Manistique, MI – March 8th, 2022 – The Negaunee Miners faced the Sault Sainte Marie Blue Devils in the regional semi-finals. The Miners take care of business, beating the Blue Devils 42-29 and advance in the playoffs. Carl Leander Johnson had the call live on Sunny 101.9!
1Q: Negaunee Miners win the Jon’s Auto opening tip off and Ella Mason takes the ball down for Negaunee. Lily Nelson receives a quick pass and drains a 3-pointer to electrify the crowd and start the game off. Nelson sees an open Alyssa Hill down under the basket and takes advantage making the easy shot. The crowd was alive early and often as Negaunee had full control of the game’s first 3 minutes.
Sault Sainte Marie score their first points after an offensive rebound and put back to cut the lead down to three points. On the ensuing possession, Summer Dudo gets the offensive board and lays it back in to take the score up to 7-2 at the halfway point of the quarter. The Blue Devils get within 2 points with 15 seconds left but Mason drains a 3-pointer as the first quarter buzzer rings and gives the Miners a 5 point lead.
End of 1st: Negaunee 11, Sault Ste Marie 6
2Q: Sault Sainte Marie open the quarter with possession and Negaunee immediately create a turnover to give the ball to the Miners. Mason takes advantage of an offensive rebound by making a contested shot and giving Negaunee a 7 point lead. The Blue Devils were plagued early in the second quarter by turnovers and miscommunication, giving the Miners great advantage. Hill takes a quick breakaway from a forced turnover and makes an easy layup. The tide turned as soon as Hill got into foul trouble. With Hill benched with 3 fouls, the Blue Devils decide make their move on offense. They go on a quick 5-0 run and cut the lead down to 2 points with 4 minutes to go in the quarter. Coach O’Donnell takes a 30 second timeout to get the Miner girls back in the game.
The Blue Devils tie the game with momentum tipping to the Soo. With 35 seconds to go, Negaunee holds the ball for the last shot. The Miners could not get the last points and head into the half time break tied at 15.
End of 2nd: Negaunee 15, Sault Ste Marie 15
3Q: The Blue Devils start the second half with possession of the ball. Mason retakes the lead for the Miners by driving by a double team and making the shot. Sault Sainte Marie responds by making a tough shot of their own. Nelson again ignites the crowd by draining an open 3-point play, giving Negaunee a 22-17 lead. After a Blue Devil turnover, Hill drives and draws a shooting foul making both free throws, tying their largest lead of the night at 7.
With the game slipping away, the Blue Devils call a timeout in hopes to spark the offense. The Soo scores a field after the timeout and cut the lead down to 5. With 2 minutes left to play in the 3rd quarter, Hill drives and makes a layup while drawing a foul, completing the 3-point play at the foul line.
End of 3rd: Negaunee 29, Sault Ste Marie 21
4Q: Negaunee open the quarter with sights to advance in the playoffs. Hill immediately draws a shooting foul, draining both shots at the line and giving Negaunee a double digit lead. The Blue Devils again turn the ball over on a travel call and give Hill another shooting foul, draining both free throws again. With 6:50 to go in the game, the Blue Devils stop the bleeding by draining a 2 point shot and cutting the lead down 33-23.
Negaunee powered by the crowd could not be stopped in the final minutes of the game. Even with the Blue Devils picking up their offense, Miners’ Hill and Mason answering with multiple scores of their own. With 3 minutes to go, Negaunee slows the game down and spent a minute passing the ball on offense before the Soo fouled sending Mason to the foul line. Negaunee close the game with no real threat in the final minutes and advance to the regional finals!
End of Game: Negaunee 42, Sault Ste Marie 29
The Joe Boogren Player of the Game was awarded to Alyssa Hill leading all scorers with 21 points.