Buettner’s 25 sparks ‘B’ win; Haidar leads U.P. Insurance

NEGAUNEE – Stonehouse Window and Door acted like a brick wall in the opening Class B game of this year’s Negaunee Invitational Tournament on Friday afternoon.

The Ishpeming-based team outscored Car Ram Rod of Houghton 118-73 as former Michigan Tech University All-American Josh Buettner led the winners with 25 points.

Teammate Lou Koskey added 20, while Mike Philly had 21 and Shawn Wickerstein 15 for Car RR.

The 49th annual event, sponsored by Charter Communications, features a dozen games in classes B and C today and nine more Sunday, including both championship games, at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee.

In other action from Class B, which is a double-elimination division, U.P. Insurance of Negaunee also got MTU help in beating Raw Dogs of Gwinn, 81-69.

An All-American from the season just ended, Ali Haidar scored 26 points for U.P. Insurance, while Mike Hojnacki added 16.

For Raw Dogs, Isiah Law pumped in 20 points and Matt Stoll 17.

U.P. Propane of Negaunee upended Juice Promotions of Carney, 82-73, as the winners’ Brett Brandstrom scored 23 points and Caleb Harrington 16. Juice’s T.J. Cameron had 32.

McNeil Oilers of Crystal Falls stopped Milwaukee Spartans, 90-83. Kurt Lehman scored 24 points and Anthony Granberry 22 for McNeil, while Rodney Jones poured in 29 and Marty Collins 20 for the Spartans.

Class B leads off today’s action with loser’s bracket games at 8 and 9:15 a.m., then winner’s bracket contests at 10:30 and 11:45 a.m.

The first winner’s bracket game pits U.P. Insurance vs. Detroit Express of Macomb, while the second has Stonehouse vs. Wilson Trucking and Excavating of downstate Prescott.

In Class C, a single-elimination division, Juice Promotions of Carney opened with a 84-67 win over Sager Inc./Tino’s of Marquette.

Ben Kitkowski scored 19 points and teammates Tom Granquist and Pat Flood 18 apiece for Juice, while Joe Dost put in 19 points and Kyle Saari 15 for Sager/Tino’s.

The first Class C games today will be at 1 and 2:15 p.m. when Friday’s late-game winner between two Ishpeming teams, Stonehouse and Thrivent Financial, faces IQ Design of Manistique.

That will be followed by U.P. Insurance of Negaunee vs. Nylund Fisheries of Menominee.

Competition will continue throughout the day, culminating with a Class C encounter between The Downtowner of Houghton and U.P.’s Elite of Green Bay.

Play will then resume at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.