale
When today's paper arrives in your hands, you'll find that we had a lot to discuss, what with two girls' basketball games and two hockey games covered and an already-busy sports day. (Something about A-Rod's adenoids?) I had to cut the U.P. polls story pretty drastically to make it fit, so I figure I'd post the original version here, in case you wanted to find out more about basketball around the U.P. this week:
The status quo remains in the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association girls' basketball polls.
Houghton (15-0) is still a unanimous No. 1 in the girls' Class A-B-C poll.
No. 2 Kingsford (13-1) played only once last week, a 64-47 win at West Iron County last Monday.
St. Ignace remains at No. 3 (13-2). The Saints fell 70-51 to Class D poll No. 1 Cedarville Monday. Last week, the Saints won a pair of home games, Tuesday against Manistique and Friday against Rogers City.
No. 4 Marquette (14-3) crushed Gwinn 76-25 Wednesday and cruised past Escanaba 63-42 Friday. The Redettes and Flivvers meet Thursday in Marquette. Menominee (11-4) remains at No. 5 after winning a pair of home games against Peshtigo, Wis. and Gladstone.
Munising (13-2) earned one vote.
In the Class D poll, the Eastern U.P. Conference continues to rule the roost. No. 1 Cedarville (13-0) cracked the 80-point mark in wins over Posen (Tuesday) and Engadine (Thursday). No. 2 Brimley's only game last week was a 64-37 win over Rudyard. No. 1 and No. 2 meet in Brimley Thursday.
Ontonagon (13-2) has two losses to Houghton County teams, but hopes to fix that Thursday in a key WestPAC game at Chassell.
No. 4 Bark River-Harris (13-2) edged North Dickinson 63-60 Thursday and Stephenson 53-48 Monday. Despite a pair of losses last Monday and Tuesday at Engadine and Munising, respectively, Superior Central remains at No. 5. The Cougars (12-5) rebounded Thursday with a 65-45 win over Big Bay de Noc.
Watersmeet (12-3) also received two votes.
After winning convincingly at former No. 1 Menominee, 58-39, the 11-3 Marquette Redmen are the new No. 1 in the boys' Class A-B-C poll.
The 11-3 Maroons file in behind at No. 2 on all five ballots. They lost 76-66 to Oconto Falls, Wis. Monday in a game finished after this week’s poll was already taken. Rudyard (11-1) is No. 3. After a home rout of Newberry Thursday, the Bulldogs survived 55-50 Saturday at Brimley.
Manistique (12-3) is fourth. The Emeralds locked up the Mid-Peninsula Conference with a 69-56 home win over Gwinn Feb. 3. They followed that up with a 57-34 win over Westwood Thursday and now lead the M-PC by three-and-a-half games with two league games remaining.
The Patriots, a traditional U.P. basketball powerhouse, have lost 13 straight since a season-opening win over West Iron County.
Gwinn remains fifth. The Modeltowners (9-5) ended a three-game losing streak with a 59-45 win Thursday against Negaunee.
Houghton (9-4) and West Iron (9-3) earned one vote each.
Cedarville is No. 1 in the Class D poll again this week. The 12-0 Trojans notched a pair of big home wins over Posen and Engadine last week.
Ewen-Trout Creek (12-0) is No. 2, with one first-place vote. The Panthers survived their best test of the season thus far Friday at Ironwood and visit Lake Linden-Hubbell tonight. Baraga is 11-1 and No. 3 in the poll. The Vikings travel to No. 3 E-TC Friday night.
Bark River-Harris (11-2) is No. 4. The Broncos dumped previously-ranked Big Bay de Noc 55-45 in Harris Tuesday and followed that up with a 62-55 win at North Dickinson Friday.
Rapid River (11-2) jumps into the No. 5 slot. The Rockets edged North Dickinson 60-58 Tuesday in their only game last week.
Big Bay de Noc (11-3) fell out of the poll after the Bark River-Harris loss and a second stumble Friday at Stephenson, but earned two votes.
We'll take an abridged look at the week in U.P. sports as well. The big local event is Wing Ding. Houghton and Hancock will clash on two fronts at the Michigan Tech Student Development Complex. The varsity boys' basketball game will be at 6 p.m., with hockey starting at 7:30.
We get our first local insights on Marquette's hockey team tonight as Calumet tests its mettle against the defending state co-champs at Lakeview Arena. Also, Jeffers hosts the Northland Pines (Eagle River, Wis.) JV team.
In case you were wondering why no Hancock-Negaunee hockey, it was postponed. We have no make-up date.
In boys' basketball tonight, the top game is Ewen-Trout Creek visiting an upset-minded Lake Linden-Hubbell squad. Baraga goes for 12-1 against Hancock, Houghton hosts Jeffers, Dollar Bay is AT Chassell (this is a change from the original printed schedule) and Jeffers travels to Dollar Bay for a make-up girls' basketball game.
Thursday's top game is out of the Copper Country Conference, where Ontonagon can take a commanding lead by beating Chassell in Chassell. Hancock and L'Anse meet in L'Anse to reprise their overtime thriller from January. Houghton and Calumet are on long road trips (to Ironwood and Escanaba, respectively). Lake Linden-Hubbell travels to Baraga, Jeffers is at Wakefield and E-TC hosts Watersmeet.
In prep hockey, it's Negaunee at L'Anse and Kingsford at Jeffers.
Friday's non-Wing Ding highlights include West Iron County at Calumet boys' basketball in one of many vital WestPAC positioning games. U.P. No. 3 Baraga visits No. 2 E-TC. Chassell visits Jeffers, LL-H is at L'Anse, and Dollar Bay visits Ontonagon.
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