Brenna Bruce leads Gwinn girls basketball team to 3rd win in last 4 games over Manistique

MANISTIQUE — The Gwinn girls won for the third time in four games after traveling to Manistique and picking up a 60-50 win in a high school basketball game played Tuesday night.

Junior Brenna Bruce led the Modeltowners’ 19-7 second quarter by scoring 13 of her game-high 22 points that included a trio of 3-pointers.

It helped make up for Manistique’s quick start that netted the Emeralds a 13-8 lead after one quarter.

“We haven’t put together a complete game yet, but it’s nice to not have a huge hole to dig out of after the one quarter that we always seem to struggle,” Gwinn coach Ben Olsen said.

Leading 27-20 at halftime, the Modeltowners extended the lead to as many as 17 points in the third quarter before settling for a 45-32 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

Recent success has helped erase the memories of Gwinn’s 0-12 start, with two of the wins in a week against the Emeralds, who fell to 0-14 overall and 0-9 in the Mid-Peninsula Conference. The Modeltowners are 3-13 and 2-6.

Sophomore Trisha McGuire added 16 points to the winning effort, while junior teammate Tierra Taylor had 12 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

For Manistique, junior Renae Schuetter scored 12 points, senior Tasha Joslin 11 and freshman Emilee McDaniel 10.

Gwinn, which also won the JV game 52-5, travels to Negaunee on Tuesday, while Manistique goes to Westwood on Friday.

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Calumet 57, Negaunee 47

At Negaunee, the Miners didn’t have an answer for Copper Kings 6-foot-2 senior center Hailey Wickstrom, who poured in 35 points.

That included 13 points in the first quarter and 12 in the third, the two periods that established Calumet leads.

“We had a game plan for her, trying to deny the pass into her, but our defense just wasn’t what we needed it to be,” Miners coach Brandon Sager said. “When she catches it in close to the basket, she’s just about impossible to stop.”

The Kings jumped ahead 17-14 by the end of the opening period before Negaunee bounced back to take a 32-25 lead at halftime. Calumet (10-4) turned it around in the third to go ahead 45-39 entering the fourth.

The Miners (10-5) scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to pull within 45-41, then missed several wide-open 3-point attempts that would’ve nearly evened the game.

Sophomore Mackenzie Karki, a recent JV callup, was one of three Negaunee players to score nine points. She was joined by junior Clara Johnson and sophomore Abby Nelson with that point total. Senior teammate Madysen Kontio pulled in a team-leading six rebounds.

Brooke Kariniemi aided the Kings’ cause with 11 points.

Both teams return to action at home on Thursday. Negaunee, which won the JV game 58-18, hosts Iron Mountain while Calumet faces Escanaba.

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Pickford 45, Newberry 26

At Pickford, the Indians received a scare when all-state senior guard Taylor Bryant was fouled hard and sent crashing to the floor following a fast-break layup in the middle of the first quarter.

“The father in me came out more than the coach,” said the man who is both to Bryant, Newberry’s Fred Bryant.

The coach held her daughter out for the rest of the night in what he said was a precautionary move once the score got out of hand.

“She asked about going back in, but I didn’t see the point in it,” Fred Bryant said, adding it’s likely she’ll be back on the floor for the Indians’ next game.

Taylor only scored two points, though, and left a freshman- and sophomore-oriented Newberry team searching for leadership.

“We just don’t have a true identity without Taylor,” Fred Bryant said.

That was apparent seeing the Indians’ 11-9 lead after one quarter evaporate after they scored a total of just three points in the middle two quarters.

Sophomore Adrian Depew and Taylor’s sister, freshman Makenna Bryant, led Newberry (7-7, 4-3 Eastern U.P. Conference) with eight points apiece. Taylor Opolka paced Pickford with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

The Panthers also won the JV game 41-18.

Newberry has a home game against Rudyard on Thursday and makeup game at Cedarville on Saturday afternoon.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.