Year in the making: Manistique boys basketball team gets 1st win since last January, girls still searching this season

Manistique's Nick Smith, center, puts up a hook shot over Big Bay de Noc's Lucas Sundling during the first half on Saturday at Manistique. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Avery Bundgaard)

MANISTIQUE — The Manistique and Big Bay de Noc basketball teams split their boys and girls varsity basketball games on Saturday at Manistique, with the Emeralds boys and Black Bears girls notching victories.

The Manistique boys earned their first victory of the season, 70-45, in the nightcap right after Big Bay prevailed 45-34 in the girls contest.

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Manistique boys 70, Big Bay de Noc 45

This was the Emeralds first win since defeating the same Black Bears almost a year to day on the road on Jan. 7, 2017.

Big Bay de Noc's Brooke Dalgord, right, drives to the basket against Manistique's Renae Schuetter during the second half on Saturday at the Emeralds' gym. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Avery Bundgaard)

“It was a good win,” Manistique coach Ed Marietti said. “We still need a little work, but I thought our defense and aggressiveness was better than it has been. It’s something to build off of.”

Schyler Andersen led the Emeralds (1-7) with 29 points and is excited to get back in the win column after a year.

“It means a lot and it’s an honor to get the first win here for both the boys and girls on the new court here,” Andersen said. “I’m really proud of my teammates. Everybody did their job and it was a good night.”

Big Bay (0-6) jumped out to a 6-3 lead, but Manistique rattled off 15 straight points to build a 12-point advantage and never looked back.

The Black Bears hit their first three shots, but made just 1 for 9 the rest of the first quarter and trailed 20-7 going into the second period.

The Emeralds continued their torrid pace into the second quarter, opening with an 8-3 run while suffocating the Black Bears on defense, forcing 15 of Big Bay’s 23 turnovers in the first half.

“We’ve been pretty stagnant on both ends the last couple games,” Marietti said. “I told them to get up in their faces and get the blood pumping right away. It was nice and it got them running and we took advantage of a few easy buckets at the end there.”

The Emeralds led 34-20 at halftime but didn’t let up in the second half, outscoring Big Bay 36-25 over the final two quarters.

Mark Block scored 15 points for the winners, while teammate Kanton Lauzon added 11.

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Big Bay de Noc

girls 45, Manistique 34

The Bears established an early lead that was too much for Manistique to overcome.

“The effort just wasn’t there,” Manistique coach Dave Winkel said. “I’ve talked all year to them that there can’t be a switch that you turn on and off. It just has to be hard-wired on all the time.”

Big Bay coach Brad McPhee thought just the opposite about his team.

“I thought our defensive effort was tremendous,” McPhee said. “Offensively it wasn’t bad, but it would have been nice to work on a little more attacking the basket, but I thought their level of patience was a lot better.”

The Black Bears (3-5) rushed out to an 8-0 lead to start the game and led 10-2 at the end of one quarter. The Emeralds (0-8) couldn’t hit a shot in the first quarter, making just 1 of 12 from the floor.

Big Bay carried the momentum into the second quarter with an 8-0 run, finishing the period hitting an efficient 6 of 9 in the second quarter to take a 22-10 halftime lead.

After Big Bay increased its lead to 18 in the fourth quarter, the Emeralds picked up their defensive intensity and went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to eight.

“We struggle to score so when we see that ball go through the basket it automatically energizes our girls,” Winkel said. “We finally got some shots to fall and when that happens our defense picks up.

“When we play that way we’re not bad, but we don’t play that way … often.”

Madison Kraatz and Joslyn Muth each had nine points to lead Manistique as Madison Berry had 8.