MHSAA boys district, girls regional basketball tournaments in full swing

MARQUETTE – It’s the boys turn to take center stage this week with MHSAA district basketball tournaments set to involve every area team today, Wednesday and Friday.

The girls won’t go away quietly, however, as their regional tournaments proceed on Tuesday and Thursday with 11 Upper Peninsula teams still vying for a shot at a state championship.

Seven area boys teams take to the hardwood tonight with three playing at home, three on the road and one at a neutral site.

Home games will be played tonight in Class A when Marquette hosts Petoskey at 6 p.m., and in Class C, with Manistique welcoming Indian River Inland Lakes and L’Anse entertaining Calumet, both at 7 p.m.

Traveling to hostile gyms will be a pair of Class D teams. Superior Central travels to Big Bay de Noc at 7 p.m., and Republic-Michigamme heads over to play at Bessemer at 8 p.m. EST. In Class C, Newberry goes over the Mackinac Bridge to play at Harbor Springs at 7 p.m.

The final game tonight will be played in Chassell where Baraga faces Dollar Bay at 6 p.m.

On the girls side, a majority of the teams left play at two U.P. sites this week – four Class C teams converge on Marquette Senior High School, while another quartet from Class D goes to Kingsford.

That only leaves Class B representative Kingsford having to go downstate to Cadillac and a pair of eastern U.P. teams from Class D – St. Ignace and Pickford – playing in a regional in Gaylord.

Here is a breakdown of the rest of this week’s action:

Girls regionals

Class C at Marquette – On Tuesday, the semifinal matchups are Mid-Peninsula Conference rivals Ishpeming (16-6) vs. Manistique (8-14) at 6 p.m., followed by the West PAC contenders Houghton (20-2) vs. West Iron County (12-9) at 8 p.m.

The championship game is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, with a berth in the Tuesday, March 12, quarterfinals at Petoskey against the McBain regional titlist on the line.

Class D at Kingsford – Tuesday’s matchups include Superior Central (23-0) vs. North Central (14-8) at 6 p.m. EST, followed by Forest Park (21-1) vs. Lake Linden-Hubbell (12-10) at 7:45 p.m.

The regional final is at 7 p.m. EST with the winner advancing to a March 12 quarterfinal in Escanaba against the Gaylord regional champion, likely to be undefeated St. Ignace.

Boys districts

Class A at Marquette – As host of a seven-team nontraditional district, Marquette gets the privilege of playing all of its games at home.

If the Redmen win tonight, they play Traverse City West or Traverse City Central – both teams they defeated at a Christmas holiday event downstate – at a time to be determined on Wednesday evening.

The championship game, which would feature Sault Ste. Marie, Gaylord or Alpena, is Friday night, again at a time not yet set. One of Marquette’s two losses was at the Sault.

Class C at Gwinn – Play opens Wednesday in this four-team, all-Mid-Peninsula Conference district with the same matchups in the same order that were played in last week’s girls tournament – Ishpeming vs. Gwinn at 6 p.m., followed by Negaunee vs. Westwood at 7:30 p.m. Only the site, now Gwinn, has changed.

The championship game is set for Friday night at a time to be determined.

Negaunee won the M-PC at 12-0, Gwinn was a strong third and Ishpeming and Westwood finished in the middle of the conference pack.

Class C at Manistique – If they win tonight, the host Emeralds and Newberry won’t play again until the end of the week in this four-team nontraditional district.

The championship is set for 7 p.m. Friday, at Manistique if the Emeralds make it that far or at a site to be determined if they don’t.

Class C at L’Anse – With all games in this five-team district being played in L’Anse, the Purple Hornets will host Ironwood at 6 p.m. Wednesday and the championship against either Houghton or Hancock at 7 p.m. Friday.

Class D at Munising – Though this is a six-team nontraditional district, all games starting Wednesday move to Munising.

On Wednesday, Grand Marais plays the Rapid River-Engadine winner at 6 p.m., while the Mustangs face the SC-Big Bay winner at 8 p.m. Friday’s championship game is at 7 p.m.

Class D at Bessemer – All games in this six-team traditional district will be played in Bessemer.

If R-M wins tonight, the Hawks play Ewen-Trout Creek at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday, while the championship will be at 8 p.m. Friday and include either Forest Park, Wakefield-Marenisco or Watersmeet.

Class D at Chassell – Another six-team traditional district means all games are being played in Chassell.

If Baraga wins tonight, the Vikings face host Chassell at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with the championship at 7 p.m. Friday against either Lake Linden-Hubbell, Jeffers or Ontonagon.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.