Bash on the border: Kiwanis Classic Border Bash returns Wednesday with girls, boys all-star basketball game in Eagle River, Wis.

Westwood's Ellie Miller, center with ball, weaves for a layup through defenders from Negaunee in a game played at the Patriots' gym in Ishpeming on Feb. 19. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)


Games to be played Wednesday in Eagle River, Wis.

Players listed with high school and height



Marquette's Kam Karp looks to make a pass in the first quarter against Gladstone at the Barb Crill Gymnasium in Marquette on Feb. 20. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Northern Michigan

Tommy Cousineau, Ewen-TC, 5-9

Davin Hill, Dollar Bay, 5-8

Reid Hill, Gwinn, 6-1

Christian Hocking, Jeffers, 6-4

Negaunee's Emilia Palomaki, top center, jumps to get off a pass in the first quarter against Escanaba at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee on March 2. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Carter Hudson, Escanaba, 6-7

Kam Karp, Marquette, 6-0

Beau Koffman, Carney-Nadeau, 5-11

Connor LeClaire, Dollar Bay, 5-10

Eli Luokkala, Negaunee, 6-5

Gwinn’s Reid Hill takes a shot against Ishpeming on March 9, 2020. (Journal file photo)

Justin Nelson, West Iron County, 6-8

Coach: John Schutz, Jeffers


Northern Wisconsin

Cade Farber, Abbotsford, 6-3

Negaunee's Eli Luokkala, left, goes for the ball in an MHSAA Division 3 district tournament game played on March 27 at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Hunter Ingles, Winneconne, 6-4

Peyton Kuhn, Medford, 6-0

Quinn Lamers, Rhinelander, 5-11

Dylan Lisita, Wisconsin Rapids, 5-11

Richie Murphy, Cameron, 5-8

Dawson Nordgaard, West De Pere, 6-9

Kevon Powell, Ashland, 5-10

Weston Peplinski, Stevens Pt. Pacelli, 6-4

Ross Skeen, Rhinelander, 6-3

Coach: Dan Witter, Wisconsin Rapids



Northern Michigan

Emma Anderson, Menominee, 6-1

Erin Barrette, Menominee, 5-6

Elise Besonen, Ewen-Trout Creek, 5-4

Mackenzie Boyd, Ironwood, 5-8

Emmalee Hart, St. Ignace, 5-7

Abbie LeGault, E-TC, 5-11

Hallie Marshall, St. Ignace, 5-7

Ellie Miller, Westwood, 5-10

Emilia Palomaki, Negaunee, 5-8

Maija Rice, L’Anse, 5-7

Coach: Jacky Besonen, E-TC


Northern Wisconsin

Makenna Gruden, Edgar, 5-7

Emma Harris, Leona-Wabeno, 5-7

Kylie Higgins, Leona-Wabeno, 5-8

Courtney Krueger, Merrill, 5-5

Rebecca Lawrence, Rhinelander, 5-9

Alyssa Nimz, Catholic Memorial, 6-1

Chloe Sipsas, South Shore, 5-10

Alexa Thomson, West De Pere, 5-8

Amaya White, Lakeland, 5-5

Brooke Wideman, Amherst, 5-11

Coach: Ryan Clark, Rhinelander


EAGLE RIVER, Wis. — The Kiwanis Classic Border Bash is back, but now it’s in a different location.

After being canceled last year, like most everything else because of the coronavirus, the annual Northern Michigan vs. Northern Wisconsin boys and girls basketball all-star games will be played Wednesday at Northland Pines High School in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

The game had been held at Gogebic Community College’s Lindquist Center in Ironwood since it started in 2014.

Northland Pines had expressed an interest in being a host the last several years and welcomed organizer Russ Maki’s request to hold the game there in June.

The girls game is at 5:30 p.m. CDT, followed by the boys contest. Games will be played with 26-minute halves.

The Upper Peninsula All-Star Classic won’t be held this year as organizers were unable to find a host in the central U.P. The game originally scheduled for June 13 at Marquette Senior High School was canceled in early April due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s Border Bash rosters span a huge geographical area, from the far eastern Upper Peninsula in St. Ignace to the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area and west to Stevens Point, Abbotsford and even Cameron.

One player, Alyssa Nimz, is coming from Waukesha’s Catholic Memorial in suburban Milwaukee.

“The (Michigan) girls are all the way from Ironwood to St. Ignace, that’s pretty cool,” Maki said. “One plus with the Wisconsin location is I was able to reach a little bit towards central Wisconsin. I think because it was located in Eagle River, I think that’s why they elected to play.”

It’s also closer for central and eastern U.P. players.

Face masks won’t be required for players or fans, Maki said.

The best seniors from both states are invited to the game each year and this year’s rosters are loaded with talent.

The Northern Wisconsin boys have won the last two games to even the matchup at 3-3. The Northern Michigan and Northern Wisconsin girls also have three wins each with Wisconsin winning the last matchup in 2019, 89-80.


Girls game

Three players from Marquette and Baraga counties were selected to the girls’ Northern Michigan team — Ellie Miller of Westwood, Emilia Palomaki of Negaunee and Maija Rice of L’Anse.

They’ll be coached by Ewen-Trout Creek’s Jacky Besonen.

Joining them on the Northern Michigan girls team will be players from other premier programs in the U.P.

Emma Anderson, Ms. U.P. Basketball a year ago, and teammate Erin Barrette will represent Menominee, which was ranked No. 1 in the Division 1-3 poll much of the past season.

Two players from St. Ignace will make the trip west — Hallie Marshall and Emmalee Hart. Marshall was the U.P. Division 4 Player of the Year in 2020.

For Wisconsin is South Shore’s Chloe Sipsas, the Indianhead Conference player of the year as a sophomore and senior.


Boys game

There are also three area players on the Northern Michigan boys team, all coming from Marquette County schools.

They include Marquette’s Kam Karp, who was an All-U.P. Dream Team selection in basketball and Offensive Player of the Year in football as well. He’s headed to Northern Michigan University on an unusual two-sport signing.

The others are Reid Hill of Gwinn and Eli Luokkala of Negaunee, and their coach will be Jeffers’ John Schutz.

Northern Wisconsin’s Quinn Lamers of Rhinelander recently signed to be a quarterback at the University of Montana, a Division 1 FCS school. Dawson Nordgaard of West De Pere has committed to play basketball at Michigan Tech.


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