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Seven area players earn all-U.P. cage honors

March 21, 2008
By Dennis Grall -
MARQUETTE — Four seniors and three juniors have earned All-U.P. honors among Daily Press area girls basketball teams.

Senior Molly Laurin of Carney-Nadeau and junior Brooke Granquist of North Central made the Class D first team and junior Kim Vallier of Manistique made the Class A-B-C first team.

Selected to the second team in A-B-C were senior Michelle Carne of Escanaba and junior Kayla LaMuth of Manistique. Seniors Lindsey Coleman of Superior Central and Katie Erickson of Rapid River made the Class D second team.

Laurin established a school record this season by blocking 126 shots, shattering the mark of 108 by Carly Benson. Benson is a junior on the University of Michigan women’s team.

The Central U.P. League’s MVP also averaged 15.1 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals to go with her 5.7 blocks. She had good shooting range and helped bring the ball up against full-court pressure.

“She had great instincts. She could anticipate where the ball is going,” said coach Nikki Linder-Laurila, who indicated even she would be intimidated going to the basket in practice sessions. “A lot of coaches told me their girls were intimidated. People don’t even want to take it in there.”

Laurin also was a Skyline Conference first-team all-star.

Granquist helped the Jets win their first district title since 1987 by averaging 14.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and two assists. She has one of the best pull-up jump shots among area girls.

“Sometimes the stats are truly indicative of what a player means to a team,” said Jets’ coach Jon Lorenzoni. “She was our everything.”

An all-state cross country pick, Granquist was also used to defend opposing point guards and centers. “She is very versatile. She can create her own shot off the dribble.” said Lorenzoni.

She was a first-team pick in both the Skyline and Central U.P. leagues.

Vallier was a Mid-Peninsula Conference first-team pick and team captain. She averaged 14.6 points while sinking 47.7 percent of her field goals inside the arc.

Vallier also had 75 steals, 68 assists and 60 rebounds.

“She has great leadership qualities and is a playmaker,” said Emeralds’ coach Laurel Ashbrook. “She is a strong defensive player. Excellent work ethic.”

Carne, surprisingly relegated to the second team for the second straight year, was a three-year starter for the Eskymos. Despite tremendous defensive pressure, she averaged just three turnovers a game for her career as the primary ballhandler.

A two-time Great Northern Conference first-team all-star, Carne averaged 12 points and three assists on an offensively-challenged team. She shot 42 percent inside the arc and was a fearless penetrator.

“She understands the game. She is like a coach on the floor,” said Escanaba coach Kelly O’Connell, noting her control of the ball was particularly impressive. “She is a very physical player, attacks the basket very hard. She is 100 percent into the game.”

LaMuth was a potent inside threat for Manistique. She averaged 12.8 points and led the M-PC with 10.1 rebounds per game. She converted 46.8 percent of her field goals and had 10 double-doubles this season.

A three-year starter, LaMuth “is a strong defender in the paint, (a) tenacious rebounder,” said Ashbrook, also praising her hustle and work ethic.

Erickson ran the team as point guard and also took on a new role as the primary scorer for Rapid River, which struggled to score. She averaged 12.7 points, five rebounds and two steals while earning CUP first-team and Skyline second-team honors.

“She stepped up from being a role player (on a state semifinalist) to being the go-to person,” said first-year coach Rich Moberg. “She had to create on a team that had no offense. She left everything on the basketball court every single game.”

Coleman was a second-team CUP pick who helped Superior Central to its best season in school history, highlighted by its first CUP and Class D district titles.

She hit 48 percent of her field goals and averaged 9.9 points on an extremely balanced team to go with 8.3 rebounds. She also had 22 steals and 19 assists.

“She does a great job rebounding, especially offensively. She has a knack to go where the ball comes off the rim,” said Central coach Greg Trowbridge. “She has a nice drive step from the free throw line.”

Article Photos

Michelle Carne, Escanaba



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