Maroons Win District Title, Fall in Regional

Maroons Upset One Loss
Mountaineers For 2nd
Straight District Title

Menominee handed the Iron Mountain Mountaineers just their first loss of the season in the district championship Friday night in a big Upper Peninsula upset.
Iron Mountain’s only regular season loss was a 49-46 loss to Ishpeming Westwood on Jan. 26 before Menominee beat them 60-54 Friday night. Among their 21 wins was a 72-60 defeat of Menominee on Feb. 6.
It was a low-scoring game to start, with the teams combining for just 40 points in the first half. Iron Mountain led 22-18.
“I thought we were very disciplined to our gameplan tonight. We did a great job of taking away some of Iron Mountain’s actions that they wanted to go to, and in the first half, I didn’t think we ran very well, so that reflected the scoreboard,” Menominee coach Sam Larson said.

At halftime, there was one message from the coaches to the Maroon players.
“Really, we made a couple adjustments on screens at halftime, but the biggest thing was we said, ‘If you are not willing to run hard and get out in transition for 16 minutes, you probably aren’t going to score enough points to win this game,’” Larson said. “I thought in the third quarter we really came out and ran hard.”
Menominee tied the game up at 26 on an and-one from Trevor Theuerkauf. Shortly after,Connor Coduti nailed a 3-pointer and put Menominee up 34-31.

“We took a three-point lead and that kind of sparked the energy and from there we did an OK job of closing it out,” Larson said.

“Iron Mountain is a really good team, and any time you put a really good team against the wall, they’re going to fight back. I thought Iron Mountain did a really good job of fighting back and clawing back into it.”

Menominee opened up a 12-point lead in the third quarter, with Tanner Theurkauf scoring seven points in an 11-0 Maroon run.

The largest the lead got was 14 before Iron Mountain started to get hot late. Ultimately, the Mountaineers would run out of time and Menominee advanced.

We have some things we can clean up, for sure, but I’m just super proud of the continued discipline and intensity throughout 32 minutes,” Larson said. “We weren’t perfect for the whole game, but we were pretty darn good for the majority of it.”

Trevor Theuerkauf (19 points) and Tanner Theuerkauf (15 points) led the way offensively for the Maroons. Coduti added nine points and Kaden Starzynski scored six.

The Maroons really started to hit their stride at the right time this season.

“One of the things that sticks out right now, obviously last year was a special group and had incredible success, but for this group to turn around this year and kind of write their own story I think is a huge testament to the character and work ethic of these guys because that’s not easy to do,” Larson said.

Reece Kangas scored all 14 of his Mountaineer-best 14 points in the second half. Oskar Kangas scored 13, nine of which came after the halftime break.

Wolverines Super
Season  Ends
With Loss to Top
Seeded Zephyrs

The last of the surviving teams in this season’s WIAA playoff tournament saw its season come to an end Thursday night when Crivitz was defeated by St. Mary Catholic, 83-67.
The score doesn’t tell the entire story of the game, although from the start, it looked like the Zephyrs would blow the Wolverines away.

They took a 16-6 lead early and led by as much as 13 in the half, but Crivitz clawed it back to three.

Trailing 25-15, the Wolverines scored six straight on buckets from Brady Tadisch, Tegan Werner, and Sean Christiansen to cut it to four. A couple possessions later, Christiansen had it down to 27-24.

“We played scared the first seven or eight minutes of the game,” Crivitz coach Jeff Baumann said. “It’s hard to battle back getting behind like that. We just were not composed to start the game.”

Despite the Wolverines’ improved play, a Zephyr run to close the half saw them up 44-31 at the buzzer.

St. Mary Catholic looked like it had a stranglehold on its lead through most of the second half.

With the score at 61-52, the Wolverines started to make a little run. Kaden Spalding hit a 3-pointer and Werner secured a rebound for a putback to get it to six.

Tadisch got the deficit to the lowest it had been in the half, 67-63, with a rebound and a bucket, but the Zephyrs scored five straight points to push it back to nine with limited time on the clock.

Free throws salted the game away and secured the 16-point win for the top-seeded Zephyrs.

“St. Mary’s was the better team tonight, but my guys never gave up. They made it a game the whole way,” Baumann said. “This team doesn’t have any quit in them. They never have. They played well.”

One trio of scorers got all but nine of the St. Mary points. Charlie Nackers scored 28 points, Daniel Griffith scored 26 points, and Cole Uhlenbrauck got 19.

Griffith scored 12 of his 17 first-half points off 3-pointers and all nine of his second-half points on free throws. With Griffth more contained in the second half, Nackers scored 20 points.

“Their offensive ability is difficult to defend when you don’t have quite the firepower to match them,” Baumann said. “We have a lot of scorers too, but not the shooting caliber that they have. When you can’t match them, you’ve got to get some stops, and we didn’t get enough of them.”

Werner, a junior, led the Wolverines with 24 points. Christiansen scored 18 in his final game for the program.

“There were stretches tonight where he was our only offense for a little while,” Baumann said of Christiansen. “He’s a terrific kid. He plays with a ton of heart, and just like all of them, he will be sorely missed.”

Tadisch, another senior, finished with 12 points, all on two-point buckets.

“He battled in there. He’s a physical presence,” Baumann said. “That’s where I thought we were going to hurt them a little bit was inside and we did, but he’s a strong kid in there, he’s a handful.”

Also graduating were Cashton Mertens, Frankie Stopar, Dillan Gehm, Kaden Spalding, and Seth Sellen.

With one more win, St. Mary went on to qualify for the state tournament as the No. 1 seed in Division 4. The Zephyrs will face No. 4 Kenosha St. Joseph on Thursday at the Kohl Center.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines’ spectacular season comes to an end with 24 wins, just one regular season loss, an M&O Conference title with a perfect 16-0 record, and a regional title.

Maroons Fall
to Hematites in
Regional Semi’s

Menominee’s season came to an end with a 56-50 loss to Ishpeming at regionals in Marquette on Monday night.

Menominee led 18-9 after one quarter, but the Maroon offense went cold in the second quarter and Ishpeming pulled it back to just a four-point Maroon lead, 24-20, at halftime.

“We started off with great energy and got quite a few transition buckets,” Menominee coach Sam Larson said. “We had a couple crucial defensive errors in the second quarter that allowed Ishpeming to gain some momentum going into halftime.”

A 17-point third quarter from Ishpeming to Menominee’s nine saw the Hematites take a 37-33 lead, and they held on to win by six.
No Ishpeming player scored more than 13 points, but eight different players scored in the game.

Menominee’s Trevor Theuerkauf scored 20 points and Tanner Theuerkauf scored 10, eight of which came in the first quarter. Eli Beal got 11.

“At the end of the day, if you shoot 25 percent from the field, you aren’t going to win many games,” Larson said. “We were cold from outside and unable to finish tough shots around the rim.”

For Menominee seniors Brock Murphy and Kaden Starzynski, it was their final game as part of the Maroon basketball program.

Ishpeming moved on to face St. Ignace in Wednesday’s regional final. Despite the loss, Menominee picked up some momentum late this season that could carry the Maroons into next year.

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished over the course of this season,” Larson said. “We have a great group of kids and for those that are returning, hopefully they remember this game and it provides some hunger for the off season.”

Maroons Blitz Bark
River  Harris in
District Semi-Final

Menominee routed Bark River-Harris 74-43 on Wednesday to advance to a Division 3 district championship game.

It was all Maroons from the start, as they broke open a 13-6 lead including two 3-pointers from Trevor Theuerkauf.

By the end of the first quarter, Theuerkauf made another one and the Maroons led 18-8.

The lead grew to 19 at its largest and was 40-26 at halftime.

The third quarter really saw Menominee blow things open with a 23-3 quarter in which the Maroons didn’t allow a single field goal.

“First half, we were going to trap way too early and they had us way too far stretched out, so we’re giving up cross-court passes,” Menominee coach Sam Larson said. “I thought we just condensed our press a little bit, shrank it back more into the halfcourt, and had more success with that.”

The Maroons scored 18 or more points in each of the first three quarters, which Larson attributed to his team getting out in transition, and credited Theuerkauf for doing a good job recognizing whether Bark River was in a 3-2 zone or a man-to-man defense, as they switched between the two frequently.

“Part of it is if you just run and beat the defense down, it doesn’t matter what they’re in, and we did that often enough,” Larson said. “When we did get in a halfcourt, Trevor did a very good job of recognizing that and getting the ball where it needed to go to initiate our offense.”

Theuerkauf would finish with 19 points and Connor Coduti added 16.

Tanner Theuerkauf and Darrent Butler scored seven apiece, and both Eli Beal and Kaden Starzynski got six points.


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