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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Menominee Whips Westwood For Shot at D3 Regional Title

Issue Date: March 17, 2022

MHSAA Basketball

Menominee advanced to the regional finals with a 74-57 win over Ishpeming Westwood on Monday.

Aidan Bellisle scored 29 points, including 14 in the third quarter and 11 in the first, to pace the Maroons.

"I think he's got a lot of confidence right now with the basketball in his hands," Menominee coach Sam Larson said. "He's been able to get to the rim all year long, but he's hitting some jumpers right now, which I think is huge for his game. And it just seems like he has a really good rhythm and flow to his game right now. He's a tough cover for anybody."

Menominee took a 20-8 lead after one quarter, with Bellisle's 11 leading the way. By halftime, the lead was 37-18.

Menominee scored 25 points in the third quarter to extend its lead to 62-33.

Westwood's Zach Carlson, the Mid-Peninsula Conference player of the year, got hot in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the period, but the game was out of reach by then.

"Throughout the duration of the game, I thought our defensive intensity was really good," Larson said. "We had three goals coming in: to slow down Carlson, to slow down Beckman, and rebound the basketball. Carlson popped off a little bit toward the end of the game, but for the large majority of the game, we accomplished those three goals."

Brady Badker scored 14 points and Brady Schultz had 12 for Menominee.

The Maroons face Benzie Central in Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday. Both teams are 20-3 on the season. The teams have one common opponent, Ogemaw Heights.

Menominee beat the Falcons 57-46 on Dec. 10. Eleven days later, the Huskies nipped the Falcons, 60-56.

"They have five guys on the floor that can all play, and they can all score, so it puts a lot of stress on your defense," Larson said. "It's going to be another challenge, but tournament basketball is all about having a quick turnaround and having your guys ready to play, and I think our guys will be ready to do that on Wednesday."



Maroons Maul

Mountaineers 83-45

to Bring Home

District Title

Last year, Iron Mountain ended Menominee's basketball season in the district final with a 79-48 victory. This year, the Maroons flipped the script and sent the Mountaineers packing with a 83-45 district final demolition.

The Mountaineers came into the 2021-2022 season without any seniors, so it was a bit of a new look team, but that doesn't mean they didn't pack a punch.

Led by freshman Oskar Kangas, who was named to this year's West Pac Conference dream team and the Mid-Peninsula Conference first team, Iron Mountain finished the regular season 15-5, including an 8-3 record in the West Pac conference.

Menominee coach Sam Larson and the Maroons didn't take the Mountaineers lightly coming into the game.

"We know what they have," he said after his team's win in the district semifinals. "Obviously the freshman Kangas is a heck of a player. We watched him have 35 on Gladstone the other day, and then besides him, they have some really good shooters. Iron Mountain is a team that runs a whole bunch of different sets, they screen you really well."

Last year's playoff loss was also a motivating factor for Menominee. Going into the game, Larson said, "the message to our guys is that we went up there last year and thought that we had a great chance at a district title and they took it away from us. Now we have to go back up there and we have to win it outright and earn it."

The Maroons were lead by Aidan Bellisle who scored a game high 30 points. Brady Schultz scored 14 points, Cooper Conway dropped in 13 and Brady Badker added 10 points to pace Menominee. Matthew Colavecchi topped the Mountaineers with 17 points.



Maroons Win

District Semi Over

Manistique 66-21

Menominee cruised to a 66-21 district semifinal win over Manistique on Wednesday, March 9th behind a massive first quarter offensive outburst.

The Maroons poured in 36 first-quarter points and led by 32 after the opening period. And they did it in style. The highlight of the first quarter was two dunks by Brady Schultz late in the quarter, the second of which extended the lead to 30 with about a minute left.

By halftime, Menominee led 48-12, and the game was well out of reach for the Emeralds.

Aidan Bellisle scored all of his game-high 15 points in the first half and Cooper Conway had all 11 of his points in the half.

Menominee played a full-court press in the first half that gave Manistique some fits.

"We just came out to a fast start. I thought our pressure flustered them and turned them over a lot in the early part of the game, and then we ran out and got some easy baskets off of it," Menominee coach Sam Larson said. "If we can get out in transition and score, I thought we were good. The half-court defensive things, I think there's still some areas we can work on, but when we were in full-court pressure, which we were for most of the first quarter, they had a tough time with it."

In the second half, the Maroons didn't have as big of an advantage, but they still played at a high level through the third quarter, outscoring the Emeralds 14-7. The fourth quarter saw the teams combine for just six points.

"Even after we got to a lead, we told the guys, "the habits that you're building tonight are going to carry over to our next game on Friday,' so we tried to focus on getting the ball topside a little bit, getting a little bit of movement, cutting hard without the basketball, and finding the open man," Larson said. "I thought we did a nice job of that, no matter who we put in the game, all the way through, of moving the basketball and finding the open man."

Beyond Bellisle's 15 and Conway's 11, Conner Coduti scored 11 and Schultz finished with 10. Brody Waara chipped in five.




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