MARQUETTE – On what may have been the hottest day of the year, girls basketball teams from across the Upper Peninsula were busy working on their game.
26 basketball teams ventured to Marquette and Ishpeming for a two–day tournament. Every team played six games in 48 hours. With the fall sports season right around the corner, the tournament is a great way for the players and coaches to get back into the swing of things before basketball gets put on the backburner for a couple of months.
“The kids are in the gym a lot in the summer, but we don’t really get to compete against other schools as much,” said Marquette girls basketball coach Ben Smith. “This (tournament) is a way that we can kind of have a fundraiser, not have to travel for a camp and see what they have. Kids are playing soccer and doing other basketball things, but to get us together and kind of work some things out is really fun.”
“We bring up some underclassmen to run with the varsity,” said Gwinn girls basketball coach Ben Olsen. “Coming here and playing local teams is a great way to get back into the flow of basketball again.”
“At first it’s a little frustrating because you’re a little rusty, but it all comes back after a while,” said Marquette senior Maddie Connin. “We’re just starting to work on some plays, getting used to the ball in our hands so we’re not rusty when the season starts up.”
“It’s tougher than jayvee (basketball), but you get used to it really quick,” said Kia Evans, a sophomore at Gwinn. “I actually really like it. It’s a change-up.”