A promising Classic: Upper Peninsula All-Star basketball games include 11 area high school players

Negaunee's Clara Johnson, left, and Ishpeming's Mariah Austin run down a loose ball during the fourth quarter of their high school girls basketball game held at the Hematites' gym on Feb. 10. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

U.P. All-Star Classic rosters

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GIRLS

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NORTH

Marquette's Stasha Warchick shoots during a game against Westwood on Feb. 1 at Marquette. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

Mariah Austin, Ishpeming

Natalie Bartle, Negaunee

Madigan Johns, Ishpeming

Clara Johnson, Negaunee

Kianne Wendt, Munising

Superior Central's Joe Heinonen, center, pulls up for a shot over Mid Peninsula's Terry Brower, left, on Jan. 8 in St. Nicholas. (Escanaba Daily Press photo)

Milly Allen, Chassell

Sydney Danison, Chassell

Meg Hokenson, Chassell

Mackenzie Kalchik, Sault Ste. Marie

Taylor Opolka, Pickford

Kara Pietila, Houghton

Head coach — Brandi Hainault, Chassell

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SOUTH

Tierra Taylor, Gwinn

Stasha Warchock, Marquette

Bethany Baldwin, Watersmeet

Brooke Dalgord, Big Bay de Noc

Keisha Davis, St. Ignace

Linnie Gustafson, St. Ignace

Taylor Hunter, Gladstone

Jordyn Kriegl, Kingsford

Megan Robinette, Bark River-Harris

JuliAnn Wickman, North Dickinson

Head coach — Dorene Ingalls, St. Ignace

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BOYS

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NORTH

Alec Blank, Munising

Cade Contreras, Munising

Joe Heinonen, Superior Central

Hart Holmgren, Ishpeming

Jaden Janke, Dollar Bay

Brandon Paul, Sault Ste. Marie

Devin Schmitz, Dollar Bay

Jacob Suzik, Wakefield

Jake Witt, Ewen-Trout Creek

Head coach — Jesse Kentala, Dollar Bay

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SOUTH

Ryan Arndt, Bark River-Harris

Terry Brower, Mid Peninsula

Lucas Dombrowski, North Central

Logan Hardwick, Rapid River

Jacob Kleiman, Carney-Nadeau

Preston Lauscher, Carney-Nadeau

Steve Nelson, West Iron County

Connor Ortman, Norway

Ryan Robinette, Escanaba

Brad Spindler, Gladstone

Coaches — Richard Poma, Rapid River, and Chris Mattson, North Dickinson

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MARQUETTE — The goal of the Upper Peninsula All-Star Classic basketball game is to raise funds for scholarships for Upper Peninsula high school athletes.

On Saturday, two of the most recent scholarship recipients will be on hand to personally say thank you when they participate in the 33rd annual Classic at Bothwell Middle School in Marquette.

Clara Johnson of Negaunee will play for the North girls in the opening game at noon, while Jake Witt of Ewen-Trout Creek will play for the North boys in their contest at 2 p.m. Both players have also received scholarships to play basketball at Michigan Tech University.

They are among 13 girls and nine boys taking part in the game who plan to play college sports this fall.

Also receiving UPSHF scholarships this year were Luke Rambo of Marquette and Laura Lyons of Lake Linden-Hubbell. Each of the four receive $500 a year for four years from the scholarship program that began in 1997.

The game will include 11 area players — all of whom must be seniors who have completed their high school eligibility — spread among three of the four teams.

Joining Johnson on the North girls team will be Miners teammate Natalie Bartle, Mariah Austin and Madigan Johns of Ishpeming and Kianne Wendt of Munising.

The South girls will include Tierra Taylor of Gwinn and Stasha Warchock of Marquette.

All four area boys will be on the North team — Alec Blank and Cade Contreras of Munising, Joe Heinonen of Superior Central and Hart Holmgren of Ishpeming.

The all-star day begins at 9 a.m. with a breakfast brunch at Bothwell for players, which is also open to the public.

At 11 a.m., athletes will compete in various skills contests — free throw and 3-point shooting for girls and 3-point shooting and slam dunk for boys.

Witt and Linnie Gustafson of St. Ignace will make their final prep appearances after being selected the first Mr. Basketball and Miss Basketball, respectively, by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association this spring. Gustafson, who headlines the South girls team, will play basketball at Northwood University.

Milly Allen, who led Chassell to the Class D state championship game, joins Johnson on the North girls. Allen will play at Calvin College.

Other future college players on the North girls team are Johns, who will play at Northern Michigan University; Austin, who will play at Lakeland, Wisconsin, College; Bartle, who will play at Colorado Mesa College; Sydney Danison of Chassell and Mackenzie Kalchik of Sault Ste. Marie, who will play at Lake Superior State; and Taylor Opolka of Pickford, who will play at Davenport.

Four members of the South girls will play at Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba — Tierra Taylor, Taylor Hunter of Gladstone, Brooke Dalgord of Big Bay de Noc, and Keisha Davis of St. Ignace.

Witt will be joined by three college prospects on the North boys. Holmgren will play at NMU, Devin Schmitz of Dollar Bay at MTU and Brandon Paul of Sault Ste. Marie at Grand Valley State.

The South college prospects include Brad Spindler of Gladstone at Lake State, along with future Bay College cagers Logan Hardwick of Rapid River, Ryan Robinette of Escanaba and Ryan Arndt of Bark River-Harris. Also headed to college will be Terry Brower of Mid Peninsula, who will be on the Grand Valley State track team.

The two girls coaches have appeared at the Classic before. Dorene Ingalls of St. Ignace has directed the South girls several times while North coach Brandi (Brancheau) Hainault of Chassell represented Republic-Michi

gamme as a player in 1999.

The two boys head coaches will make their Classic debuts, Jesse Kentala of Dollar Bay for North and Richard Poma of Rapid River for South.