Season looks bright for Wildcat women

Darby Youngstrom

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team battled a lot of injuries last year, but still managed to fight its way to another GLIAC Tournament bid.

The 2017-18 season may not have gone the way the Wildcats had hoped, but this season could end up being a big one.

NMU was picked to win the GLIAC North Division by the conference’s coaches and Darby Youngstrom and Lexi Smith both earned spots on the All-GLIAC First Team.

Youngstrom had an injury kept her out of most of last season, but she still led Northern in points per game (14.1), while Smith was GLIAC Freshman of the Year, NMU’s first winner since 1995.

The Wildcats have a large senior class this year that includes Houghton alum Sydney Dillinger, Taylor Hodell, Chloe Tompkins and Tess Weatherly.

Juniors Jessica Schultz and Erin Honkala will also be counted on heavily this season. Schultz was third on the team in scoring with just under 10 ppg., while Honkala led the team in rebounds and blocks.

The incoming freshmen will be led by Ishpeming’s Madigan Johns, who earned a spot on the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association All-U.P. Dream Team in March.

The Wildcats will host Finlandia in an exhibition game Saturday and will open the regular season Nov. 10 against Lewis University. Northern will have its home opener Nov. 13 against Minnesota Duluth.