Negaunee, MI – March 4th, 2022 – The Negaunee Miners girls basketball team competed in the district championship game this evening against the Houghton Gremlins. The game was broadcasted on Sunny 101.9.
1Q: These teams played one game in the regular season, as it dated all the way back to December 10th when it was the Gremlins winning by ten. This district championship
started with a winning tip by Alyssa Hill and the Miners, they weren’t able to score on their first offensive possession. The Gremlins also came up short on their opening possession. After another unsuccessful offensive possession, the Gremlins were able to draw first blood. The Miners continued to struggle offensively as they turned the basketball over on back to back tries. Houghton was able to bury a triple to lead 5-0 with 5:20 remaining in the opening quarter. Finally on the other end Ella Mason drained a triple of her own to cut the deficit to two. After a cold streak for the Gremlins, Ella Mason continued to score for her team, she was able to convert on
an old fashion three point play to take a one point lead. Summer Dudo then scored inside after a nice block from Alyssa Hill on the other end, the momentum was in full swing. The Miners dominated the final few minutes as they found themselves with a 15-9 lead heading into the second. Ella Mason scored eleven points for the Miners in the first eight minutes of play.
2Q: Alyssa Hill was held scoreless in the first quarter, but she gave her team a seven point lead right out of the gates to begin the second. The Gremlins finally found a bucket on their third offensive possession as with just under 5:40 remaining in the first half, Negaunee led 17-11. Summer Dudo got the Miners back on the board a minute later, as the Gremlins answered right back on the other end. The Gremlins continued to keep fighting as after a few missed offensive possessions from Negaunee, the Gremlins scored five straight to cut the deficit to one. The score was sill 19-18 with 2:45 remaining as both teams began to struggle later in the quarter, Ella Mason finally knocked one down for the Miners to take a three point lead. The play of the half was Alyssa Hill doing Alyssa Hill things. After a tremendous block on the defensive end, Summer Dudo knocked down a triple to extend the lead to six. Madison Smith then made a great play for the Miners as she stole the basketball and was able to go coast-to-coast to take an eight point lead. After another incredible run to end the quarter, the Miners led 26-18 at halftime.
3Q: The Miners began the third quarter with the basketball as Ella Mason wasn’t able to knock down a deep triple. The Gremlins struck first in the second half as they cut the deficit to six. Negaunee struggled offensively to start the quarter, as the Gremlins continued to score. A deep three would cut the deficit to three as the score was 26-23 with just 5:13 remaining in the third. After another missed shot from Negaunee, the Gremlins cut the deficit to just one. Lilly Nelson finally got onto the board with a much needed triple, the Miners gained back a four point lead. The final minutes of the third quarter were won by the Miners, as they were one quarter away from a district championship. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Miners led 36-33 thanks to two triples from Lilly Nelson.
4Q: The Miners once again, began the quarter with the basketball as they were not able to score on the possession. The Gremlins were able to take a one point lead after back to back possessions, but it was quickly ruined as Alyssa Hill was able to take back the lead with a nice move inside. Ella Mason then gained some early quarter insurance as she was able to extend the lead to three. With just 5:00 remaining in the game, the Gremlins cut the deficit to one after two successful free throws. Ella Mason continued to put matters into her own hands as she nailed a floater on the offensive end to take back the three point lead. After a defensive stop, Alyssa Hill extended the lead to five with just under 3:40 remaining in the game. Houghton was not able to convert on their offensive possession as from here on out, every possession would count. The Miners really started to get things going late, as Alyssa Hill continued to dominate the paint, the Miners led 48-39 with just under 2:00 to play. Houghton was still not able to get anything going offensively, and a big part of that was because of the defensive play from Negaunee. After only one successful free throw from the Gremlins, the Miners were able to stall offensively but turned the ball over in the process. Thankfully the Gremlins weren’t able to score on the other end of the floor, as Ella Mason was fouled and sent to the line for a one and one opportunity. She knocked down both free throws to take a ten point lead, which gave excellent insurance for the Miners. A regular season loss to the Gremlins just a few months ago made this one feel a lot better. The Gremlins were not able to make the comeback as the Negaunee Miners went on to win the championship 52-41.
Final: Negaunee 52 Houghton 41
The Negaunee Miners will now advance to the regional tournament, which will begin early next week. Stay tuned for game times and opponent. The game will be broadcasted on Sunny 101.9.