Polar Bears freeze Hannahville in NLL Tournament semifinal

HANNAHVILLE – The Hannahville boys fell short in their quest for a third straight Northern Lights League tournament championship Saturday as they dropped a 47-34 basketball decision to the Grand Marais Polar Bears in a semifinal contest.

Hannahville trailed 25-11 at halftime, but closed within 35-28 after the third quarter.

“We didn’t execute our game plan in the first half, but we did execute it in the third quarter,” said Hannahville coach Seth Miller. “We had some easy shots (inside) and open outside shots, and they had some role players hit some big shots.”

Kinross Maplewood Baptist captured both ends of the league crown as the boys won for the first time for three years in a 60-48 conquest of Grand Marais. The girls retained their title in a 72-23 rout of Mackinac Island.

Junior guard Justin Larson hit 12 points, including a putback which pulled Hannahville (10-7) within 35-30 early in the fourth stanza of its semifinal contest. Classmate Myron McCullough scored all of his 10 points in the third.

Senior Leroy Ward-Harbaum scored 14 points for Grand Marais, which committed 16 turnovers.

The Soaring Eagles, who had 13 miscues, are idle until March 3 when they travel to North Dickinson for their Class D district opener.

In the title contest, Maplewood Baptist senior Elijah May drained seven 3-point shots from top of the key and finished with 26 points. Seniors James Lockhart, Hunter Plesscher and Chris Lucas had 10 apiece.

“Elijah has been our leading scorer all year,” said Black Bears’ coach Steven May. “They left him open and he hit the shots. They were mostly keying on Chris and that left other guys open to make shots. One of our goals was to win the league, then win the league tournament. We have six seniors. This meant a lot to them.”

Junior Dominik Kinlaw hit 16 points. Senior Robert Rauff tallied 15 and Ward-Harbaum had 10 for the Polar Bears.

Both teams had 11 turnovers.

The Black Bears reached the title contest by eliminating Mackinac Island 64-40 in Saturday’s opener. Elijah May led the way with 18 points. Lockhart scored 15 and Lucas had 13.

Junior Will Barnwell hit 14 points and freshman Christian Styburski added 11 for the Lakers.

In the girls’ final, sophomore guard Hannah May matched a career-high 32 points, running her career total to 987. Sophomore Harmony Bailey scored 15 and senior Bethany Burton had 11.

“We knew for a long time Hannah was a special player and she has been our leader,” said Black Bears’ coach Colleen Rader. “She’s 13 points away from 1,000, which is very special. She’s starting to think about college a little already. She’s a good attacker and deserves everything she gets. Yet, this is definitely a team win. We have four good sophomores on this team. The best is yet to come.”

Senior Amelia Roe hit nine points for Mackinac Island, which committed 32 turnovers. The Black Bears had 10.

A fourth-quarter comeback fell short for Hannahville (8-8) Friday night as it dropped a 44-38 decision to Mackinac Island.

Senior point guard Sophie Manitowabi hit 11 points. Sophomore forward Selena Williams and senior forward Mary Saldana added nine each for the Soaring Eagles, who open district play at North Dickinson Monday.

Hannahville eighth-grader suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter and was unable to return.

“Dayson was playing her heart out and Sophie hit some nice 3-point shots,” said Hannahville coach Josh Eagle. “Hailee Tokarz was lighting us up. Then, we put Dayson on her and she didn’t score again. We went to a full-court press in the fourth quarter and the girls made a great comeback. I wish we had gone to that earlier. This was the last home game for our seniors. It was emotional for them.”

Tokarz scored 19 points and senior Hailey Armstrong had 11 for the Lakers.