All-U.P. Boys Basketball: Marquette, Negaunee repeat as top teams in Upper Peninsula

MARQUETTE – The Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association would’ve had a hard time deciding who was better between the Negaunee and Marquette boys basketball teams.

But lucky for them, they didn’t have to.

A long tradition with sponsored awards meant Marquette could carry away the Class AB Stephen Kleiman Memorial Trophy while Negaunee carted off the Class C George Rudness Memorial Trophy.

Actually, neither school has to do any carrying or carting, since both teams were repeat winners of those awards. In fact, the Miners won the Rudness hardware for the fourth straight year.

The third trophy, the Class D Edward Helakoski Memorial Award, went to Cedarville in a 21-2 vote over North Central.

The Redmen and Miners split their two games this season, MSHS winning 51-40 in Negaunee on Dec. 19 while NHS returned the favor in Marquette on Feb. 13, winning 61-55.

That was the only regular-season loss for either team as each swept a total of five games for the only losses all year for the No. 3 team in the U.P. poll, Ishpeming.

Marquette was 17-1 in the regular season and lost its Class A district opener at 18-1 Alpena. The Redmen won the Great Northern Conference with a 7-0 record.

Negaunee finished the regular season at 19-1 and won five Class C postseason games, all by at least 13 points, before losing to eventual state champion Detroit Consortium 69-41 in the state semifinals at Michigan State University.

Cedarville was 18-2 in the regular season, losing to powerful Flint Academy in early January and one of Class C’s best teams in Boyne City to finish the regular season before making a run through the Class postseason. The Trojans fell to Adrian Lenawee Christian 67-58 in the semifinals to finish at 23-3.