UPSSA prep hoops poll: Top-ranked Redmen, Redettes play big games on same night

MARQUETTE – Fans of the Marquette Senior High School basketball teams have a tough choice to make on Thursday night.

Do they stay home to watch the top two boys teams in the Upper Peninsula square off, or travel to Houghton to see their top-ranked Redettes take on one of the squads just behind them in the girls poll?

Either way, they really can’t lose based just on the entertainment value of each game.

The Redmen host Negaunee in a matchup of what has been the unanimous No. 1 Class ABC team all season – Marquette at 12-0 – and consensus No. 2 ever since the first poll came out in early January.

That includes this week’s poll that was announced this morning by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

The 13-1 Miners are looking for payback after suffering their only loss, 51-40, to Marquette at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium on Dec. 19 during the second week of the season.

On the girls side, Marquette (16-1) makes the 100-mile jaunt to the Copper Country to face a Gremlin team it defeated 60-54 in the Redettes gym on Feb. 3.

With two ties, today’s Class ABC girls poll is intriguing – Marquette now has to share the top spot with St. Ignace (14-2) after the Redettes lost to a sub-.500 Kingsford team, 48-47, on Friday.

MSHS did receive three first-place votes to two for the Saints, though both have 22 total points in voting.

No. 3 is also a tie between 13-2 L’Anse and 15-2 Houghton as they have split their games against each other and are tied atop the West PAC. In addition, Ishpeming (10-4) snuck into the discussion, receiving one vote this week.

In the Class D boys poll, 15-0 North Central might argue it belongs in the discussion for best team in the U.P. after winning every game by at least 13 points until last week, when it survived a 71-70 nail biter at Carney-Nadeau.

With three wins last week, Munising (13-1) edged back into second place ahead of Cedarville by one vote. The Mustangs’ only loss was to Marquette three weeks ago.

In Class D girls, Superior Central’s 18-point loss to Menominee and one-point win over Bark River-Harris last week dropped the Cougars a spot to third behind unanimous No. 1 Forest Park and No. 2 Stephenson. Munising (11-4) remained fifth after winning two of three last week.

Area boys teams rose in the state Associated Press polls announced today, while their area girls counterparts took a hit in the ratings.

For the boys, Negaunee moved up two spots to third in Class C after a pair of teams in front of the Miners lost last week, Marquette also picked up two places to eighth in Class A, and Munising bumped up one spot to 11th in Class D, just two votes out of the top 10.

Among the girls, Superior Central fell three places to sixth in Class D, Marquette dropped two spots to 13th in Class A, and Munising took the biggest hit by falling eight places to 20th in Class D.

In other games involving area schools where two ranked teams play each other during the next week, the Marquette boys are at Ishpeming at 7:45 p.m. today, the Munising girls are at Superior Central on Thursday, and the Munising boys are at North Central on Monday.