Miners smash Emeralds

Negaunee girls roll to blowout win over Manistique

Negaunee’s MacKenzie Karki goes for a basket with Manistique‚Äôs Emilee McDaniel on defense Friday night at Lakeview Elementary School. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

By RYAN SPITZA

Journal Sports Writer

NEGAUNEE — The Negaunee High School girls basketball team continued its winning ways on Friday night at Lakeview Memorial Gym, rolling to a 60-17 victory over visiting Manistique.

The Miners received 17 points from senior forward Abby Nelson and 11 from freshman center Alyssa Hill as Negaunee stayed unbeaten (7-0).

NHS head coach Brandon Sager credited his team’s strong defense and transition offense in the victory.

“It was good to be able to compete after a couple of weeks off and competing against ourselves in practice,” he said. “The girls came out ready, we had a couple of good practices prior to this game and we came in pretty focused on the defensive end. Offensively, we were able to get some things off of the steals and get some transition points. Any time we can get a win we’re happy.”

Sager added he’s happy to be undefeated, but the schedule doesn’t get any easier from here.

“Now we’ve got to really focus,” he said.

“We’ve got a tough little stretch here with West Iron (County) coming up on Tuesday. We’ve got the film ready and it’s back to the drawing board tomorrow. We need to continue to be ready and focused because it’s going to be a really good test for us.”

The Emeralds fell to 1-5 on the season. Manistique head coach David Winkel said it was a learning experience for his team, who used the game to see where they stand against strong opponents and will look to regroup tonight against Big Bay de Noc.

“That’s the one good thing about this is that we can get the taste out of our mouths with being able to play again,” he said.

“We can take out some of our aggression on Big Bay de Noc. It was tough, it was a struggle and we talked about just having a chance against a good team to try and get better.

“That’s what we focused on mostly in the second half once the game was already out of reach. It was just a matter using the second half against a really good team and getting better.

“Let’s not give up and I thought our girls did that. They didn’t give in or quit playing. They gave a good effort all night. It just wasn’t our night.”

Manistique managed to get the early 2-0 lead on a pair of free throws from senior Joslyn Muth before Nelson put in an inbound layup at the other end and was fouled on the play. Nelson sunk the free throw to make it 3-2 Miners.

Negaunee used that play as the springboard for an 18-point run, which included baskets from Nelson, Hill and junior guards Chloe Norman, Emily Paupore and Alexa Gravedoni to put the Miners up 18-2.

Manistique ended that run on a layup from Muth, but Miners senior guard Hannah Voskuhl made it 20-4 after that with a basket of her own.

The Emeralds received a 3-pointer from sophomore Kayla Muth at the buzzer to make it a 20-7 game after the first quarter.

The Miners continued their offensive barrage in the second quarter with 16 points, while their defense held the Emeralds scoreless.

The score was 36-7 at halftime with Nelson getting 13 points over the first 16 minutes.

Negaunee extended the lead to 43-7 before the Emeralds ended the run on a basket from junior Emilee McDaniel.

After another basket from Nelson, Kayla Muth hit a triple to make it 45-12.

The most notable play of the third came from Paupore, who hit a long-range three at the buzzer to make it 60-15 Miners.

The running clock was put into effect to start the fourth, and Negaunee simply dribbled out the clock, going scoreless in the fourth to preserve the victory.

Paupore and Norman added seven points each for the Miners. Joslyn Muth had nine points for Manistique while Kayla Muth had six and McDaniel two.

Manistique visits Big Bay de Noc (0-3) tonight while Negaunee visits West Iron County (4-2) on Tuesday.

Negaunee also won the JV contest 53-12.

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net