All-U.P. Girls Basketball: Houghton, St. Igance, Forest Park named Teams of the Year

MARQUETTE – They split the two-game series between them this season – each winning at home – and posted identical overall records in 2013-14.

But when it came down to claiming the Upper Peninsula Class A-B Team of the Year in girls basketball Wednesday in Marquette, Houghton edged Marquette for the Bill Ayers Memorial Award.

The Gremlins picked up 16 votes to six by Marquette in balloting by members of the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association on the Northern Michigan University campus.

Houghton, which went 18-2 during the regular season after moving up from Class C, captured the WestPac title with a 7-1 mark.

Coached by former Baraga High School standout Julie Filpus, the Gremlins lost to Marquette on the road, 60-54, before coming back 10 days later to defeat the Redettes at home, 74-65.

Led by Dream Team honoree Elisa Jurmu, the Gremlins – the Class C Team of the Year in 2012-13, also fell to L’Anse, 60-45.

Marquette, behind Dream Team selecton Hunter Viitala, went 18-2, as well. The Redettes claimed the Great Northern Conference crown with a 7-1 mark.

Coach Ben Smith’s club also lost to Kingsford, 48-47.

In Class C, state runnerup St. Ignace earned the Pam Selden Memorial Memorial Trophy. The Saints, led by UPSSA Coach of the Year Dorene Ingalls, posted an 18-2 record, losing only to Marquette (55-44) and downstate Reese (58-49).

With U.P. Class ABC Player of the Year Kelley Wright, St. Ignace – which is dropping into Class D next season – took the Straits Area Conference title with an 8-0 record.

It’s the fifth straight season St. Ignace has grabbed UPSSA team laurels in either Class C or D.

Forest Park earned the Sherry Masnova Memorial Trophy by being named the Class D Team of the Year by the UPSSA.

Behind two-time peninsula Class D Player of the Year Lexi Gussert, the Trojans went 20-0 during the regular season en route to a state runner-up finish.

Forest Park, coached by Jeff Syrjanen, claimed the Skyline Conference champonship with a 12-0 mark.