Boys high school basketball tourneys already underway, girls regionals begin tonight

MARQUETTE — High school tournament basketball is all the rage this week, but a “new kid” adds a bit of a twist to all the games going on around the hardcourts of the area — the Northern Michigan University hockey team.

The Wildcats won a postseason series for the first time since 2012 last weekend, meaning that not only is their season extended, but NMU will play another two, maybe three, possibly four more home WCHA playoff games in a bid to make the NCAA Division I tournament.

Northern hosts Bowling Green State in a series taking place Friday and Saturday nights, and if the teams split their first two games like they did last weekend, Sunday night, too.

If the Wildcats are successful and Michigan Tech can pull off a stunner at league champ Minnesota State, the Berry Events Center will also play host to the Huskies for the playoff title the following Saturday, March 17.

First, though, will be a multitude of boys district and girls regional basketball tourney games that began Monday night with several boys events.

Marquette in Class A, Newberry and L’Anse in Class C and Munising and Superior Central played Monday night, with the losers of those games already packing their gear away till next season.

While Monday’s winners — Marquette and Munising — play again Wednesday, every other boys team gets started that night.

That’s Gwinn, Ishpeming, Westwood and Negaunee in a Class C district being held at the Miners’ Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium; Manistique at a Class C downstate Harbor Springs district; Republic-Michigamme in a Class D district hosted by Bessemer, though playing at Wakefield-Marenisco; and Baraga at a Class D district in Dollar Bay.

Districts with area teams still alive in them have their championship games Friday night.

On the boys’ nights off, three area girls teams will play in regional tournaments, their prize for winning their district tourneys last week.

Late this afternoon and tonight are regional semifinals with Marquette facing Saginaw Heritage in a Class A game at Gaylord, Ishpeming squaring off against West Iron County in a Class C contest at Escanaba, and Munising taking on Chassell in a Class D matchup in Kingsford.

Tonight’s Class C and D winners return to the same sites for the regional title games Thursday, while a Redettes’ victory in Class A sends them further south to Mount Pleasant for their regional championship, also Thursday.

Here is the schedule for the rest of this week:

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TODAY

Girls basketball regional semifinals

Class A at various sites — Marquette vs. Saginaw Heritage, at Gaylord, 7 p.m.; Flint Carman-Ainsworth at Davison, 7 p.m.

Class C at Escanaba — Ishpeming vs. West Iron County, 5:30 p.m.; St. Ignace vs. Houghton, 7:30 p.m.

Class D at Kingsford — Forest Park vs. Bark River-Harris, 6 p.m. EST; Munising vs. Chassell, 7:45 p.m. EST

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WEDNESDAY

Boys basketball districts

Class A hosted by Gaylord (nontraditional) — Marquette at Gaylord, 6 p.m.; Traverse City West at Petoskey, 7 p.m.

Class C at Negaunee — Gwinn vs. Ishpeming, 6 p.m.; Westwood vs. Negaunee, 7:30 p.m.

Class C hosted by Harbor Springs (nontraditional) — Manistique at Harbor Springs, 6 p.m.; Indian River Inland Lakes at St. Ignace, 6 p.m.

Class D at Munising — Mid Peninsula vs. Big Bay de Noc, 6 p.m.; Munising vs. Rapid River, 7:45 p.m.

Class D hosted by Bessemer (nontradtional) — Republic-Michigamme at Wakefield-Marenisco, 7:30 p.m. EST; Ewen-Trout Creek at Bessemer, 7:30 p.m. EST

Class D at Dollar Bay — Baraga vs. Dollar Bay, 5:30 p.m.; Lake Linden-Hubbell vs. Ontonagon, 7:30 p.m.

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THURSDAY

Girls basketball regional finals

Class A at Mount Pleasant — championship, 6 p.m.

Class C at Escanaba — championship, 7 p.m.

Class D at Kingsford — championship, 7 p.m. EST

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FRIDAY

WCHA playoff semifinals (best-of-3)

Bowling Green State at Northern Michigan University (Game 1), 7 p.m.

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Boys basketball districts

Class A hosted by Gaylord (nontraditional) — championship, at Marquette or Gaylord, 6 p.m.

Class C at Negaunee — championship, 7 p.m.

Class C hosted by Harbor Springs — championship, at Manistique or Harbor Springs, 6 p.m.

Class D at Munising — championship, 7 p.m.

Class D hosted by Bessemer — championship, at Ewen-Trout Creek or Forest Park, 7:30 p.m. EST

Class D at Dollar Bay — championship, 7 p.m.

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SATURDAY

WCHA playoff semifinals (best-of-3)

Bowling Green State at Northern Michigan University (Game 2), 7 p.m.

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SUNDAY

WCHA playoff semifinals (best-of-3)

Bowling Green State at Northern Michigan University (Game 3 — if necessary), 7 p.m.

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