Bay College hosts 8 college basketball games from today through Saturday
ESCANABA — Plenty of basketball is on tap at Bay de Noc Community College today and Saturday as the Norse host the inaugural Quality Inn & Suites Holiday Classic at the Northern Lights YMCA gym.
The Norse are hosting the men’s and women’s teams from Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Alpena Community College and Milwaukee Area Tech.
There will be four games, two men’s and two women’s, played each day at the Escanaba venue.
Today, the event tips off at 2 p.m. when the Gogebic Community College women (8-6) face Milwaukee Area Tech (1-5). The Gogebic and Milwaukee Area Tech men meet at 4 p.m. MAT’s men are 6-7.
Bay College’s women, with a record of 7-5, then host Alpena Community College (0-5) at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s contest between those schools at 8 p.m. The Bay men are 10-5.
Saturday’s slate starts with a women’s game between Gogebic and Alpena at 10 a.m., followed by the men’s contest between those schools at noon.
The Norse women face Milwaukee Area Tech at 2 p.m., followed by the men’s game between the latter schools at 4 p.m.
“We’re excited to have these teams coming,” Bay College men’s coach Matt Johnson said. “Gogebic and Alpena are the closest community colleges to us. Having all three of us here is good for us. I think it adds to our draw.”
The Bay men have already beaten Alpena twice this season, winning 86-67 at home on Nov. 8 and 60-52 at Alpena on Dec. 6.
“It’s real tough to beat a good team three times,” Johnson said. “I’m sure they want to return the favor.”
Alpena is led by sophomore point guard Mike Stuart, who’s averaging more than 20 points a game, and Jameson Pierrelus with a 17-point average.
“All of these teams are going to be significantly better than their records show,” Johnson said. “Milwaukee has played some of the better (National Junior College Athletic Association) Division I, II and III teams in the Midwest. We’ve seen very little of them in terms of film, but we know they score a lot.
“They’re very athletic, probably one of the most athletic teams we’ve seen to this point. It’s a good thing we’re going to get to see them (today). We’ll get to see what they do.”
The Norse, idle since Dec. 16, are riding a four-game winning streak.
Negaunee graduate Dre Tuominen, averaging 14 points per game, is Bay’s scoring leader. He’s followed by Escanaba grad Tyler Willette at 12 ppg. Milwaukee-area freshmen teammates Kobi Lumsden-Barnes and Alonzo Fields average close to 10 ppg.
Willette and Barnes are the team’s leading rebounders, averaging 8 to 9 boards a contest.
The Bay women are led by Norway graduate Jordan Kraemer, with freshman guard Paige Welch of Bark River-Harris also leading the Norse at times.
Bay’s women, who have won four of their last five games, also go for their third win over Alpena this season after posting 82-57 home and 59-45 road victories previously.
Kraemer scored 19 and Welch and Baraga graduate Justice Kinnunen added 12 apiece in the more recent contest at Alpena on Dec. 6.