Prep basketball: Branstrom leads North triumph in U.P. All-Star Classic

ST. IGNACE – Brett Branstrom stole the chow, but he got some help from a pair of Marquette County cagers Saturday in St. Ignace.

A Northern Michigan University recruit from Mid Peninsula, Branstrom poured in a game-high 21 points to spark the North boys to a 94-81 victory over the South in the 28th Annual Upper Peninsula All-Star Classic basketball game at LaSalle High School.

For his effort, Branstrom earned the game’s Most Valuable Player nod.

Mark Pap of Marquette and Tanner Uren of Negaunee provided plenty of support, however. Pap tossed in 17 points and Uren added 14 to make North coach Mike O’Donnell – Branstrom’s brother-in-law – a winner.

Wade Schetter of Carney-Nadeau – another NMU recruit – scored 12 points to share scoring laurels with Aidan Wienke of Kingsford and Josh Hester of Cedarville.

Caleb Harrington of Kingsford and Curtis St. Louis of St. Ignace added 11 points each, while Derek Reetz of Gwinn notched seven.

In the girls’ contest, MVP Sarah Cullip of state Class D champion St. Ignace netted 13 points as the South topped the North, 62-53.

Nicole Bouwma of DeTour also scored 11 points, while Olivia Smith of Pickford chipped in 10.

For the North, coached by Marquette’s Ben Smith, Kylee Erickson of West Iron County led the way with 16 points. Krysta VanDamme of Mid Peninsula added 10.

In skills competitions prior to the games, Branstrom won the slam dunk contest, while Uren took the 3-point shooting title 9-5 over Branstrom in the final round in the boys’ events.

For the girls, Kyra Lauzon of Manistique claimed the free throw championship, while Sarah Madalinski of Bark River-Harris took the 3-point shooting crown.

The games were sponsored by the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame. Proceeds go toward academic scholarships for peninsula athletes.