Top 10 girls basketball games of the year

No. 7:?Black Bears win NLL?title in double overtime

Courtesy photo In its first year in the Northern Lights League, the Big Bay de Noc girls basketball team took home the Northern Lights League Tournament Champions Trophy by beating Kinross Maplewood Baptist 49-40 in double overtime in the championship game Feb. 22 in Hannahville. Team members are pictured from left: Coach Bob Pederson, Ellie Nedeau, Camryn Pederson, Kaitlyn Massengill, Gracynn Durrance, Meagan Yonker, Alix Bleau, Katelyn DeKeyser, and Piper Jones.

HANNAHVILLE — After some difficult seasons in the Skyline Central Conference, Big Bay de Noc made a big change this year by migrating to the Northern Lights League.

In addition to looking to make a splash during their first season in a new league, the Black Bears were looking to finish on a high for cornerstone senior Meagan Yonker.

Big Bay delivered, earning the No. 7 spot on this list.

The Black Bears finished with their first winning record (15-3) since 2004. In the process, they toppled Kinross Maplewood Baptist in double overtime, 49-40, for the Northern Lights League tournament title on Feb. 22 in Hannahville. This came after they went undefeated in the conference to the win the regular season title.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Yonker said after her final game in a Big Bay uniform. “This is a good start in a new league for Big Bay. I think this will set them up for a while. They say ‘do it for Meagan,’ but the girls really brought it up. We pulled together. I was like a big sister to them. We worked well together for the age difference there was.”

The Black Bears took a 40-38 lead in the first overtime on a jumper from freshman Alix Bleau, but a pair of free throws from Maplewood forced a second extra session.

Bleau came through for Big Bay again in the second overtime, scoring eight points.

“The lane was open and I beat them on the dribble,” said Bleau. “This is very exciting. Next year, we’re going to have to do this again. We all thought we would just come out and win it, but they passed the ball faster this time (than in 44-28 and 46-29 losses).”

Eighth-grader Camryn Pederson also added a free throw to seal the game for the Black Bears, who held Maplewood scoreless in the second overtime.

With the departure of Yonker, the Black Bears will be looking for someone to step up, and Bleau provided a compelling argument in the title game where she finished with 22 points. Bleau finished more than 10 games in double figures.

Yonker hit 12 in her final game.

The Black Bears will look to make their performance this season into a tradition in their new league.

Maplewood Baptist finished out the season 10-6 and in second place in the NLL.


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