Class D Boys is Competitive
Class D boys in the Upper Peninsula this year is proving to be a tough proposition for UPSSA voters. With four undefeated teams and two very strong one loss teams, a heirarchy has yet to be established so the poll to this point has largely been guesswork. Being that not all of the six teams will play each other in the regular season, the poll may be a season long challenge to vote on.
The UPSSA did come to a unanimous decision on No. 1 North Central (6-0). The Jets have scored over 90 points twice this season and nearly made it three on Saturday when they defeated Superior Central (2-5) 87-55. The Jets, who are also ranked No. 1 in the inital Associated Press Class D poll, hosted Rapid River Monday night and rolled 64-39. They will host Big Bay de Noc on Thursday.
The Jets were followed by No. 2 Cedarville (6-1), No. 3 Munising (6-0), No. 4 Lake Linden-Hubbell (7-0) and No. 5 Carney-Nadeau (6-2). Of those teams only the Wolves and Jets have played each other with North Central winning 93-56. The Wolves have won pretty handily the rest of the way however, including winning two games last week without starting point guard Keenan Lampinen and sixth man Caine Knaus. Both were in action in a Monday road loss to Munising. The Mustangs stifled the Wolves 57-44.
Left out of the Class D poll is an undefeated Forest Park (6-0) team. The Trojans garnered six points, just missing the cut. Forest Park defeated a solid Bark River-Harris (5-3) team on the road Monday night 73-60.
The other three polls didn’t see much movement. Class ABC girls remained exactly the same as last week, though the No. 1 Marquette Redettes (12-0) may get one of their stiffest challenges of the season when they travel to play Gladstone (6-3) tonight.
In Class D girls, No. 2 Stephenson (7-0) leapfrogged No. 3 Superior Central (8-1) which suffered its first regular season loss in two years last week, falling to Ishpeming (6-2) on the road. The Lady Hematites remain unranked in Class ABC which is also very competitive this season. On Monday night Ishpeming dropped a 58-56 deciscion to the undefeated L’Anse Purple Hornets at home.
However, the Hematite boys (3-1) made their first appearance in the Class ABC poll this week. Ishpeming’s only loss is by three points on the road to No. 2 Negaunee (7-1). In fact, the Miners are making short work of just about everyone, having also beat No. 3 Escanaba (6-2) twice this season. No. 1 Marquette (6-0) handed the Miners their only loss.