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Pats, Trojans reap U.P. awards

March 21, 2008
By Dennis Grall -
MARQUETTE — Westwood and Cedarville set the pace in girls basketball this season, so it should not be surprising to see them atop the All-U.P. awards.

Westwood was the Upper Peninsula’s lone unbeaten quintet in the regular season and reaped Class C Team of the Year honors from the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. Cedarville took Class D honors.

Westwood’s perfect season ended with a 42-40 loss to Kingsley at the quarterfinals. The Patriots finished 24-1.

Cedarville’s tourney run reached the semifinals before Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart won 34-26. The Trojans finished 23-2.

Tom Hammar of Westwood and Sonja Duncan of Cedarville were named coach of the year in Class A-B-C and D, respectively.

Meanwhile, senior Jessica Roell of Westwood was the unanimous choice as Class A-B-C Player of the Year. Jessica Roell of North Dickinson prevented the Trojans from sweeping Class D honors by taking Player of the Year.

Hammar ranks fourth among U.P. coaches in career victories. He is 358-202 in 25 seasons with the Patriots. He has also coached the jayvee girls and boys quints.

He led the Patriots to their third straight Mid-Peninsula Conference crown with pressure defense and team basketball.

Racine and teammate Chelsie Wealton were named to the all-class Dream Team. Racine, who has a basketball scholarship to Michigan Tech University, scored 1,041 points in her career while Wealton had 1,040.

Racine averaged 16.2 points and 7.9 rebounds this season. Hammar called her “the most complete player in the U.P. She does everything well.”

Duncan, in her second season at the helm after coaching previously at Rudyard, led Cedarville to its second straight Eastern U.P. crown. Her daughter, Jessica, is a junior point guard who was a Dream Team selection.

Sonja Duncan will be inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame April 26 in Escanaba. Her husband, Dave, was selected Class D Coach of the Year in the state by the Associated Press after leading the boys basketball team to 51 straight wins over the past two seasons. Twin brothers Jason and Jordan played for the Trojans, who won the Class D state title in 2007.

Roell, the latest in a long family of standout players, averaged 17.1 points and 10.2 rebounds to lead the Nordics to an 18-2 mark and their first Skyline Conference title. The Nordics lost to Cedarville 63-54 in the state quarterfinals.

Marquette (13-6) edged Sault Ste. Marie (14-6) 11-10 for Class A-B Team of the Year.

Marquette has won six straight Great Northern Conference titles, sharing the 2002 crown with Menominee. The Redettes have won 35 straight GNC games, with their last loss coming Oct. 9, 2003 to Gladstone (60-59).

The Redettes lost their Class A district opener this year.

Sault won the Straits Area Conference and Class B district titles before falling 68-62 to Ludington in the regional finale.


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