NIT: Class C, Women’s Division take over Negaunee Invitational this weekend
NEGAUNEE – Former high school and collegiate basketball players from around the Upper Peninsula, Lower Michigan and Wisconsin are converging on the Negaunee Invitational Tournament this weekend.
The 12-team open Class C division runs today through Sunday while the six-team Women’s Division holds games Saturday and Sunday at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee.
Class C is single elimination with four games Friday evening, the second round on Saturday and semifinals and finals on Sunday culminating in the championship game at 4:30 p.m.
The Women’s Division includes a consolation bracket to decide third place. All games previous to the finals will be held Saturday, with the consolation final at 2 p.m. and championship game at 3:15 p.m. Sunday.
Class C includes defending champion Peninsula Bank with veterans Boone Bell, Dane Nelson and Mike O’Donnell, along with recent Negaunee High School star Eric Lori.
Two more teams with a Negaunee family flavor include U.P. Insurance Agency featuring Katona brothers Rich, Chris, Jon Paul, Dustin, Anthony, Alex, Andrew and Ryan; and Jandron Custom Home Builders with Jandron brothers Tyler, Cory, Tony and Jake Jandron, stepbrother Nick Martin, uncle Dale Jandron and cousins Drew, Mike and Zach Jandron.
A pair of brother groups from Schoolcraft County are the Manistique Ice Company with Paquin brothers CJ, Drew and Steve; and Schoolcraft/Delta with MHS stars Garde, Tyler and Cody Kangas.
In the Women’s Division, defending Class B Women’s champion Tincknell Distributing has Ally (Tincknell) Solander and Kayla Hakala, former Negaunee High School and Finlandia University players.
Crossfit Marquette includes recent Northern Michigan University players Annie Rubendunst and Chelsea Lyons, while MTU has Westwood product Sarah Stream leading a group of ex-Michigan Tech players.
Shenanigans has former NMU player Christa Erickson and ex-Negaunee and Alma College player Courtney Waara, while Negaunee Vet includes former Gwinn standouts Emily Niemi, who also played at Alma College, and Paula Sayen, who played at Concordia University.