Showerman nabs AP All-State Honorable Mention accolade
JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg-Lewiston sophomore Maddie Showerman broke out as a basketball player for the Cardinals this past season.
Despite J-L’s swift exit from the district tournament, she led the team on both ends of the court. She was a dynamic scorer who could also play physical defense.
That’s why it isn’t a surprise the AP named her Class C All-State Honorable Mention for her performance on the hardwood.
“I think it’s a testament to her work ethic,” said J-L coach Heather Huff of Showerman’s honor. “She is playing basketball year-round. She’s playing AAU right now, going to showcases, and she puts the time into it. She does it because she loves the game.”
The accolade isn’t the only one Showerman took home this season. She was also named All Ski-Valley Conference and Herald Times First Team.
"I thought it was pretty cool, and I was excited that I got it as a sophomore,” Showerman said. “I worked pretty hard. I played on AAU teams in the off season to put a lot of time into playing. I’m playing AAU out of Bellaire right now for the Northern Pride.”
As only a second-year player, Showerman averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds points per game.
“She could take over a game defensively and offensively,” Huff said. “Sometimes she would give us a spark defensively.”
Showerman said one reason why she was so successful was because she transformed into a leader around her teammates.
“I became more of a leader and a bigger role player on our team,” Showerman said. “After last year’s team left, I stepped up more. I became a captain, started and was able to connect with girls on our team.”
Next year, Huff expects Showerman to perform better on the court by shooting and rebounding better. She also expects her play tougher in the post.
“She can get good rebounds because she is a good jumper, but she needs to learn how to be more physical under the rim,” Huff said.
Showerman echoed those sentiments and also said she would like to play better defense.
Huff also expects Showerman to carry the team and make a huge leap as a better player next season.
“We’re going to be low on numbers, so she is going to have to be able to contribute the entire game,” Huff said. “She must be able to go the whole time and do so at a high level.
“She is also going to have to handle being double-teamed. Other teams will key on her, and she’ll have to learn how to deal with that and play through it.”
Showerman will train with her AAU team this spring and continue to compete in tournaments and showcases.
2014 Herald Times All-Area girls' basketball team
Kari Borowiak, Gaylord St. Mary, Sr.
Brittany Cherwinski, Johannesburg-Lewiston, Sr.
Madison Hamilla, Gaylord, Sr.
Bekah Myler, Gaylord St. Mary, So.
Madison Showerman, Johannesburg-Lewiston, So.
Amanda Arlt, Vanderbilt, Fr.
Raina Brink, Vanderbilt, Jr.
Sydney Kussuba. Gaylord, Jr.
Brandi Wagner, Gaylord, So.
Lindsey Zaremba, Gaylord, Jr.
Lauren Hintz, Gaylord, Sr.
Giorgi Nowicki, Gaylord St. Mary, So.
Gabby Schultz, Gaylord St. mary, Fr.
Hailey Weaver, Johannesburg-Lewiston, Sr.
Natasha Woodard, Vanderbilt, Sr.
Shooting slump costs J-L against Elk Rapids in district semifinal
The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team's season came to an end Wednesday as the Cardinals lost to Elk Rapids
J-L led 39-37 at the end of the third quarter but a shooting slump in the final eight minutes allowed Elk Rapids to steal the win.
"We couldn't get our baskets to fall in the fourth quarter," J-L coach Heather Huff said. "We played good defense and got lots of steals and forced them to turn the ball over, but we just couldn't get those conversion baskets to fall. In the fourth, nobody could get shots to fall. We had only three points up until the final seconds until we hit a 3-pointer."
Madison Showerman led J-L with 16 points, six steals and four rebounds, while senior leader Brittany Cherwinski added nine points and two assists.
"Madison looked to score inside-outside, and she did a nice job," Huff said.
As a team, J-L grabbed 28 rebounds and 13 rebounds
On the other end of the court, J-L's defense was hindered by Elk Rapids' ability to score in the paint. J-L was forced to play with less intensity when it got into foul trouble late in the game.
"Their big girls, Rachel and Bridget Hintz, hurt us," Huff said. "Bridget got into foul trouble, but when she was in, she did a good job on the rebounds. She was good at drawing fouls, and we fouled her a lot. Her sister was 7 of 9 from the free-throw line, and she was one of the girls who we were fouling at the end."
J-L graduates seven seniors from this season's team, including Cherwinski, who was the floor leader all season long for the Cardinals, and Hailey Weaver, a player who hustled for rebounds and helped on defense.
"Brittany has been with me for four years on the varsity, and she's always been a solid player," Huff said. "She's always good for points and is reliable. She could play down low and play on the wing. She wasn't very tall, but she was a strong post player. We'll need someone to replace her.
"Hailey is another girl who was always a great asset in front of our press. She was super long and hard to pass around. She was a really good kid, and she always gave you everything that she had. She improved throughout the season and played more physical."
JOHANNESBURG – Freshman Taylor Kroll came off the bench to help Johannesburg-Lewiston rout visiting Mancelona 43-11 in junior varsity girls basketball action Wednesday.
Kroll led the Cardinals with a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds), and Haley McVannel and Kaitlyn Huff added eight points apiece. Huff also had six steals.
For J-L, the game was won on the defensive end. It held Mancelona to five points or fewer in each quarter,
Cardinal defenders jumped passing lanes, pressured opposing ball handlers and forced tough shots with their help-side defense. J-L also used its press to create steals. As a team, they nabbed 20 steals and had 10 in the first quarter alone.
J-L routs Mancelona in Parents Night contest
JOHANNESBURG – The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team gave Brittany Cherwinski, and the other six seniors,
Cherwinski, who finished with 28 points and eight rebounds, helped the Cardinals rally from a one-point deficit in the first quarter to defeat visiting Mancelona 75-42 on Wednesday. The game marked the final time the seniors would compete in their home gymnasium, and they walked off the floor in front of their home crowd in style.
“It was sad for a lot of them,” said J-L coach Heather Huff of the seniors. “It was their last night playing on this court, and Brittany was the most emotional. She has played on the varsity with me for four years. It was the most emotional for her.”
J-L opened the game with its full-court press but called it off after Mancelona was able to score in transition. Mancelona led J-L 12-11 after the first quarter, and it took until midway through the second quarter for the Cardinals to find its flow on both ends of the floor. However, it was rebounding that sparked J-L's come-from-behind win.
“Even though we were missing some of our fast-break baskets in the first quarter, I thought we did a nice of job of handling the boards really well,” Huff said. “We dominated on the rebounds.”
As a team, J-L grabbed 55 rebounds, and senior Hailey Weaver led that effort with 16. Weaver finished with eight points and grabbed 11 of her rebounds in the first half alone, while five other Cardinals finished with five rebounds or more.
“I told them at halftime that grabbing rebounds were going to pay off because that's the start of your fast break,” Huff said. “That's going to get them tired, and we'll be able to keep running.”
J-L turned most of its rebounds into transition baskets. When the Cardinals couldn't score on a fast break, they passed the ball around until a player had an open shot near the rim.
Madison Showerman came off the bench for J-L and helped lift the offense. She scored 15 points and drew defenders her way to free other Cardinal shooters, including Cherwinski, for high-percentage shots.
“I think they played very unselfish for us tonight," Huff said. "They were looking for each other. They typically do play unselfish, but having good ball movement and an awareness of where everyone is was huge.”
J-L visits Fife Lake Forest Area on Friday to conclude regular-season play before playing in its district game on Wednesday at Charlevoix.
However, before playoff time comes around, Huff wants her team to improve a few aspects of their game.
“I think our boxing out is coming along, but we need to continue to improve most of the things we've been working on all year,” she said. “We need to continue rebounding, and our shooting always has to be improving. We need to take care of the ball and make better passes, because we had too many turnovers tonight.”
J-L earns road win over conference foe Pellston
Madison Showerman led the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team to a road conference win over Pellston on Tuesday.
Showerman finished with 18 points and eight rebounds to help the Cardinals beat the Hornets 74-29. Brittany Cherwinski scored 16 points, Hailey Weaver added a double-double (10 rebounds and 10 assists), and Kelsey Cherwinski's eight assists were a team high.
Bellaire stifles J-L in offensive attack
BELLAIRE - The Bellaire girls' basketball team completed a season sweep of Johannesburg-Lewiston
With the win, the Eagles supplanted a Lady Cards team that has been firmly seated in the top two
Bellaire (12-2, 9-1 Ski Valley Conference) did it with defense, stifling J-L's typically relentless attack.
Bellaire will play for a likely share of the Ski Valley championship Thursday at home against St. Mary,
St. Mary wins 'Rivals Rally' battle
JOHANNESBURG — First, the really important part.
Tuesday’s “Rivals Rally” girls’ basketball game between Johannesburg-Lewiston and St. Mary was again an overwhelming success in the realm of fundraising as the participating players raised $14,000 for Otsego Memorial Hospital’s Oncology Center.
Now, the other important part.
The game doubled as a major battle near the top of the Ski Valley Conference, and it was St. Mary’s ability to control the tempo that ultimately led to a 40-33 victory.
With the win, the Snowbirds improve to 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the SVC, gaining some major separation between themselves and the Lady Cards, who fell to 10-3 overall and 6-3 in the league. Second-place Bellaire has just one Ski Valley loss with a battle scheduled against St. Mary Thursday, Feb. 13, in Bellaire.
In a game that pitted the frenetic Lady Cards against the meticulous Snowbirds, patience won out, most notably that of senior Kari Borowiak.
Borowiak has had higher-scoring games — she did finish with a game-high 18 points — but she may have never had a game where she controlled every part of the offense like she did against J-L.
“She showed why she is one of the best Class D players in the state of Michigan,” said St. Mary coach Dan Smith. “She controlled the tempo with the ball in her hands and was the major reason we finished with just eight turnovers on the night.”
Eight turnovers is a splendid number against a J-L program that regularly forces good teams to cough it up 20 to 30 times. Borowiak dished off six assists and was patient, picking the right spots to attack the defense all the while being chased by constant pressure.
Borowiak drilled a pair of threes in an entertaining first quarter. J-L’s Julia Nieman knocked in a trey of her own to give J-L an 8-5 lead, but a three by Borowiak and second-chance bucket by sophomore Bekah Myler put the Snowbirds ahead 10-8.
St. Mary suffocated J-L in the second quarter, allowing very few open shots while opening up the lead. Myler scored five points in the quarter as St. Mary built a 22-12 lead.
Smith was pleased with the effort of Myler, who scored 12 points for the Snowbirds. She scored 20 points in St. Mary’s 65-49 earlier win against J-L.
“They were paying attention to her in the middle,” Smith said. “She made nice catches and took the ball to the hole. Every time she took it to the hole, she ended up at the free-throw line.”
Perhaps Smith’s most glowing comments were reserved for his team’s defensive effort — most notably holding the high-octane Cardinals to 12 first-half points. J-L had averaged more than 70 points during the past five games.
“Our kids came prepared to battle defensively for a full 32 minutes,” Smith said. “We had very few letdowns from a defensive standpoint.”
That strong defense carried over into the second half, where the Snowbirds went up by as many as 11 points. A third-quarter field goal by Brittany Cherwinski and free throws by Nieman, however, cut the Snowbird lead to 27-23.
But Borowiak responded with four points to close out the third quarter, including a deflating buzzer-beating three from well beyond the arc.
The senior then took over in the fourth quarter, scoring seven points and stopping any chance of a Cardinal comeback.
Cherwinski scored nine points to lead the Cardinals, who also saw a strong performance from sophomore Madison Showerman, who had eight points and eight rebounds. Nieman had six points, while Madison Ewing led the way with three steals.
All involved in the game were thankful for the fan turnout amid difficult winter weather and for the support of the cause.
“It’s a great opportunity for both schools to come together to support the cancer center here, which is a great asset to the community,” Smith said.
St. Mary won the junior varsity contest 36-24 behind 14 points from Averi Bebble and 12 points from Alex Hunter.
J-L is back in action Tuesday while St. Mary returns to action Thursday at Pellston.
J-L girls win 4th straight game at Mancelona
MANCELONA — The run-and-gun Johannesburg-Lewiston girls’ basketball team continued its hot play with a 66-35 victory at Mancelona Friday.
The win was the Cardinals’ fourth in a row as the squad moved to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the Ski Valley Conference.
Senior Brittany Cherwinski had one of the best games of her career, connecting for 25 points and five rebounds.
After Cherwinski, a number of J-L players contributed in the scoring column with Hailey Weaver and Madison Showerman each adding nine points and Emily Aisthorpe chipping in eight points.
Weaver and Showerman each pulled down 10 rebounds with Julia Nieman leading the team with six assists. Sydney McKenney and Madison Ewing each contributed five steals.
Mancelona’s much-improved squad fell to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the Ski Valley.
J-L returns to action Wednesday at Onaway.
J-L girls cruise to victory against Boyne Falls
BOYNE FALLS — The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls’ basketball team scored more than 70 points for the second consecutive game in a 77-28 blowout at Boyne Falls Monday.
All but one Lady Cardinal who saw court time scored and three players reached double figures for J-L (6-2), led by 22 points from senior Brittany Cherwinski.
Julia Nieman and Madison Showerman each netted 10 points for the Lady Cards, while Madison Ewing, Abbie May and Hailey Weaver each scored eight points.
Cherwinski and Showerman each pulled down eight rebounds while Ashley May and McKenzie Mathewson each had six.
Kelsey Cherwinski filled the stat sheet with five points, five rebounds, five assists and seven steals.
J-L returns to action Wednesday at home against Inland Lakes (1-5).
J-L kicks it into gear in second half of road win
CENTRAL LAKE — The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls’ basketball team has proven over the years it can score points in bunches. A prime example came in the second half of a 71-41 victory Friday at Central Lake.
Up just 24-19 at halftime, the Lady Cards (5-2, 3-2 Ski Valley Conference) netted 47 second half points to turn a close game into a blowout.
The win was an important one as it came against a solid team. With the loss, Central Lake fell to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the league.
Sophomore Madison Showerman continued her rise, leading all scorers with 20 points. She added seven rebounds and four steals.
The youth movement continued with sophomore Kelsey Cherwinski, who added 13 points and five rebounds. Senior Brittany Cherwinski scored nine points, while senior Julia Nieman had eight points and five rebounds.
Sophomore Ashley May also turned in a solid effort with six points and eight rebounds.
J-L, which played Monday at Boyne Falls, returns to Ski Valley action Wednesday at home against Inland Lakes.
J-L falls at home to Eagles
JOHANNESBURG — Bellaire inched closer toward Ski Valley Conference title contention with a 48-44 victory at Johannesburg-Lewiston Wednesday.
The Eagles improved to 4-0 in league play and 4-1 overall. Bellaire will battle with fellow undefeated squad St. Mary today (Friday).
Brittany Cherwinski and Madison Showerman each scored 14 points for J-L, which fell to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Bellaire led for the entire first half before the Lady Cards briefly took the lead in the third quarter. Strong defense and a strong offensive push allowed the Eagles to take over the lead for good.
The Cardinals look to get back on track today at Central Lake.
J-L won the junior varsity contest, 36-34.
St. Mary takes round 1 against Johannesburg-Lewiston in girls hoops
GAYLORD — The St. Mary girls’ basketball team took round one in a series that has become the annual battle for the Ski Valley Conference championship.
On their home court Wednesday night, the Snowbirds emphatically stopped rival Johannesburg-Lewiston 65-49. St. Mary made it look easy in the process, never leading by less than eight throughout the game’s final three quarters.
Senior Kari Borowiak and sophomore Bekah Myler were once again the offensive standouts for the Snowbirds (4-0, 2-0 Ski Valley). Borowiak scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the second half.
But with the Cardinals employing a box-and-one on Borowiak in the first half, it was Myler who did major damage. The post player scored 16 of her 20 points in the first 16 minutes as St. Mary built an 18-10 lead.
That advantage increased to 29-17 after the third quarter and grew to as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter.
The offensive performance was impressive — the Snowbirds were crisp, shot well and committed minimal turnovers. But it was the team’s defensive effort that coach Dan Smith was excited about.
“We did an excellent job against them defensively,” Smith said. “Our effort was outstanding. We switched between man-to-man and zone, and I think that was the right thing to do.”
And while the Snowbird defensive pressure was intense, J-L coach Heather Huff said her team simply didn’t shoot at the percentage it needed to in order to stay in the game.
“We didn’t hit the shots that we normally do,” Huff said. “We’ve been working a lot on shooting, but that’s something we’re going to do more of during the break.”
Madison Showerman led the Cardinals (4-1, 2-1 Ski Valley) with 11 points, while Brittany Cherwinski had nine.
The momentum stayed with the Snowbirds all night. Eight seconds after winning the opening tip, Borowiak raced in for a lay up. After Showerman tied the game on the next possession, Myler was aggressive inside as the Snowbirds outscored the Cardinals 14-8 the rest of the quarter.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more out of Bekah,” Smith said. “We were prepared for whatever defense they were going to throw at us. We thought they would do a box-and-one (on Borowiak) and maybe a triangle-and-two.”
Giorgi Nowicki chipped in nine points for the Snowbirds. Steady performances were turned in by the Snowbirds’ supporting cast — starters Caylee Lawnichak and Gabby Schultz and substitutes Danica Bebble, Jacquelyn Harbin and Natalie Burzynski.
But when it came time to put J-L away, it was Borowiak, whose inside-outside scoring attack was too much to overcome. Her last two buckets were daggers — a pair of fourth quarter 3-pointers that gave the Snowbirds their largest lead of the night.
“She is our unquestioned leader,” Smith said.
Huff singled out the defensive effort of Kelsey Cherwinski and the offensive performance of Showerman.
“They all had spurts where they played well,” Huff said.
The two teams will battle Jan. 28 in Johannesburg — a place where St. Mary has traditionally struggled at. Last season, J-L won at home as the squads split the series and the league title.
J-L girls survive late charge from East Jordan
EAST JORDAN — The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls’ basketball team was pushed Monday, but the Lady Cards escaped East Jordan with a 55-54 win.
J-L held a 41-31 lead heading into the final stanza before the Red Devils embarked upon a 22-point fourth quarter that nearly pushed them to victory.
“Joburg is a good team,” said East Jordan coach Steve Hines. “It was a good learning experience and it was nice to see the fight in them late.”
Senior Julia Nieman led three scorers in double figures with 15 points for the Cardinals, who move to 3-0 ahead of Friday’s home game against Forest Area.
Madison Showerman added 13 points and eight rebounds for J-L, while Brittany Cherwinski had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Hailey Weaver pulled down six rebounds and Emily Aisthorpe five in the win, while Kelsey Cherwinski dished off five assists.
Paige Poindexter led East Jordan with 16 points Lindsey Schroeder scoring 13 points and Tiffany Pollaski netting 10.
J-L won the junior varsity contest, 39-34.
J-L girls' basketball rushes past Onaway
JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls’ basketball team sped out to a big victory Friday in a 58-29 win against Onaway in the Ski Valley Conference opener.
Brittany Cherwinski scored 22 points for the Cardinals (2-0), who easily set back a traditionally tough opponent.
The sophomore tandem of Madison Showerman and Madison Ewing also came through big for the Lady Cards. Showerman tossed in 11 points, and Ewing contributed eight.
Sydney McKenney added four steals, four rebounds and four assists, while Emily Aisthorpe pulled down six rebounds.
Julia Nieman and Kelsey Cherwinski each dished out three assists.
The Cardinals return to action Friday at home against Forest Area.
Girls' basketball: J-L girls run out to opening win vs. Fairview
JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls’ basketball team got off to a strong start Tuesday with a 70-37 home victory against Fairview.
“The girls played very well,” said J-L coach Heather Huff. “You get to this first game and you hope they don’t come in with preseason nerves. But they came out and played well.
Huff used her familiar deep bench to send waves at the Eagles and a spread out scoring ledger was the result.
Brittany Cherwinski and Madison Showerman each netted 13 points, while Madison Ewing chipped in 12 points. Sydney McKenney had eight points, while Julia Nieman scored six.
Hailey Weaver led the way with 10 rebounds, while McKenzie Mathewson pulled down seven. Nieman dished off seven assists.
“One player would just pick up right where the other would leave off,” Huff said. “That’s one of the compliments I heard was how well the players did coming off the bench.”
Logan Winton led Fairview with 10 points.
J-L returns to action today (Friday) at home against Onaway in the Ski Valley Conference opener.
J-L looks to build upon 22-2, District championship season
JOHANNESBURG — There is never a shortage of fans at a Johannesburg-Lewiston girls’ basketball game and this season the Cardinal faithful are hoping to see an extra-long season.
“I think one of the biggest positives this team has is we have a good blend of fast, quick players, along with strong players who play a very physical game,” said longtime J-L coach Heather Huff. “I think it’s coming together well. We’re starting to gel and we continue working on things.”
Mixing strength with speed is nothing new for the Cardinals. The team saw both types of players in Abby Schlicher, who is now a Saginaw Valley State University Cardinal.
It was under Schlicher’s leadership last season that J-L completed a 22-2 record and advanced to the Class C Regional Finals, where the team’s run was stopped by Traverse City St. Francis.
The Cardinals also split a pair of regular season games with St. Mary, earning co-champion status in the Ski Valley Conference.
Although Schlicher may be gone, Huff is confident a similar player is ready for a breakout season in sophomore Madison Showerman.
“Madison is going to be a key component this season,” Huff said. “She’s kind of like Abby — a good, all-around player. She has the size and the ball-handling skills to all positions.”
Showerman averaged 6.2 points per game during her freshman campaign. She also averaged four rebounds and was second in team free-throw percentage.
Her 191 points were the third highest on the team next to Schlicher and Brittany Cherwinski, who averaged just under 10 points per game last season and returns as a senior captain.
“Brittany is valuable coming back for her fourth year on varsity,” Huff said. “Bringing all of that experience is huge for us. It’s not just her scoring ability but in leadership that will be big.”
Last season’s returning reserves, Haley Weaver, Julia Nieman, Shannon Kievit, McKenzie Mathewson and Sydney McKenney, functioned more as a jump-starting mechanism last year than players not ready to be starters.
Huff used a platoon tactic to interchange all five players at the same time, utilizing their speed to bring havoc to opposing offenses.
The tactic not only worked as a serious change of pace for the game but also carried over benefits to this season.
“I don’t think I’m going to see the jitters that you would normally see,” Huff said. “They did all get to play quite a bit and just having that experience I don’t think we’re going to see the nervous mistakes like if they were in there for the first time.”
J-L will continue running a fast-paced press thanks in part to the five seniors mentioned above.
McKenney and Nieman function as the speed, while Weaver is “tough to pass around,” according to Huff.
Junior Madison Ewing also adds to the speed on the outside, along with sophomore Kelsey Cherwinski.
The outside and the speed, however, are not much without post presence.
The Lady Cards hold a pair of solid inside athletes — junior Emily Aisthorpe and sophomore Ashley May.
“Ashley plays very physical and Emily is so strong underneath,” Huff said. “When she’s in there (the paint), she owns that area. You’re not moving her.”
With a variety of components, J-L is looking for another 24-game season at least.
“Our goal is definitely to win the Ski Valley, which means beating some solid teams, including St. Mary,” Huff said. “We definitely want a District title and I heard them all talking about a Regional title.
“I think we may surprise some people because we dropped such a good group of seniors last year.”
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