Manistique boys basketball team working toward building quality

Manistique’s Anthony Hoholik, second from left, goes up to block Westwood’s Ryan Stanaway on a shot as the Emeralds’ Darien Nichols, right, helps on defense during a March 2016 Class C district tournament game played at Westwood High School. (Journal file photo)

Manistique boys

2017-18 schedule

All times Eastern

Dec. 5 — at Iron Mountain, 7:45 p.m.

Dec. 8 — at Gladstone, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 15 — Gwinn, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 21 — at Engadine, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 28 – at Negaunee, 6 p.m.

Jan. 2 — Bark River-Harris, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 5 — at Ishpeming, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 6 — Big Bay de Noc, 6 p.m.

Jan. 8 — Munising, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12 — at Escanaba, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 — Iron Mountain, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 23 — at Newberry, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26 — Negaunee, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 30 — at Gwinn, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 2 — at Westwood, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 9 — Westwood, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 13 — Engadine, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 — Ishpeming, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 23 — at Munising, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 27 — Gladstone, 7:30 p.m.

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MANISTIQUE — It’s going to take some time to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Manistique High School boys basketball team.

Coming off a 1-20 season a year ago, the Emeralds don’t return any players who saw significant playing time.

“We had a rotation of nine or 10 seniors last year, so the four juniors we had didn’t get in that much,” MHS coach Ed Marietti said.

Three of the four are back as seniors, however, providing a steadying influence until two and possibly all three of the team’s sophomores can be fully integrated into the lineup.

The coach won’t be able to wait too long, as the Emeralds only have nine players on their roster.

The returning seniors include Kyle Seeley, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound All-Upper Peninsula football lineman who should prove to be an imposing force just with his size.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to play the whole year as he’s been dealing with knee and back issues,” Marietti said.

Nick Smith will spell Seeley, while Logan Pawley is a small forward with “a little experience and some pretty decent skills,” according to his coach.

“They’re going to have to get us through it,” Marietti said about the seniors leading the way early in the season.

The sophomores coming up from the JV are Schyler Andersen, Mark Block and Joe Hoholik.

“They’re a couple of our better ball handlers and can be some of our better shooters,” Marietti said of Andersen and Block, adding he’s not sure how much he wants to throw them immediately into the fire of playing quality teams like Iron Mountain and Gladstone right off the bat.

“Joe Hoholik is our other sophomore. He may end up moving into our starting lineup as well.”

All in all, Marietti is just looking for a competitive team for most of the regular season.

“Really, the regular season is just a warm-up, a preseason for the (postseason) playoffs,” he said. “It’s going to be tough with a lot of quality teams in our (Mid-Peninsula) Conference.

“We’ll try to get better and get to work on the fundamentals, look for the small things we can improve on.”

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.