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Reinforcements inbound: Lions add three U.P. student athletes as build continues

Brianna Maggio/For the Gazette Katie Lundeen, pictured above, led the Finlandia University women’s basketball team in scoring last season.

HANCOCK — After finishing the season with a flourish, the Finlandia Lions women’s basketball coach Mariah LaPointe-Dunham intends to add more size and depth next season.

The most recent recruits are Houghton High product Casana Ryynanen and Baraga High School’s Martina Jahfetson, who both announced their intention to enroll at Finlandia this week and play basketball for the Lions.

The 6-foot Ryynanen averaged more than 11 points, 5 rebounds and three assists a game last season. She was a four-year starter at Houghton.

LaPointe-Dunham said the newest Lion will add size and shooting skill.

“I’m very happy to have Casana as a part of our program,” she said. “She’s extremely versatile and a hard matchup for any team.”

Jahfetson closed out her senior season with the Vikings by leading the team to the Division 4 quarterfinals, where they lost to St. Ignace. She averaged 11 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

She was named Copper Mountain Conference Most Valuable Player and was named to the All-U.P. Division 4 second team.

“I’m extremely excited to have Martina a part of our program here at Finandia,” said LaPionte-Dunham in a press release from the university. “She will be a great asset to our guards at multiple positions.”

She was asked this season by her coach, Tom Goodreau, to play several different positions as a senior and that should make her a very versatile addition.

The other new Finlandia recruit is Mallory Delmont of Gwinn. The 5-9 Delmont averaged 7.5 points a game last season for the Modeltowners.

LaPointe-Dunham says that Delmont brings athleticism to the program.

“I feel that Mallory is going to help us in a lot departments,” the Lions coach said.

The Lions relied heavily on center Katie Lundeen last season. The 5-10 Lundeen led the team in scoring and rebounding with marks of 14.6 points and 7 boards respectively.

But the team, which started 0-14 before finishing at 7-18, got a big boost from freshman transfer Mariah Austin, who came over from Lakeland College.

“With those two players (Lundeen and Austin), we were getting players who gave us a double-double every night,” the FU coach said.

Harlee Froberg, another Houghton product, was a solid producer all season. The 5-10 freshman averaged double figures on the season and had a game-high 22 points against Valley State in the ACAA postseason game — a 69-62 loss.

Former Hancock High standouts Molly Berg and Taylor Pertile, both juniors, started a good part of the season and did a solid job.

LaPointe-Dunham said she has an eye out for more players before best season.

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