Negaunee, MI – March 9, 2020 – It wasn’t easy at first for the Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team, but the Miners were able to pull away for a 65-45 win over the Manistique Emeralds to begin postseason play. Jesse Anderson had the call from Negaunee on Sunny 101.9.
Negaunee got off to a good start with a 6-0 lead in the first couple of minutes of the game, but the Emeralds came into Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium ready to battle. Manistique was doing a nice job handling the ball against the Miners’ pressure, and had plenty of good looks in transition. Mark Block was the catalyst on the fast break with multiple open layups, he led the Emeralds in the first half with 13 points. Manistique cut the deficit, but Jakson Sager was rolling for Negaunee, and four consecutive points from him gave the Miners a 12-6 lead. However, Manistique clawed right back into the game with a 7-0 run, and a layup from Schyler Anderson put the Emeralds in front by one point with two minutes left in the first. Chas Kumpala had a strong ending to the quarter with two buckets, and the Miners led 16-13. Anderson had an answer in the final seconds for Manistique that cut the deficit to one.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 16, Manistique Emeralds 15
Drew Lindberg started the scoring up in the second quarter with a basket for Negaunee, but Bryce Blixt had a quick answer to counter. Sammy Warren made a big 3-pointer for the Emeralds on the next possession, and Manistique took back the lead. The Miners were held without a field goal for a few minutes until a 3-point shot from Lindberg tied the game at 22-22. Once again, the Emeralds responded, this time it was Joey Hoholik with a 3-point shot to give Manistique the lead back. Sager and Kumpala scored for the Miners back-to-back possessions to take back the lead, both did a lot of scoring in this game. Both teams traded baskets in the final minutes of the half, and Negaunee took a 30-29 lead into the locker room.
Halftime: Negaunee Miners 30, Manistique Emeralds 29
Both squads went back and forth to begin the second half, but the Negaunee offense started to pick up. A bucket by Sager pushed the lead up to five for the Miners, but Anderson scored for Manistique on the other end. The game quickly changed after that basket, as Negaunee went on a 6-0 run to take a 42-33 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter. Blixt hit a 3-pointer for Manistique to cut the lead down to six, but the Miners ended the quarter with an 8-2 run. Jason Waterman had a quiet first half for Negaunee, but he was a huge factor in the second and finished with 11 points. After three quarters, the Miners began to pull away with a 50-38 advantage.
End of 3rd: Negaunee Miners 50, Manistique Emeralds 38
After a couple of minutes of scoreless basketball in the fourth quarter, Waterman converted an and one off of a pass from Drew DuShane, and Negaunee led 53-38. The Miners didn’t take its foot off of the gas, and extended the lead up to 21 after a layup from Will Luke. After giving up 29 points in the first half, the Negaunee defense clamped down and forced the Emeralds to only 16 points in the second. Negaunee was in a close game through one half, but eventually the now 19-2 Miners were able to put together a big second half for a 65-45 victory over Manistique. Sager led Negaunee with 18 points on the night, and Kumpala added 15.
Final Score: Negaunee Miners 65, Manistique Emeralds 45
NEXT GAME: With the win over Manistique, the Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team advances to the District 66 Semifinals on Wednesday, March 11 to take on the Gwinn Modeltowners! Jesse Anderson will be live from Gwinn with the call on Sunny 101.9, and coverage starts at 6:45 p.m. with the Elder Agency Pregame Show. Tip-off will follow at 7 p.m. between the two Marquette County squads. Go Miners!