November signees: Ishpeming Hematites, Negaunee Miners basketball, soccer players sign on Wednesday for college teams

Three girls basketball players from Negaunee High School signed national letters of intent to play basketball and soccer at three schools on Wednesday. From left are Clara Johnson, who signed to play with the Michigan Tech women's basketball team, Natalie Bartle, who signed with Colorado Mesa to play women's basketball there, and Dariya Goin, who signed to play women's soccer at Finlandia. (Photo courtesy Negaunee High School Athletic Director Andrew Brunette)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team and Michigan Tech women’s basketball team announced signings of student-athletes to their teams that each included a Marquette County player.

Hart Holmgren of Ishpeming signed with the NMU men and is joined by Ben Wolf of Naperville, Illinois.

Meanwhile, Clara Johnson of Negaunee is one of four players joining the Huskies for next year. She’s joined by Jordan Ludescher of Glen Flora, Wisconsin, Ellie Mackay of Novi and Alex Rondorf of West Bend, Wisconsin.

Each area player will be a senior on their respective high school teams this winter.

Holmgren, at 6-foot-5, led his team in scoring with 20 points per game and rebounding with 10 rebounds each contest a year ago. He was named to the All-Upper Peninsula Class A-B-C First Team.

Taking part in the Wednesday signing day by Ishpeming High School senior Hart Holmgren with the Northern Michigan University men's basketball team are, front row from left, Hart's mother Paula Holmgren, Hart Holmgren and Hart's father Terry Holmgren. Top row from left, IHS Principal Seth Hoopingarner, Hart's brother Mark Holmgren and IHS Athletic Director Terry Roberts. (Photo courtesy Paula Holmgren)

“It has been exciting to see his development over the course of the last several years,” NMU head coach Bill Sall said. “Hart is an NMU basketball camp alumnus who continues to work on his craft and has become a very good player.”

Wolf is a 6-9 center who averaged 12 points and eight rebounds as a junior and was listed as the fifth-best center in Illinois.

“We were looking for some needed size in the 2018 class,” Sall said. “Ben showed us over the summer he has size and skill to be a very good center in the GLIAC.”

Over at Michigan Tech, women’s head coach Kim Cameron is thrilled with her 2018 class so far.

“We knew this was an important class for our program and aimed for the stars,” Cameron said. “Every one of them has a high academic standard, and a work ethic that will allow them to compete for playing time immediately.”

Johnson averaged 11 points, four assists, 3.3 rebounds and two steals a year ago and will be a varsity player for the fourth year this winter. She was named the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Best Class C all-state honorable mention and the All-U.P. Class A-B-C Second Team. She has also made Mid-Peninsula Conference First Team twice and won a spot on the Defensive Team while guiding the Miners to a conference championship in 2016 and Class C district titles the past two Marches.

“Clara is an unbelievable person and player,” Cameron said. “She is a Husky through and through with both of her parents graduating from Michigan Tech and her mom being a former women’s basketball player.

“Her leadership and love of the game made her a no-brainer for our program. One thing that stood out with Clara was her continuous improvement. Every time we watched her play she became more confident, creative, and an overall better player.

Ludescher has earned numerous basketball awards, including first team all-conference and all-area and Division 5 honorable mention all-state.

Mackay has had a very decorated career at Novi, holding school records and earning numerous honors. She’s scored 40 points in a game and already exceeded 1,000 in her career, while setting MHSAA tournament records as she is second ever in free throws made in a game with 22 and fifth in consecutive free throws with 17.

Rondorf has earned first team all-conference honors twice at West Bend, and was honorable mention all-area as a junior.

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


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