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WC Sports 12p 022813

WC Sports 12p 022813

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By Mike DunnGAYLORD – Early in theregular season, the Gaylordgirls of coach Frank Hamillafaced Sault Ste. Marie andlost by 24 points.On Monday in the Class A district opener at theMongeau Gym, Gaylordfaced the Blue Devils fromabove the bridge again andthis time, with the entire sea-son on the line, it was a com-pletely different outcome.Gaylord’s ultra-impressive61-43 triumph not only reversed the painful earlierloss to the Sault but alsosecured a berth in the districtsemifinals. The surging BlueDevils, who improved to 11-9on the season and are peak-ing at the perfect time,advanced to a semifinal clashon the home floor on Wednesday, Feb. 27, againstTraverse City Central in agame that was played afterthis issue went to press. If theBlue Devils won, they movedon to the district finalsagainst either Marquette onT.C. West. When Gaylord faced theSault the first time around,star players MackenzieEdwards and MaddieHamilla were both sidelined with injuries. That madequite a difference as the Saulttook a 53-34 decision.This time around, withMac and Maddie both aliveand well and percolating onall cylinders and sweet-shooting, hard-driving seniorforward Alex Simmons at thetop of her game, Gaylordlooked very strong whilecompletely turning the tablesfrom the first meeting.Mac, who recently sur-passed the 1,000-point scor-ing plateau in her notableprep career, was steaming hot from the floor, making the twine dance time aftertime as she secured a game-high 24 points with her knif-ing penetrations through thepaint and her lethal baseline jumpers. She also pulleddown four boards andrecorded two steals.The smooth-striding Simmons was sizzling also,scorching the nets for 18points. Alex was dialed in likea drone missile from long distance, making the twinetwist four times from 3-pointland. Fellow forwardsStephanie Buttrick andChelsea Fox were beastsunder the boards, scoring six apiece and battling it out forevery loose ball and rebound.Fox put the find on six rebounds in the game andStephanie struck for twotreys.Maddie Hamilla hauleddown five boards with twoassists while handling theSault pressure with cool effi-ciency. Senior Sarah Polena, who is perpetual motion atthe point, was a frenetic fieldgeneral on the floor, directing traffic and setting up team-mates with one sweet dishafter another. Sarah secureda whopping eight assists inthe big victory.“We played good teamball,” coach Hamilla report-ed. “We received good contri-butions from many players.”Gaylord was deadly fromthe charity stripe, connecting on 18-of-22 overall and a per-fect 8-for-8 in the fourthquarter. Hamilla liked how his team adapted to whatev-er tactics the Sault employedto try to stop them.“Offensively we took whatthe Sault would give us,” hesaid. “Against the zone they left the middle open and wetook advantage of that, and when they adjusted to that we hit the open shot from theoutside. I couldn't be happierfor the girls; they have worked hard and deserve thevictory.”ON THURSDAY, Feb. 21,the Blue Devils made theirfinal regular-season homeappearance a big one as they outscored visiting Big Northfoe Cadillac 53-38. It was alsoSenior Night and Parents’Night for the Gaylord girls, who reversed an earlier one-point loss to the Vikings inCadillac.Gaylord closed out the reg-ular season with a 10-9 over-all record and a 7-5 mark inthe Big North. Cadillac, therunner-up in the league toPetoskey, ended the regularseason 15-5 and 9-3.Mac was a magician withthe ball, making it disappearbelow the rim repeatedly enroute to a game-high 19points to go with six boardsand three assists. The fiery Fox found the bottom of thenet for nine points and con-trolled play under the glass,pulling down 10 rebounds.Polena played with pur-pose and passion, as always,producing 10 points withfour assists and three steals, while Stephanie Buttrick racked up four points andplayed suffocating defenseand the stifling Simmons hadthe pressure meter stuck atfull volume. Tenacious TerriCavender, the collisionmaker, put the “mean” inscreen to set up her team-mates for open looks at thehoop and she also helped theBlue Devil close out the wig  win in fine fashion with herstrong presence inside.Lauren Hintz and Sydney Gooding also helped thecause with their contribu-tions off the bench.
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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
 
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Real Estate One Gaylord
 would like to congratulate the Athlete of the Week
FOR WEEK OF FEB. 17-23
MATT SPYHALSKI
GAYLORDST. MARY
The shifty, savvy senior guard sank a sparkling 10-of-12 free throws inthe fourth quarterFriday to help liftthe Snowbirds to a Ski Valley victory at thecourt of blazing hot Inland Lakes.
Gaylord gals take district opener
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Blue Devils get best of visiting Sault in Class A opener as Mac, Alex combine for 42 points
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Rabine fires in 11 for Blue Devils in competitive road battle; Blue Devils stagefourth-quarter rally 
Page 2-B Choice Publications ... The Best Choice!February 28, 2013
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By Mike DunnCADILLAC – The hostCadillac Vikings had plenty of motivation on the home floorFriday when Big North foeGaylord came calling. The Vikings had to win to remainin contention for a shot at ashare of the 2013 Big NorthConference title.Gaylord may have beenplaying for nothing morethan pride but coach TimO’Rourke’s boys showed upand hit the floor running. TheBlue Devils played hard for32 minutes, giving the Vikings a tough battle in a 47-40 loss.Gaylord, which slipped to2-16 overall and 1-10 in theBig North, trailed 32-22 afterthree quarters of what hadbeen a defensive dogfightbetween two determinedopponents. The Blue Devils,showing a ton of heart on theroad, rallied from the dou-ble-digit deficit to pull withinfive points midway throughthe fourth quarter, 35-30, when senior forward BryanRabine ripped through thelane for a running deuce andsenior guard Cam Taylor rang up a trey.Cadillac, which improvedto 15-3 overall and 8-3 in theBig North, isn’t one of thetop-tier teams in the leaguefor nothing, though. The Vikings closed strong to pullout the tense, hard-fought win and keep itself in con-tention for league honors.Rabine rang up 11 pointsto lead the Blue Devils.Nick Paquet produced 14to pace Cadillac. Wyatt Lucasand Justin Liptak each scoredeight.Gaylord prevailed in the JV clash, 42-32, and also wonthe freshmen game 54-45.Gaylord (2-16, 1-10) trav-eled to Sault Ste. Marie onTuesday, Feb. 26. The BlueDevils’ last regular-seasongame is scheduled forThursday, Feb. 28, atPetoskey.Gaylord opens Class A dis-trict play at home onMonday, March 4, against Alpena. The winner advancesto a semifinal clash on Wednesday against Sault Ste.Marie.
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Gaylord boysbattle atCadillac
Chiefs rally in seesaw league contest but finally fall as St. Ignace captures SAC title
By Mike DunnCHEBOYGAN – Cheboyganstarted off on strong footing Friday in the Straits AreaConference clash with visit-ing St. Ignace but the Saintscame back to overtake theChiefs and post a 63-50 tri-umph.The win clinched the SACtitle for St. Ignace (12-6, 8-2).The Chiefs were fighting tostay in contention for a shareof the title but fell to 8-8 over-all and 7-3 in league play.The Chiefs led 13-10 afterthe first quarter as senior Andrew Dixon and ColtHudak were on target andpulling the trigger.The Saints aren’t SACchamps for no reason,though. They came back hard to outscore the hometeam in the second quarterand take a 27-19 lead intointermission.In the third quarter thedetermined Chiefs bouncedback in front of the homecrowd to regain the lead asDixon drained the twine andslick junior forward Ben“Petroleum” Pearson pouredin a triple.St. Ignace rallied again inthe exciting, seesaw battle toregain the lead for good laterin the quarter as Curtis St.Louis strung together someimpressive scoring.St. Louis finished with agame-high 22 points andcenter Gage Kreski cashed infor 17 points while TylerSnyder struck for 11.Dixon and Pearson eachpopped 11 points throughthe iron and junior strong man Nik Bevier also bustedthe nets for 11. Hardworking Jordan Fontaine fired in six points and senior guardDamon Proctor producedfour.The Cheboygan JV pre-vailed 48-36 as Trent Jarman jammed the nets for a dozenpoints and Derek Sturviststruck for 10. Brady Hillerand Borja Garcia eachbounced seven through theiron.Cheboygan (8-8) played atCharlevoix on Tuesday, Feb.26. On Thursday, Feb. 28, theChiefs close the regular sea-son at home against Pellston.Cheboygan opens Class Ddistrict play at Ogemaw Heights on Monday, March 4,against Houghton Lake. The winner takes on hostOgemaw on Wednesday,March 6.
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By Mike DunnPETOKSEY – It was atough, tough way to end anoutstanding season.The Petoskey girls of coach Adam Dobrowolski, fresh off clinching the Big NorthConference title, openedClass A district play on thehome floor Monday againstperennial district foeMarquette and suffered aheartbreaking 53-46 defeat.The Redettes reversed anearlier 38-31 loss to Petoskey and advanced to a semifinalclash that was played atTraverse City West on Wednesday, Feb. 27. TheRedettes also snappedPetoskey’s 14-game winning streak.The disappointing lossdoes not diminish what theNorthmen accomplished inthe 2012-13 campaign. They ended the regular season with a remarkable 17-2record and the 14-game win-ning streak and they securedthe Big North title with a stel-lar 11-1 mark.Super senior wing Kelsey  Ance, a three-year varsity starter and one of the tophardwood players ever todon the uniform for theNorthmen, capped her bril-liant prep career Monday  with another fine showing.She made the twine twitch tothe tune of 20 points andended her career just threepoints shy of the 1,000-pointplateau.Kelsey, an intense two-way  warrior who always broughtmore than just her scoring touch to the floor, also gener-ated four rebounds and twosteals in her final game.Fellow senior MeganTompkins, another three- year varsity starter and main-stay in the middle, tallied 12points in her final game witheight boards. The rangy,long-armed Tompkins alsoturned away three shots.Junior Amanda Stinger andsophomore Kati Lewis eachtallied six. Stinger struck once from 3-point land. Alyssa VanWerden, anotherhigh-impact senior who fin-ished a notable prep career,tallied three and turned inher typical blue-collar effortdefensively.Petoskey trailed 15-14, 25-20 and 41-33 at the quarterbreaks. The Northmensurged back to trim theMarquette lead to four pointsin the fourth quarter but theinspired visitors, to theircredit, made their free throwsdown the stretch to maintainthe lead and seal the well-earned victory.Courtney LaFreniere ledMarquette with nine points, while Hunter Viitala andLiana Storm each scoredeight points.ON FRIDAY, Feb. 22,Petoskey secured the leaguetitle with a 59-25 decisionover Alpena. Ance made thenets dance for a game-high24 points to go with fiveboards and the angularTompkins tallied 11 with fiveblocks. VanWerden waxedthe twine for eight points andKati Lewis launched six.It is the third Big North titlein four years for theNorthmen.
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Petoskey gals bow in opener
 Visiting Marquette outscores Petoskey 43-46 in opening round of Class A district tourney 
 
By Mike DunnGAYLORD — The St. Mary girls of coach Dan Smithblew past willing-but-out-manned Bellaire in a big way on Monday in the Class Ddistrict opener on theSnowbirds’ home floor. St.Mary’s impressive 54-26 tri-umph over the visiting Eaglessecured a semifinal date on Wednesday, Feb. 27, againstEllsworth in a game that wasplayed after this issue wentto press.The Snowbirds improvedto 19-2 with Monday’s winand Bellaire, which has adecent, hardworking teamthis year, ended the season with a respectable 13-8 mark.St. Mary simply had toomuch height, speed and fire-power for the visitors.Coach Smith said his girlsdidn’t take a win overBellaire, whom they hadbeaten twice during the regu-lar season, for granted butinstead went into the gamefocused and ready to work hard for 32 minutes.That intensity and work ethic is part of the reason why the Snowbirds have con-tinued to enjoy the successthey’ve had this season andin recent years.St. Mary used its suffocat-ing defense to limit Bellaire’slooks at the hoop and tobuild an early advantage. By the first quarter, theSnowbirds led 14-6 and by halftime it was 28-8.Strong-armed senior for- ward Mary Spyhalski helpedspark the balanced scoring assault of St. Mary with a typ-ically effective outing. Shescored 14.Junior guard KariBorowiak, fast approaching the 1,000-point plateau inher notable prep career, alsoblistered the nets for theSnowbirds. “Crunch TimeKari” canned 11 with a 3-pointer and steady, sturdy senior guard Chrissy Smithstruck for 11 as well. Long-armed freshman Becka Mylermade eight while Sarah Long landed six through the ironand Jada Bebble bouncedfour through the hole.In Monday’s other opener,Central Lake outscoredBoyne Falls 41-33. TheTrojans took on Alba in theother semifinal game that was slated for Wednesday,Feb. 27. The district finals areslated for Friday at the St.Mary gym.
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By Mike DunnINDIAN RIVER — TheInland Lakes boys of coachTom Mahoney had quite ahot streak going as they host-ed Gaylord St. Mary in a Ski Valley clash on Friday but it was the inspired visitors whoeventually took the game, 65-58.The Snowbirds of coachKen Blust, playing their sec-ond league game in as many nights, made one crucial freethrow after another in thefinal minutes to pour wateron I-Lakes’ hot streak andgain the intense, hard-foughtvictory. Mostly it was steady,savvy senior guard MattSpyhalski doing the damagefrom the charity stripe for theSnowbirds. He made asparkling 10-of-12 attemptsin the final minutes to helphis team maintain a slimedge on the scoreboard. Forthe game, St. Mary hit 18-of-26 from the line.St. Mary, coming off atough home loss to Forest Area, improved to 8-10 over-all and 6-9 in the league while the surging Bulldogs, who had won seven of theirprevious nine games, slippedto 7-11 and 6-8. I-Lakes wascoming off an impressive 66-50 victory over Central Laketwo days before [see reporton that game in Boys’ Hoopsroundup in this issue]."We knew going into thegame we would be facing ateam that has been playing very well,” Blust reported. “Ithought we executed very  well, and did a nice job withour help side defense, pre-venting their penetration of the paint.”Blust commended thedefensive efforts of juniorNick Harrington, who wasgiven the unenviable assign-ment of trying to hold I-Lakes’ dangerous seniorsharpshooter DakotahDavedowski in check. Thedeadly Davedowski ended upscoring 12 but that’s wellunder what he has been aver-aging in recent weeks.“Overall, this was a goodteam win, and I was pleasedon how our players repre-sented themselves,” Blustadded. Angular junior forwardCharles Strehl also showedup big time for St. Mary.Strehl, who has been St.Mary’s leading scorer thisseason, strummed the netsfor a game-high 24 points tohelp his team turn back thedetermined Bulldogs and healso pulled down sevenboards.“Charles played extremely  well and took very smartshots,” Blust said.The super dependableSpyhalski spanked the twinefor 12 points in all to go withfive rebounds and two stealsand fluid junior guard Nick Harrington also hit for 12 forcoach Blust’s boys with fourassists.Rugged senior forwardNick Lochinski did the blue-collar work under the glass,as usual, putting nine pointson the board with sevenrebounds. Carmen Juneac jammed six points throughthe iron with three assists.Nick “Howitzer” Howery loaded up and launched ateam-high 13 points to pacethe I-Lakes’ balanced scoresheet. The dangerousDavedowski, who has beentearing it up in the secondhalf of the season, delivered12 and hard-nosed, hustling senior forward Cody Bonillabounced 12 through the iron.Fighting freshman Andrew Dufek, a young man with abright upside, drilled six forthe home team.ON THURSDAY, Feb. 21, St.Mary played host to Forest Area and lost 69-52.The Snowbirds, playing infront of a large Parents’ Nightcrowd, only turned the ballover 15 times compared to 21for the visitors but weren’table to match the long-range Warriorsfirepower from thefloor.Harrington penetratedthrough the paint to pace theSnowbirds with 17 points togo with two steals. Strehl andSpyhalski each spilled 11points through the iron to join Harrington in doubledigits. Spyhalski spread the wealth around from thebackcourt, generating fiveassists, and he recorded foursteals. Strehl strong-armedfive rebounds.Lochinski and hard-nosed Willy Canfield each cannedsix points and Canfield alsocorralled five boards. Austin Vance advanced 21through the iron to leadForest Area (12-5, 11-4).ON WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20,I-Lakes outscored hostCentral Lake. See a report onthe game in the Boys’ Hoopsroundup.I-Lakes (7-11, 6-8) traveledto unbeaten, state-rankedBellaire on Tuesday, Feb. 26.Then on Thursday, Feb. 28,the Bulldogs get to play Bellaire again, this time onthe home floor to close outthe regular season. OnMonday, March 4, theBulldogs open Class D dis-trict play at Manistiqueagainst the host Emeralds.St. Mary (8-10, 6-9) trav-eled to Mancelona onTuesday, Feb. 26, and onThursday, Feb. 28, theSnowbirds close the regularseason at home againstBoyne Falls. On Monday,March 4, St. Mary opensClass D district play atBellaire against the hostEagles.
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Snowbirds rebound from home loss to Forest Area night before; Spyhalski’s sparkling free throw shooting helps cause
Ba$ke%ball
Snowbirds soar to big win Monday inClass D district opener on home floor
St. Mary gals gundown Eagles
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Bob Gingerichbob@danishlanding.com
989-348-5355
     
Hitches Installed
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P
RO
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ERVICES
A
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EPAIR
Gaylord – 989-731-4447Atlanta – 989-785-4647
     
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414 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord

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