All-U.P. Boys Basketball: MSHS, NHS named top teams

MARQUETTE – Negaunee and Marquette battled to a draw in head-to-head battles this season, the Miners winning 55-35 and the Redmen taking a 59-43 triumph – both games on the victor’s home court.

Wednesday in Marquette, the two teams shared something else in common besides a triumph over each other: both gained Upper Peninsula Team of the Year designations by unanimous acclamation.

Marquette pocketed the Stephen Kleiman Memorial Trophy as the top team in Class AB as voted by members of the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in Marquette.

It’s the first time since 2004-05 the Redmen have won the award.

Negaunee, meanwhile, earned the George Rudness Memorial Trophy in Class C for the third straight season.

Behind All-U.P. performers Mark Pap, A.J. Grazulis and Andy Nyquist, coach Brad Nelson’s Redmen posted a 17-3 overall record.

Their only other losses besides the one to Negaunee were to Sault Ste. Marie (59-52) and Houghton (47-46).

Marquette claimed the Great Northern Conference title with an 8-0 mark.

Coach Mike O’Donnell’s Negaunee club went 19-1 on the regular season and captured the Mid-Peninsula Conference crown with a 12-0 record.

With All-U.P. performers Tyler Jandron and Tanner Uren leading the way, the Miners’ closest wins were over Gwinn (64-57 and 63-57). The rest were by 16 points or more.

Negaunee made it to the MHSAA Class C state semifinal game before losing, 45-43, to Laingsburg.

In Class D, North Central claimed the Team of the Year nod and the Edward Helakoski Memorial Award that goes with the honor.

The Jets of head coach Adam Mercier finished the regular season 17-3 overall and 12-2 in both the Central U.P. League and Skyline Conference.

NC eventually advanced to the state Class D semifinal contest, where it lost 51-36 to Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is