Prep girls basketball roundup: Ishpeming shakes up new U.P. poll, upsets No. 3 L’Anse on the road

L’ANSE – Even before the ink could dry on this week’s Upper Peninsula basketball polls, Ishpeming went in and shook up the Class ABC girls rankings on Monday evening.

The Hematites upset L’Anse 49-44 on the Purple Hornets’ home court the night before L’Anse would be announced this morning as tied for third place in the ABC ratings. In addition, Ishpeming received a vote in this week’s poll for the first time all season.

That may all change after Monday night thanks in large part to Ishpeming sophomore Jessica Penhale, who made all six of her free throw tries in the second half, including four in the final minute when the game’s outcome hung in the balance.

“She’s our backup point guard, but she’s just coming back from an injury,” IHS coach Tom Graves said as his team’s made 13 of 16 free throws overall.

L’Anse (14-3) pulled within 47-44 during the last minute before Penhale sank her final two freebies with six seconds left.

“It’s a huge win for us because we have such a big week in front of us,” Graves said, pointing out that Ishpeming (12-4) plays at Escanaba on Thursday and at Gwinn on Saturday.

While Penhale’s only points were those free throws, teammate Jessica Spencer scored a game-high 18 points, while fellow junior Tammy Simula added 10.

For L’Anse, senior Madi Swanson scored 14 points.

Graves was also pleased his team committed just 12 turnovers against a pressing Hornets’ defense.

L’Anse won the JV game, but no score was available.


Westwood 59, Norway 45

In a makeup game at Ishpeming, the Patriots used one of their patented third-quarter spurts to take over a game they led just 33-30 at halftime.

“We always talk about coming out and playing well after the break,” Westwood coach Kurt Corcoran said of his team’s grabbing a 48-36 advantage by the beginning of the fourth quarter. “I told our girls we can’t give up 30 points in a half and expect to win.”

He said the team has been allowing just 38 points per game during a streak that has seen the Pats win eight of their last nine games to improve to 10-6 overall and 8-1 and a tie for first place with Negaunee in the Mid-Peninsula Conference.

Senior guard Caitlin Hewitt, who made six steals, was the only one of nine WHS scorers to reach double figures with 14 points, though senior center Amber Salo pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.

Jordan Kramer paced Norway (4-11, 2-7) with 14 points, while Jacey Bal added 12.

Westwood won the JV game, 43-40.


Superior Central 64,

Big Bay de Noc 12

In a makeup game at Eben, the Cougars (14-2 overall, 11-0 Central U.P. Conference) ran over a depleted Black Bears team that was missing two starters, taking leads of 24-4 and 37-8 at the end of the first two quarters.

“After having a bad week last week, the girls came out ready to play,” SC coach Greg Trowbridge said.

The Cougars’ Brooke Pasanen scored 22 points to nearly double the output of Big Bay (3-12, 2-9), while fellow senior Vanessa Freberg added 17 points and nine rebounds.

BB’s Samantha Sundling scored eight points.

SC also won the JV game, 44-36.


Manistique 52,

Iron Mountain 35

At Iron Mountain, the Mountaineers started fast and ran up a double-digit lead but couldn’t maintain the pace.

Trailing by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, the Emeralds (3-14, 2-8) pulled back into a 20-20 tie by halftime.

Alyssa Khor hit a pair of 3-pointers early for IM (1-12, 0-8) before Manistique coach Kelley Spettel abandoned their man-to-man defense in favor of a 1-3-1 zone.

The Emeralds’ Maggie Morrison led all scorers with 18 points, 11 coming in the fourth quarter thanks to a trio of 3s. Teammate Leah Cook added 14 points.

Cassie Feira paced the Mountaineers with nine points and four steals, while Alena Herman pulled down 11 rebounds.

IM won the JV game, 56-44.