Quality Baraga girls basketball team won’t surprise many this time around
All times Eastern
Dec. 5 — at Ewen-Trout Creek, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10 — at Dollar Bay, 7:20 p.m.
Dec. 13 — at Bessemer, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 — Chassell, 7:20 p.m.
Dec. 19 — L’Anse, 7:20 p.m.
Dec. 23 — Dollar Bay, 5:45 or 7:20 p.m.
Jan. 3 — Lake Linden-Hubbell, 7:20 p.m.
Jan. 7 — Hancock, 7:20 p.m.
Jan. 10 — at Watersmeet, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14 — Republic-Michigamme, 7:20 p.m.
Jan. 17 — Bessemer, 7:20 p.m.
Jan. 21 — Ontonagon, 7:20 p.m.
Jan. 24 — at Jeffers, 7:20 p.m.
Jan. 30 — at L’Anse, 7:20 p.m.
Feb. 3 — at Chassell, 7:20 p.m.
Feb. 6 — Jeffers, 7:20 p.m.
Feb. 10 — at Wakefield-Marenisco, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13 — at Lake Linden-Hubbell, 7:20 p.m.
Feb. 17 — Ewen-Trout Creek, 7:20 p.m.
Feb. 27 — at Republic-Michigamme, 7:30 p.m.
BARAGA — After being the surprise of the Upper Peninsula girls basketball scene a year ago, the Baraga Vikings are looking for more of the same this season.
The Vikings were highly ranked in both the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and state polls for a good part of last season, rolling to a overall 20-3 record. They lost to powerhouse St. Ignace in the MHSAA Division 4 state quarterfinals.
The Purple and Gold of coach Tom Goodreau also won district and regional titles for the first time in a long time.
“We came together as a team and really played team ball,” Goodreau said. “We did lose some key players, though, and we’ll have to see how to replace them.”
The biggest loss was Martina Jahfetson, who led the team in scoring and was voted conference most valuable player. She was also an All-U.P. selection.
Returning starters are sophomore Rylie Koskinen and juniors Reide Osterman and Jaylyne Lindemann.
Lindemann and Koskinen were first-team picks in the Copper Mountain Conference, while Osterman and Allison Durant were named to the second team.
“They all can shoot the ball and they’re very good defenders,” Goodreau said. “They play team basketball, which is a trademark of our girls.”
Lindemann will be joined up front by Grant — the tallest BHS player at 5-foot-7 — in the frontcourt.
“Allison Grant played big minutes off the bench for us and showed some real good quickness,” Goodreau said.
Corina Jahfetson, a sophomore, will get time at guard.
Senior Courtney Tembreull played two years ago and is returning after a year’s absence from the program.
Kylie Michaelson is the only freshman brought up and she brings a lot of hustle to the table, according to her coach.
“We can fit her (Michaelson) in just about anywhere. She does well at any spot on the floor,” her coach said.
On the injured list is junior Keegan Kakhonen, who is recovering from an ACL tear suffered at a summer camp.
The Purple and Gold used pressure defense a lot last season and will again this winter.
“It’s what we do … and what we’re suited to do,” Goodreau said. “You use what you have.”
The Baraga coach says the conference will be tough.
“I think you have to look at Ewen-Trout Creek as the favorite. But Chassell, Jeffers and Lake Linden-Hubbell always have talent. And we’ll also have L’Anse in the conference. They (L’Anse) have a lot of good athletes and good basketball players.”