Balanced scoring pays off at NIT

NEGAUNEE – Balanced scoring proved a key to success for a pair of teams in the opening round of the Class C division at the Negaunee Invitational Tournament on Friday evening.

Flick of Ishpeming and Manistique Ice Company each had five players score in double figures to help their teams advance in this 12-team, single-elimination event.

Friday’s four winners face other teams today that received first-round byes.

The Women’s Division opens play this morning with six teams and includes a consolation bracket for teams that lose today.

The championship games in each division, including the Women’s Division consolation, are scheduled for Sunday.

In Class C, Flick defeated MTU of Houghton, 76-63, as Eric Laksonen scored 23 points and Bill Body 15 for the winners, while Charles Callny had 15 and Zack Fleming 14 for MTU.

Drew Paquin scored 24 points and teammate Don Olsen had 16 to lead Manistique Ice to a 84-75 victory over Bricklayers, an Upper Peninsula-wide team.

Ex-Munising standout Kenya Oas had 19 and Joe Berg 14 for the Bricklayers.

Players from each team had a double-double in an 83-72 victory posted by U.P. Insurance Agency of Negaunee over Graymont of Manistique.

While Dustin Brancheau led the winners with 26 points, teammate Anthony Katona had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Steve Kasier recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds for Graymont, while teammate Nick Greenwood added 14 points.

In another Class C game, Chris Loonsfoot scored 23 points and Josh Cole had 18 to help Ojibwa BP of Baraga slip by Schoolcraft-Delta of Manistique, 73-63.

Cody Kangas had 14 and Isaac Wedig 12 for Schoolcraft-Delta.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is