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Talented rosters ready for return of Border Bash

Courtesy: Jason Juno, Ironwood Daily Globe
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Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT
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IRONWOOD, Mich. (WLUC) - It was a good year for local basketball and that’s reflected in the rosters for this year’s Kiwanis Classic Border Bash All-Star games.  Eight area players were selected to take part in the event scheduled for Monday, June 6 at the Lindquist Center.

The rosters include six players who played in the MHSAA state finals and two state semifinalists, one from Michigan and one from Wisconsin.

Most of them are on the Northern Michigan boys team. The two players of the year in the Upper Peninsula, Ewen-Trout Creek’s Jaden Borseth and Menominee’s Aidan Bellisle are joined by E-TC’s Eric Abramson and Kelsey Jilek and Menominee’s Brady Schultz and Cooper Conway. E-TC and Menominee both advanced to the state championship game last month.

Their teammates include Bessemer’s Jack Matrella, Wakefield-Marenisco’s Kyle Sorensen and Jeffers Johnny Schutz.

All nine of them made the All-U.P. team. Borseth, who was named Mr. U.P. Basketball, Bellisle and Schutz were Dream Teamers.

Menominee’s Sam Larson is their coach.

They’ll be going up against Northern Wisconsin, which includes Braxton Sbraggia of state semifinalist Hurley. He passed the 1,000-point mark as a senior and was a key part of the Northstars’ historic season.

The headliner on that team is Denmark’s Donavan Short, a 6-10 forward who will play collegiately at UW-Green Bay. He was also recruited by USC, Virginia Tech and Milwaukee among others.

Northwestern’s Monte Mayberry was an all-state selection in Division 3 and he was one of the top players Hurley went up against this season.

Flambeau’s Harley Opachan was named the East Lakeland Conference Player of the Year. Rhinelander’s Jacksen Smith committed to play basketball at UW-Superior. He led the Hodags to their first regional championship since 2014. Parker Prahl was named Player of the Year in the Central Wisconsin East Conference after helping Iola-Scandinavia to an undefeated regular season and a sectional final appearance. Connor Taylor is Wabeno-Laona’s all-time leading scorer.

Other members of the Northern Wisconsin team are: Marathon’s Jade Koeller and Bonduel’s Reece Stoltenow.

Two Northstars highlight the Northern Wisconsin girls team - Olivia France and Kylee Hewitt. Both were named to the Indianhead All-Conference First Team and Hewitt was the Player of the Year. They’ll have a familiar coach in Hurley’s Jay Aijala.

Northwood’s Emme Golembiewski was the Lakeland Conference Player of the Year. Kate Fitzgerald was a member of Division 2 regional champion Mosinee.

They’re joined by Rhinelander’s Audrey Schiek, Peshtigo’s Sydney Lund, Clear Lake’s Maddie Rosen, Amherst’s Sydney Lehman and Unity’s Sydney Bader.

Many of the U.P.’s best are on the Northern Michigan girls roster, including all five All-U.P. Dream Team players — Ms. U.P. Basketball Reide Osterman of Baraga, Division 1-3 Player of the Year Ally Schultz of St. Ignace, Carney-Nadeau’s Tessa Wagner, Negaunee’s Alyssa Hill and Westwood’s Natalie Prophet.

Osterman led Baraga to the state semifinal where they nearly came back to beat state champion Fowler. They’ll be led by her coach, Tyler Larson, who had a big year in his first season as head coach.

The St. Ignace players continue to come across the U.P. to take part. Schultz’s teammate, Natalie Ryvolova, will also play.

Schultz is a Ferris State commit. Hill is going to play at Bemidji State.

They’ll be joined by two of the top players in the Copper Country —Calumet’s Marybeth Halonen and Houghton’s Paige Sleeman. Gladstone’s Claire van Ginhoven will also play.

The girls game starts at 5 p.m. with the boys game to follow at 6:30.

It returns to Ironwood after being held in Northland Pines last year and not being held at all in 2020. Both were because of the pandemic. The Northern Wisconsin boys won both games last year.

Northern Michigan Boys

Eric Abramson, Ewen-Trout Creek, 6-5

Jack Matrella, Bessemer, 6-0

Kyle Sorensen, Wakefield-Marenisco, 6-3

Aidan Bellisle, Menominee, 6-1

Kelsey Jilek, Ewen-Trout Creek, 6-3

Brady Schultz, Menominee, 6-5

Johnny Schutz, Jeffers, 6-3

Jaden Borseth, Ewen-Trout Creek, 6-3

Cooper Conway, Menominee, 6-3

Coach: Sam Larson, Menominee

Northern Wisconsin Boys

Harley Opachan, Flambeau, 6-4

Monte Mayberry, Northwestern, 6-3

Jacksen Smith, Rhinelander, 6-3

Connor Taylor, Wabeno-Laona, 6-2

Jade Koeller, Marathon, 6-2

Parker Prahl, Iola-Scandinavia, 6-4

Reece Stoltenow, Bonduel, 6-1

Donavan Short, Denmark, 6-10

Braxton Sbraggia, Hurley, 6-5

Coach: Jeff Podgornik, Flambeau

Northern Michigan Girls

Claire van Ginhoven, Gladstone, 5-9

Natalie Prophet, Westwood, 5-8

Reide Osterman, Baraga, 5-8

Paige Sleeman, Houghton, 5-9

Marybeth Halonen, Calumet, 5-8

Natalie Ryvolova, St. Ignace, 5-10

Tessa Wagner, Carney-Nadeau, 6-3

Ally Schultz, St. Ignace, 5-9

Alyssa Hill, Negaunee, 6-0

Coach: Tyler Larson, Baraga

Northern Wisconsin Girls

Audrey Schiek, Rhinelander, 5-10

Sydney Lund, Peshtigo, 5-5

Emme Golembiewski, Northwood, 6-0

Kate Fitzgerald, Mosinee, 5-7

Kylee Hewitt, Hurley, 5-9

Olivia France, Hurley, 5-6

Maddie Rosen, Clear Lake, 6-1

Sydney Lehman, Amherst, 6-4

Sydney Bader, Unity, 5-10

Coach: Jay Aijala, Hurley

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