All U.P. Girls: Cougars’ All-U.P. trio go out with a bang

MARQUETTE – With good reason, much has been written about the star trio of Vanessa Freberg, Teslyn Tyner and Brooke Pasanen at Superior Central. Wednesday at the 39th Annual All-U.P. Girls Basketball Meeting of the UPSSA, they received one final honor, as they were named to the All-U.P. Class D team together.

Freberg, who will leave behind a legacy of being Superior Central’s All-time leading scorer with 1,421 points, was a First Team selection, receiving 21 votes. Freberg was an Associated Press Class D First Team All-State selection this season for the second straight year. She averaged 16.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 2.9 assists for the Cougars, and most nights, she did her work quietly and unselfishly, often preferring to feed her teammates. Freberg was a 2013 Dream Team selection to the All-U.P. Team, but fell one vote short of the cut this year, getting 10 votes to Madi Swanson’s 11.

Tyner and Pasanen were Second Team selections.

The rest of the First Team included Tiffany Wangerin of Stephenson, Hana Vesela of Brimley, Kendra Campbell of Forest Park and Brooke Turin of Ontonagon.

Wangerin was a scoring machine for Stephenson and helped lead the Eagles to their best regular season in school history. The Associated Press Class D All-State selection averaged 24 points and 12.3 rebounds and finished her career with 1,276 points.

Vesela, a foreign exchange student from the Czech Republic, put up 16.6 points per game for Brimley this season and also averaged 10.5 rebounds and five blocks. She was named the Eastern U.P. Conference Player of the Year and helped lead the Bays to a 21-4 record this season.

Campbell, though overshadowed her entire career by Lexi Gussert, had a season worthy of First Team All-U.P. consideration. She was a unanimous selection to the All-Skyline Team and averaged eight points.

Turin helped lead Ontonagon to a 12-8 record this season, averaging 18.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.5 steals and three assists.

Tyner, Pasanen and Mid Peninsula’s Hunter Branstrom highlighted local Second Team selections.

Tyner, a 5-3 senior guard, is arguably the fastest guard in the Upper Peninsula and worked the Cougars’ press to near-perfection. A three-year starter, she averaged 14 points, three rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.9 steals a game. Tyner was a unanimous selection for the Second Team.

Pasanen honed her shot this season and in the regional final against Forest Park, hit numerous shots from well-beyond the arc. She averaged 14 points with five rebounds and 2.9 assists and was a 48 percent shooter from the floor.

Branstrom, a junior forward made her first All-U.P. Team after compiling a season in which she averaged 16.2 points, 11 rebounds and one block per game. She was 48 percent shooter as well. Branstrom received 20 votes from the 24-member panel.

Other Second Team selections included Julia Daavettila of Dollar Bay, Kassie Metcalf of Engadine, Maria Stankewicz of Forest Park, Alyssa Graham of Brimley, Shelby Seppanen of Jeffers, Kelsey Johnson of Stephenson and Frankie Mattson of Munising.

Daavettila was a unanimous selection to the Second Team, averaging 17.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, four steals and 3.1 assists and helping to lead Dollar Bay to its best season since 1979. She has 1,041 career points.

Metcalf, an outstanding senior point guard for Engadine was the third leading vote getter along with Stankewicz with 17 votes apiece. Metcalf averaged 13.5 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists.

The group of special mention selections was particularly strong. Bark River’s Sophomore Katie Schultz may have been the best player left off the team. She received nine votes and missed the cut by four votes. She was the Broncos’ leader with 10 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 1.6 assists, as well as 8.3 deflections per game and 14 blocks this season. Teammate Caitlyn Frazer was an honorable mention, leaving the Broncos without an All-U.P. representative for the first time in years.

Another sophomore, Hannah May of Maplewood Baptist, is likely the best player to ever come out of the Northern Lights conference. She received 13 votes but lost out on a tiebreaker, falling one vote short of making the cut. May has over 1,000 career points, including point scored as an eighth grader. She averaged 20.4 points per game this season. Also among the special mention selections are Carney-Nadeau’s Janel Dani and Cedarville’s Alexis Barr. Dani received seven votes and averaged 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals. She was a First Team All Skyline and First Team All-CUP selection. Barr was a four-year starter for Cedarville and averaged 14 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists.