Four girls basketball players awarded by BCAM
Gaylord Herald Times

GAYLORD — Four area girls basketball standouts were honored by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM)’s Best of the Best Awards.

St. Mary’s Karli Jacob was a First Team selection in Class D, while Gaylord’s Mackenzie Edwards (A), Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Abby Schlicher (C) and St. Mary’s Kari Borowiak (D) were all Honorable Mention selections.

The awards are voted on by a panel of basketball coaches. Also, St. Mary’s Kevin Foster was a finalist for Region Coach of the Year.

Jacob, the Herald Times Area Player of the Year, averaged 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals as she led the Snowbirds to the Class D Regional Finals. Her freshman teammate, Borowiak, was also a standout player, contributing 10 points a game, while shooting 47 percent from the field.

Edwards was the top player for a very good Gaylord team, averaging 15 points and five rebounds, despite only being a sophomore.

Schlicher was a do-it-all sophomore for the Cardinals, averaging 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists.

Herald Times All-Area Girls Basketball team 2011


Abby Schlicher • J-L Sophomore

The J-L team ran through this talented sophomore, who led her team in points, assists and steals and fell just a couple of boards short in rebounds. She was a First Team All-Ski Valley player.


Danielle Hardy • J-L Senior

Steady senior stepped into a more prominent role and did a great job with it, putting forth consistent, solid play. Was a senior leader who was third on the team in scoring and rebounding.

Ashley Sides • J-L Senior

Talented senior led J-L’s charge in the post, producing a very nice senior season. She led the team in rebounds and was one of the better Ski Valley post players not named Jasmine Hines.


Allison Burley • J-L Senior

Defensive standout was a good senior leader for the Cardinals.
She earned Honorable Mention All-Ski Valley honors for her athletic, hard-working play.


Brittany Cherwinski, J-L Freshman

Miranda House, J-L Junior

Go Lady Cardinals Go!

District Champions 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011

It's GREAT to be a Cardinal!

JV Lady Cardinals close perfect season
Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston junior varsity girls basketball team finished the season with an impressive 20-0 record after closing out the season with a 54-5 win against Boyne Falls on Thursday, February 24th.

Against the Loggers, Hailey Weaver led the way with 12 points, while Katelyn Weaver had 10 points and Julia Nieman and Natalie Hamilton each had seven.

Katelyn Weaver was the leading rebounder with 11, while Nieman produced seven steals.

The team's freshman players came up from last year's undefeated eighth-grade team, who was coached by Walt Schlicher, who passed away last year. The freshman girls have now won
32-straight games, an accomplishment they miss celebrating with Coach Schlicher.

The team clicked instantly this season, with coach Brett McVannel leading the way.

Nieman scored 238 points to lead the team, while Katelyn Weaver scored 124 and
Tiffany Nickert scored 122. Katelyn Weaver added 159 rebounds, 25 blocks and 59 steals.
Hamilton led the team in assists with 61.


Girls Basketball at Alcona Districts Photos

Girls Basketball at Central Lake Photos

Girls Basketball vs. Inland Lakes Photos

Girls Basketball vs. Mancelona Photos

Girls Basketball vs. Pellston Photos


GIRLS Basketball vs. Mancelona January 2011 Photos


Rivals Rally 2010 ~ Girls Basketball Photos

2010-11 J-L Girls Varsity Roster

2010-11 J-L Girls Junior Varsity Roster

J-L Girls Basketball 2010-11 SCHEDULE
Tue Nov 30 6:00PM
@ Fairview Area High School
W 50-9
W 69-35
Thu Dec 2 6:00PM
@ Vanderbilt Area High School
W 32-16
W 77-15
Wed Dec 8 6:00PM
@ Onaway High School
W 42-40
W 49-32
Fri Dec 10 6:00PM
@ Forest Area Community School
W 44-30
W 60-49
Wed Dec 15 6:00PM
vs. Saint Mary's High School
St. Mary nips J-L in Rivals Rally game
W 51-41
L 39-37
Wed Dec 22 6:00PM
vs. St. Mary's School
(Lake Leelanau)
J-L girls improve to 5-1 with victory
W 66-12
W 59-38
Wed Jan 5 6:00PM
@ Bellaire High School
W 42-29
W 59-23
Mon Jan 10 6:00PM
vs. Central Lake High School
No. 1 Trojans overpower J-L
W 62-30
L 71-47
Wed Jan 12 6:00PM
@ Inland Lakes High School
W 43-18
W 61-23
Fri Jan 14 6:00PM
vs. Mancelona High School
W 58-21
W 58-16
Wed Jan 19 6:00PM
vs. Onaway High School
J-L girls blast Onaway
W 52-44
W 58-31
Fri Jan 21 6:00PM
@ Pellston High School
J-L overcomes hot Pellston
W 52-10
W 57-45
Tue Jan 25 6:00PM
@ Saint Mary's High School
St. Mary tops J-L
W 41-30
L 50-34
Thu Jan 27 6:00PM
vs. Forest Area
Community School
W 48-45 OT
W 65-42
Tue Feb 1 6:00PM
vs. Bellaire High School
W 51-21
W 46-25
Tue Feb 8 6:00PM
vs. Inland Lakes High School
W 36-24
W 47-42
Thu Feb 10 6:00PM
W 55-26
L 78-50
Tue Feb 15 6:00PM
vs. Pellston High School
W 46-17
W 51-27
Thu Feb 17 6:00PM
W 57-20
W 60-31
Thu Feb 24 6:00PM
vs. Boyne Falls Public High School
W 54-5
W 61-18
Wed Mar 2
Class C District Tournament Game
J-L vs. Whittemore-Prescott
Opening District game no problem for J-L girls
W 55-29
Fri Mar 4 7:00PM
Class C District Championship Game
J-L vs. Lincoln-Alcona
Cardinals win a thriller over Lincoln Alcona
W 33-32
Tue Mar 8 6:00PM
Class Regional Tournament Game at Kalkaska
vs. Harbor Springs
J-L girls press past Harbor Springs in Regional
W 60-47
Thu Mar 10 7:00PM
L 84-67

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2010-11 J-L Girls Varsity Basketball Roster

Allison Burley
Miranda House
Abby Schlicher
Brittany Cherwinski
Nicole Bush
Hailey Reasner
Hannah Huff
Danielle Hardy
Ashley Sides
Michelle May
Coach ~ Heather Huff
Assistant Coach ~ Jessica Crane
Manager ~ Renee Campbell

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2010-11 J-L Girls J.V. Basketball Roster

Great Job Girls!

J.V. Girls Basketball Team
20-0 Perfect Season 2011!

Natalie Hamilton
Tiffany Nickert
Gabrielle Coppersmith
Sydney McKenney
Katelyn Weaver
Brittany Koronka
Hailey Weaver
Julia Nieman
Jena Teceno
Abigail May
Katie Kierczynski
Shannon Kievit
McKenzie Mathewson
Coach ~ Brett McVannel
Assistant Coach ~ Kassie Campbell


Final Word: Ski Valley proves its mettle in girls basketball
~ Gaylord Herald Times

Not that it’s ever a trusted marker of general sentiment, but there has been some fairly-consistent criticism of Ski Valley Conference girls basketball at It’s been called a weak league, with any team other than Central Lake widely disregarded.
I completely disagree. I can actually make an argument that the Ski Valley is the best league in the state. If you’re looking at percentage of successful teams, there is no peer.
Sixty-four teams total tipped off in the Regional finals Thursday. It’s the “Sweet 16,” in each class, and if you get to this point, you’re a good team.
Three Ski Valley teams made it to this point — Central Lake and St. Mary in Class D and Johannesburg-Lewiston in Class C. That got me to thinking — how many other conferences have as many teams?
What I found is that there is only one league with more teams in the Regional Finals — the Detroit-area Catholic League, who has an impressive six. Tied with the Ski Valley is the Detroit Public League, the Central Michigan League, the Tri-Valley League and the Michigan Independent league.
But, when delving a little bit deeper, I looked at how many schools comprise each league.
While six schools in the Catholic League is impressive, there are a whopping 25 in the conference. Similar stories are in the Tri-Valley (23 schools) Detroit Public (22) and the Michigan Independent (17).
That leaves the Central Michigan as the Ski Valley’s only comparable. Fowler, Portland St. Patrick and Powwows all made it from that league, but the Central Michigan has 10 overall schools, compared to just nine in the Ski Valley.
If you do the math, one out of every three Ski Valley schools made it to the Regional Final, or 33 percent.
That’s a higher percentage than any of the aforementioned schools.
OK, so I will admit that the bottom of the Ski Valley may not match up with the bottom of some of these other leagues, but the top certainly does. Central Lake, St. Mary and Johannesburg-Lewiston have proved it all season long.
Before Thursday, the only losses these teams carried on their resume were to each other.
I love this time of year because of the constant basketball that is played at the high school and college levels.
I also love it because it’s the time of year that Northern Michigan teams can strut its stuff against some of the perceptions and stereotypes held by downstate folks.
Good, solid basketball is played north of Saginaw, and it’s proven again and again every year, in both boys and girls.
The Ski Valley has done a great job representing Northern Michigan all season long

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Kalkaska tops youthful J-L in high-octane affair
Gaylord Herald Times

KALKASKA — Despite their resolve and hard-working mentality, the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team fell short in the Class C Regional final Thursday in Kalkaska, losing to the Blazers 84-67. The Cardinals had many bright spots in the contest, but were initially overwhelmed by the Kalkaska attack and never had time to completely rebound.

“We knew they had a young team,” said Kalkaska coach Dave Dalton. “The press gave them problems — we have been pressing all year. Give J-L credit, their girls played hard until the end and never gave up. They are a young team and will be back.”

The Blazers came out firing on all cylinders in front of a near-capacity home crowd. They paved the way for a win early on, escaping into the halftime break up 43-30. Although J-L came out with even more intensity in the second half, it was not enough to match the offensive output of the Blazers’ starting five.

“They don’t just have one or two shooters, they have three or four really good ones,” J-L coach Heather Huff said. “We would make a basket and they would come back with three.”

As time wore on, the Cardinals (19-5) seemed to settle in a bit more and began making plays.

“I thought they kept their composure very well. We had too many turnovers in the first half, so in a few ways we beat ourselves — not to take anything away from (Kalkaska) because they play good defense,” Huff said. “That could have been the difference, but you can’t go out there and play a perfect game either. Especially when you’re young, that is going to happen.”

One constant for the Cardinals was the play of sophomore Abby Schlicher. The slasher hit at least one three-pointer in every quarter of play and commanded the floor throughout the game with poise that far exceeded her age. She led all scorers with 23 points.

“She is so fun to watch,” Huff said. “I have to tell her to shoot because she is so happy to pass the ball off. She is so effective because she is both an offensive and defensive player, and can get that steal and go in for the lay-up. I have a lot of expectations for her in the future.”

Aside from the outstanding play out of Schlicher, freshman Brittany Cherwinski had an exceptional game, especially in the paint, and ended with 13 points. On several occasions the freshman grabbed offensive rebounds and connected on ensuing lay-ups, seemingly having her way down low with the undersized Blazer defenders.

Senior Ashley Sides also tacked on another solid performance to end her career, with 14 points. She made several great plays on the night, but her main highlight was a swift transition lay-up in traffic in which she benefited from a powerful Schlicher block on a Blazer three-point attempt.

Huff was very happy with how her group of seniors, headed by Sides, finished off their high school careers. She had more than enough praise for them, which is well fitting for such a class group.

“Ashley has really stepped up and had a great ending to her high school career, especially during the tournament run,” Huff said. “Allison (Burley) does a really good job on defense, hassling them and getting them frustrated — that is what I rely on her to do. Michelle (May) has been there through the long haul and I am so proud of her. She always gives me everything she has when I put her in and has a smile on her face. Danielle Hardy has been my rock all season, she is big on the boards and when you wouldn’t expect it she will come up with the ball,” Huff explained.

In the end, Schlicher was the leading scorer for the Cardinals, netting 23 on the night. Sides was her second-in-command, downing 14, while Cherwinski totaled 13.

For the Blazers, Chelsea Matley was the top producer, scoring 20 points. Behind her were Sophy Menestrina (17) and Kelli Guy (15).

Kalkaska will advance to play St. Ignace in the Sault Ste. Marie Quarterfinal on Tuesday.

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J-L 60 ~ Harbor Springs 47
Go Cardinals Go!
*Abby Schlicher Walmart Super Center Player of the Game!

J-L girls press past Harbor Springs in Regional

KALKASKA — Winning breeds winning.
Case in point: The Johannesburg-Lewiston High School girls' basketball team.

While few of the current crop of Cardinals were key members of the Cardinals’ back-to-back Regional championship teams of the past two seasons, there’s something to be said for simply being there and being a part of it.

The Cardinals put that quasi-experience to work on Tuesday, rallying from a five-point third-quarter deficit to surge past Harbor Springs,
60-47, in a Class C Regional Semifinal at Kalkaska High School.

Sophomore Abby Schlicher scored 16 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out eight assists, and made four steals to lead the Cardinals,
19-4, who will play Kalkaska, 22-1, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Regional title game.

The Blazers, who are seeking their first regional championship since 2001, defeated Leroy Pine River, 82-75 in overtime, in Tuesday’s other semifinal. Ashley Sides and Miranda House added 10 points apiece for the Cardinals, who were Class D
state quarterfinalists a year ago and ‘D’ semifinalists in 2008-09.

“The girls that were on the floor (tonight), a couple of them had some playing time last year in the quarterfinals, but they didn’t have a ton of experience that way, but they were there,” Jo-burg coach Heather Huff said. “They were experiencing it, they kind of had the feel of it.” Something positive clearly rubbed off, and the Cardinals delivered big-time when they needed to on Tuesday.
“I know I start some seniors, but they didn’t have a lot of experience because of the teams that we’ve had (in the recent past), but they stepped up (tonight),” Huff said.

The Cardinals found themselves on the short end of a 39-34 score late in the third quarter, then surged, leaving the Rams in the dust to win going away. Sides scored on a put back with 51.7 seconds left in the third quarter to pull Jo-burg within three, 39-36, touching off an 18-2 run during which the Cardinals made nine of their 13 field goals attempts and forced six Harbor turnovers.

The Cardinals simply turned it up a notch on the full court pressure they had employed throughout the entire game.
Their labors paid dividends in the final eight-odd minutes, when they converted Harbor turnover after Harbor turnover into points.

“I could see the girls start to have smiles on their faces, like ‘Oh yeah, here we go,’” Huff said. “You just read the girls because you know them and you could see their confidence, and in their heads, they knew it was going to happen.”

The Rams missed all five of their field goal attempts and were just 2-for-6 from the free throw line during Jo-burg’s game-breaking spurt.
When the dust settled with 4:20 remaining, the Cardinals were in control, 52-41.

Haley Kloss had 14 points, while Elena Ongaro scored 11 points and Emily Ford added 10 for Harbor, 13-11, which was making its first Regional appearance since 2003. The Rams’ state-tournament inexperience did not necessarily surface until the fourth quarter.

“The scouting reports I got said the biggest thing was their press, and that’s exactly what they did and it wore us down in the fourth quarter,” first-year Harbor coach Jennifer Foley said. Schlicher scored on a steal-and-layup 13 seconds into the fourth quarter to pull Jo-burg within one, 39-38. After the Cardinals forced a back court turnover with their press, House scored a quick transition bucket to put Jo-burg in front for good, 40-39. With momentum clearly in Jo-burg’s favor and the Rams on their heels, the Cardinals pounced.
Five different Cardinals scored the next six field goals, sandwiched around a pair of Ongaro free throws.

Harbor managed to get back within six, 52-46, with under three minutes remaining, but the Cardinals put it out of reach with an 8-1
game-closing run, during which Sides scored six points. “I just think it was a full team effort, and everybody contributed,” Huff said.

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Cardinals win a thriller over Lincoln Alcona
Gaylord Herald Times

LINCOLN — It's been four-straight District titles for the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls' basketball team, but this one was decidedly different.
Playing against unfamiliar teams in unfamiliar places, the Cardinals competed this time in Class C. The result was much the same — a 33-32 nail biting win against Lincoln Alcona gave the Cardinals their fourth-straight. It's another chapter in the dynasty that is Lady Cardinals' basketball.

"This was our goal and it's huge that we did it, especially because it's in Class C," said J-L coach Heather Huff.

J-L knew it would be in for a battle against the Tigers (16-6), who were bolstered from playing in front of their home fans. As always, J-L brought over a strong contingent, making for an excellent title game atmosphere.

It was a tight game from the start, with the Cardinals holding a two-point lead after the first and second quarters and a three-point lead after the third.

In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals made just enough plays to escape with the win. Senior Ashley Sides made a key late bucket, when she finished off a pretty feed from senior Allison Burley. Sophomore Abby Schlicher made another, when she calmly sunk two late free throws.

"We played well," Huff said. "We did turn the ball over too much, but we played really strong defense. We had a lot of steals. It was a physical game on both sides of the floor and we were OK with that."

Sides had a strong game for J-L, leading the way with 10 points and eight rebounds. Schlicher added six points and six steals, while freshman Brittany Cherwinski chipped in five points.

Katrina Cole led Alcona with 18 points, including hitting 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. The Tigers scored just 15 points in the game off of field goals.

"I think it was two really good teams that played extremely hard," Alcona coach Dan O'Connor told The Alpena News. "Unfortunately we came up on the short end of too many turnovers."

J-L (18-4) advanced to Tuesday's Regional in Kalkaska, where they faced Harbor Springs.The Cardinals have also won three-straight Regionals, but those came in Class D.

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Opening District game no problem for J-L girls
Gaylord Herald Times

WHITTEMORE — A long bus ride didn’t bother the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team in its Class C District Semifinal victory at Whittemore-Prescott Wednesday.

The Cardinals (17-4) played well from start-to-finish, topping W-P 55-29.

“We came out and did what we needed to do,” said J-L coach Heather Huff. “They came out in a full court man-to-man press and we handled that very well. We got contributions from everyone and everyone played.”

J-L will now have to travel again for Friday’s District Final at Lincoln-Alcona. The Tigers defeated Inland Lakes 34-27 Wednesday, and are 16-5 on the season.

“I feel positive about it,” Huff said. “I think it will be a good game, but if we play like we can, we’ll be OK.”

One of the keys in Wednesday’s game was the defense applied to Whittemore-Prescott star Jordan Maxwell by sophomore Abby Schlicher and junior Nicki Bush. Their containment of her made it difficult for W-P to generate points.

J-L led 11-6 after the first quarter, 22-13 at halftime and 37-20 after the third quarter.

Senior Ashley Sides, sophomore Hannah Huff and Schlicher all had 10 points for the Cardinals, while freshman Brittany Cherwinski had eight and senior Allison Burley and junior Miranda House each had six. Schlicher led the way with six rebounds, six steals and three assists.

The winner of Friday’s District title game will move onto Tuesday’s Regional at Kalkaska, against the winner of the Charlevoix-Harbor Springs District title game.

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J-L girls breeze to a pair of victories
Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — Perhaps without as much fanfare as last year, the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team is gearing up for a run at another District title.

Lost in the shuffle of Central Lake's undefeated season and a strong season from No. 4-ranked St. Mary, is the play of the Cardinals, who after beating Pellston and Mancelona this week, improved to 15-4 overall and 12-4 in the Ski Valley Conference.

Because of an increase in a couple of students, J-L is in the Class C tournament this year, after winning three-straight Class D Districts and Regionals. It will begin play March 2 in the Inland Lakes District against Whittemore-Prescott.

"We knew the conference would be a little bit out of reach this year, so our No. 1 goal is to win the District," said J-L coach Heather Huff. "We're just looking to get better every time we play, and I think we're doing that."

The first tune up this week came in a 51-27 home win against Pellston. Huff said the Cardinals
improved from the first time they played the Hornets, and jumped ahead early and often.

Stat sheet stuffer Abby Schlicher continued her brilliant sophomore season, leading J-L with 13 points, eight rebounds, eight steals, four blocks and three assists. Junior Miranda House added 10 points, while seniors Ashley Sides and Danielle Hardy each had eight points and eight rebounds. Sides added four steals in the win.

"We played well," Huff said. "We still had some turnovers and missed shots, but I thought we did a nice job."

The Cardinals had a slow start in Thursday's 60-31 victory against Mancelona, falling behind early in the first quarter. J-L held just a seven-point lead at halftime, but exploded in the third quarter to spur a 40-26 lead.

"We started playing better and ran them out," Huff said.
Schlicher led J-L with 17 points, while Sides had 10 and House had nine.
The Cardinals close out the regular season Thursday at home against Boyne Falls.

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Johannesburg-Lewiston girls fall to No. 1-ranked Central Lake
Gaylord Herald Times

CENTRAL LAKE — Never an easy place to play, especially when you're going up against the state's No. 1-ranked team.

The Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team ran into the Central Lake buzz saw Thursday, falling 78-50. For the Cardinals (13-4, 10-4 Ski Valley Conference) things improved after a first quarter that saw the Trojans (16-0, 14-0) jump out to a 30-13 lead.
J-L played fairly-even in the second and third quarters, only being outscored by a total of two points. Senior Ashley Sides led the Cardinals with 13 points, while sophomore Abby Schlicher had 12 points. Each chipped in five rebounds.

Also for the Cardinals, junior Miranda House had eight points and senior Allison Burley had seven points and six rebounds. Schlicher led the way with four steals.

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St. Mary tops J-L
St. Mary 50, Johannesburg-Lewiston 34
Gaylord Herald Times

GAYLORD — The words of Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball coach Heather Huff summed it up best Tuesday following the Cardinals' 50-34 loss to St. Mary.
"We did not shoot the ball well — the better team won tonight," Huff said.
That was the case, as despite an inspired second-half effort by J-L, the Snowbirds executed their way to another big victory.

The game was, in essence, for second place in the Ski Valley Conference. With No. 1-ranked Central Lake perched on top, both of these teams came into the contest with identical 10-2 records. With both games against Central Lake out of the way, it looks like No. 7-ranked St. Mary (11-2) will take the runner-up position.

"We want to continue working and getting better," said St. Mary coach Kevin Foster of his objectives for the final seven games of the regular season. "We want to finish at the top of the league. With Central Lake, second isn't bad."
A truly unselfish effort is what lifted the Snowbirds to the victory. St. Mary was patient on offense — working the ball around until it could find the right shot. Much credit can be given to a pair of talented young ball handlers— sophomore Chrissy Smith and freshman Kari Borowiak.
Senior Carolyn Burzynski gave the team an initial spark, as she scored the team's first eight points and helped the Snowbirds claim a 12-11 first quarter lead. Sophomore Hannah Huff was an equal spark on the other end as she was aggressive inside to score a pair of late buckets.
It was the second quarter, however, where the Snowbirds truly shined. Junior Karli Jacob, the team's leading scorer, was hot — really hot. She scored 11 points in the quarter, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer as her team outscored their counterparts, 18-3 to take a 30-14 advantage. While St. Mary's offense was top-notch, its defense is what carried the way.

"We were real strong defensively," Foster said. "Holding them to three points was excellent. We continued to move the ball around, also, to get the better shot."

The third quarter was an interesting one as the Cardinals clearly improved their play and picked up their defensive effort, led by the thievery of sophomore Abby Schlicher. However, the Cardinals (10-3) just could not get it going on the offensive end, as five Schlicher points were all J-L could put up on the scoreboard. After three quarters, the Snowbirds took a 36-19 lead.

J-L's offense did pick up in the fourth quarter, thanks to a nice boost from sophomore Hailey Reasner, but in the end, the Snowbirds' hit 8-of-10 foul shots in the final eight minutes to seal the comfortable victory.

"We never quit until the end," Coach Huff said. "We kept working hard, but the bottom line is that our shots just wouldn't fall."

Jacob and Burzynski led a balanced scoring attack for St. Mary with 14 points apiece. Borowiak, who showed impressive poise as a freshman, added 11 points, while Smith was the team leader in assists. Foster credited the defensive effort off the bench from Kaitlyn Broz, Michelle Samalik and Maggie Cosgrove, who saw her first action of the season following a hand injury. Senior center Michelle Miller contributed seven points in the victory. Jacob was the leading rebounder with 10, while Burzynski added nine boards.

Foster was happy with his team's ability to weather foul trouble, as Jacob, Smith and Burzynski all finished the game with four fouls. Senior Jillian Schmidlin stepped in and gave valuable minutes, as well.

Schlicher led the Cardinals with nine points, eight rebounds and seven steals. Huff added eight points and seven rebounds, while Reasner had six points. Senior guard Allison Burley was all over the floor, playing solid defense and getting after loose balls. She had seven rebounds.

The Cardinals will continue Ski Valley play when they host Bellaire on Tuesday, while St. Mary is now off until Thursday, when they travel to Pellston.

J-L remained undefeated in the junior varsity contest, topping the Snowbirds, 41-30. Julia Nieman led the Cardinals with 12 points and six rebounds, while Gabby Coppersmith had seven points and six rebounds. Katie Kierczynski added six points, five steals and four assists in the win.


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J-L overcomes hot Pellston
Joburg-Lewiston 57, Pellston 45 ~ Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — Pellston’s hot shooting coupled with Johannesburg-Lewiston’s cold shooting contributed to a 24-24 halftime tie in girls basketball action Friday night.

But, the talented Cardinals kicked it into gear in the third quarter, as they pulled away with a tougher-than-expected 57-45 victory against Pellston.

A key spark in the third quarter came in the form of freshman Brittany Cherwinski, who hit a pair of three-pointers and sunk two free throws to put some distance between J-L and the Hornets.

“Everything they put up, they made and everything we shot, we missed,” said J-L coach Heather Huff of the first half. “But, we weren’t playing poorly, and we were still working hard. Our defense began to wear them out in the second half.”

Sophomore Abby Schlicher led the Cardinals (10-2 overall, 8-2 Ski Valley Conference) with 14 points, eight steals and four assists. Senior Ashley Sides added 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Cherwinski had eight.

Allison Burley, Miranda House and Hannah Huff all had four steals, while Burley chipped in five assists. Pellston fell to 2-8 overall and 1-7 in the Ski Valley.

After playing at St. Mary in a big game Tuesday, the Cardinals will host Forest Area Thursday.

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J-L girls blast Onaway
Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — The third quarter has seemed to be the quarter of success for the Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball team this season.

That was again the case Wednesday, when the Cardinals outscored visiting
Onaway 16-4 in the fourth on the way to a 58-34 victory.

The game was close in the first half, as J-L (9-2, 7-2 Ski Valley Conference) was up just 9-6 after the first quarter and 22-16 at halftime.
They outscored Onaway (5-6, 4-5 Ski Valley) 36-18 in the second half.

Sophomore Abby Schlicher posted an impressive triple-double for the Cardinals, with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals. Senior Allison Burley added 13 points in the win, while seniors Danielle Hardy and Ashley Sides each had eight points. Freshman Brittany Cherwinski contributed six rebounds, while junior Miranda House had five steals.

The Cardinals return to action Tuesday when they play at St. Mary.

J-L improved to 11-0 on the season with a 52-44 victory

No. 1 Trojans overpower J-L

~ Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — It was not for a lack of effort, but the Johannesburg-Lewiston girl’s basketball team fell to Ski-Valley Conference rival Central Lake by a score of 71-47 Monday night on their home court.

The Cardinals brought a lot of intensity to the floor all four quarters, but it was not quite enough to match Central Lake’s prowess on both ends of the floor. The Trojans are the state’s No. 1-ranked team in Class D.

“We played hard tonight,” J-L coach Heather Huff said after the game. “We knew it was going to be tough walking into the game tonight and we were prepared.”

Even though they brought a lot of energy to the court off the initial tip, the Cardinals (6-2, 3-2 Ski Valley Conference) were stuck without much room to breathe due to a tenacious Central Lake defense. The Trojans (8-0, 6-0 Ski Valley) jumped out to a quick 17-4 lead and never looked back, letting their defensive attack spur a well-oiled fast break for the remainder
of the night.

As always, Central Lake senior center Jasmine Hines was right in the thick of it all, dominating the low post as well as making outlet passes from her own paint to kick the offense into gear. If nothing else, she presented an interior force to be reckoned with; tossing aside a handful of Cardinal attempts with gusto. It was an impressive performance for the state’s No. 1-ranked player, who has missed most of the past month with an ankle injury.

Early on, Hines and company were aided by possibly an over-exuberant Cardinal defense that racked up fouls at a fairly rapid pace. Before the end of the first quarter, J-L found itself already in the penalty.

Nonetheless, the Cardinals kept on trucking, with sophomore Miranda House and junior Abby Schlicher leading the charge. Schlicher nailed a clutch three-pointer with time winding down in the first quarter, and after the switch House added two treys of her own, narrowing the Trojan lead to as little as nine at one point.

“Miranda led the team tonight,” Huff said. “Abby also did a very good job creating offense.”

Leading into the break for half, the prospects did not look bright for the Cardinals. Down 44-27, there was a lot of work to be done if they wanted to climb back into the contest early in the second half. Huff’s crew came out of the locker room with the right intentions, however they lacked execution. The Cards did not sink a basket until 2:20 remaining in the quarter, when senior Ashley Sides floated a baby hook from the post for J-L’s only field goal of the quarter.

The off quarter gave the Trojans time to bury J-L for good; Central Lake pounded the Cardinal defense for a 10-point unanswered run. All in all, though, Huff was able to pull a silver lining from the contest.

“Our defense played pretty well tonight and the majority of our mistakes were simple and correctable,” Huff said. “They were young mistakes.”

J-L kicked it into gear a bit in the final stanza, with senior Allison Burley, House, and Sides all making offensive contributions. On the defensive end, Schlicher was a standout with a huge block on an easy Trojan breakaway lay-up opportunity, in addition to sophomore Hannah Huff’s consistent rebounding play.

House paced the Cardinals with 14 points, while Sides had 12. Schlicher and sophomore Hailey Reasner both totaled five on the night.

For the Trojans, Hines was the leading scorer, contributing a game-high 22. Behind her were senior Heidi Hicks, with 16, and junior Sheila Crouse, with 13.

Looking ahead, the Cardinals face-off against Inland Lakes Wednesday on the road and will move on to host Mancelona Friday.

“We should do pretty well and will have a speed advantage against Inland Lakes,” Coach Huff said. “We should hold our own against both teams.”

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J-L girls improve to 5-1 with victory
~ Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — Johannesburg-Lewiston girls basketball coach Heather Huff knows she’ll get a little bit of everything out of her Cardinals this season.

J-L walked into the holiday break with a 5-1 record following a 59-38 victory over Lake Leelanau St. Mary’s Wednesday night.

But it wasn’t always that easy. The Cardinals fell behind 8-0 just two minutes into the game and Huff pulled her five starters and quickly called a time out.

“We weren’t making good passes and doing the things that we know how to do,” Huff said. “But that’s what this year is all about. We know we’re going to have to work through some mistakes. It wasn’t perfect, but that’s us.”

Perfection, no. But a scrappy, tough basketball team? Yes, again. J-L responded from that time out with eight straight points to tie the game just three minutes later. Then after the Eagles’ Morgan Furore scored a basket, J-L closed out the quarter on another 7-0 run to take a 15-10 lead after one.

Leading the charge for the Cardinals was sophomore Abby Schlicher, who scored seven points in the quarter and a game-high 11 in the game.

“Abby really stepped up,” Huff said. “She took the ball to the hole and took the shots she should be taking.”

Feeding off its defensive intensity, J-L continued to ratchet up the heat in the second quarter, where it gained a 33-21 halftime lead. Senior center Ashley Sides scored the first four points of the quarter, and it seemed to kick the Cardinals into gear. Sides scored 12 points in the game and helped lead a strong offensive rebounding effort.

Neither team gained any ground in the third quarter, but St. Mary’s made a mild run in the fourth, when three-straight baskets cut the J-L lead to 42-34.

But, senior Danielle Hardy and Schlicher connected on back-to-back layup's to push the home lead back to 12. The Cardinals then closed out the game on a 17-4 run, thanks to tough full-court pressure and solid foul shooting.

The pesky, relentless defense that has been a trademark under Huff continued against the Eagles. The Cardinals had 31 steals on the night, with Schlicher picking off 11 and senior Allison Burley and junior Miranda House collecting five apiece.

Burley added seven points, while Hardy had six.

House, Hardy and sophomore Hailey Reasner each had eight rebounds, while Sides had seven and sophomore Hannah Huff had six. Schlicher led in assists with three.

Six games into the season, Coach Huff said she likes where her team is at.

“I’m pleased,” she said. “The girls are playing well and are having fun everyday. “Everyone plays, is what we’re about. There’s not a big drop off when I go to my bench.”

Lindsey Korson and Taylor Moore each scored 10 points to lead the Eagles (3-2), while Gabrielle Kuznicki had eight.

J-L hits the hardwood again Jan. 5 at Bellaire.

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St. Mary nips J-L in Rivals Rally game

JOHANNESBURG — Everyone was a winner during the second-annual Rivals Rally to Shoot it Down girls basketball game Tuesday, but in the end, only one team could emerge victorious.

In an air-tight battle between two rivals, it was St. Mary who showed the poise in the clutch that allowed the Snowbirds to snag a 39-37 victory.

It may not have been the prettiest game the pink-clad teams have ever played, but it may have been one of the closest, with neither team staking more than a three-point lead in the second half.

“What a game it was,” said St. Mary coach Kevin Foster. “It was back-and-forth. There was some crazy things out there. It was a memorable night.”

The game was tied 36-36 late in the game, when sophomore Chrissy Smith kicked the ball to senior Jillian Schmidlin for the game-winning short jumper with 59 seconds left.

The Cardinals had a couple of chances to tie the game in the final minute, but St. Mary stood strong. J-L sophomore Abby Schlicher hit one of two free throws with 50 seconds left and on the next possession, St. Mary guards Smith and Kari Borowiak did a nice job of playing keep-away. Eventually, the Cardinals were forced to foul and two missed foul shots later, J-L senior Ashley Sides secured a key defensive rebound. On the ensuing play, Borowiak stepped into the passing lane for a huge steal. She got the ball to junior Karli Jacob, who with 13 seconds left, stepped to the foul line.

Jacob calmly hit the first, and despite missing the second, she gave the Snowbirds a two-point lead. J-L brought the ball down court and had a couple of chances to even the score, but the ball bounced off the rim and St. Mary celebrated its first win against the Cardinals in some time.

“The stands were packed and I told the girls that you made them proud,” said J-L coach Heather Huff. “They got a good game.”

That was evident throughout as neither team was able to afford any breathing room. Jacob and junior Michelle Samalik hit back-to-back shots to end the first quarter for St. Mary, as the Snowbirds grabbed a 12-10 lead.

Then, St. Mary opened the second with a three-pointer by Smith and a bucket by Borowiak to break open a seven-point lead, which would be either team’s biggest in the contest.

J-L immediately responded with a 10-0 run of their own, holding the visitors without a field goal in the final seven minutes of the second quarter. Schlicher sparked that run, scoring six points to give J-L a 20-18 halftime lead.

A three by Borowiak and another basket by Smith at the end of the third allowed St. Mary to grab a 29-27 advantage heading into the fourth.

There, there were four ties and four lead changes before Schmidlin’s basket and the action that ensued.

Despite the low score, both teams looked to push the issue throughout, conversely resulting in a plethora of turnovers. The game was played with a physical defensive intensity with both players hustling for every rebound or loose ball.

“We struggled offensively, but you can associate that with the great defense they played,” Foster said. “We knew coming in these are two teams that stressed defense and that’s what we saw.”

The victory was an important one for St. Mary. Each team now has an identical 4-1 overall record, with a 2-1 mark in the Ski Valley Conference.

St. Mary’s score sheet was incredibly balanced, as Jacob and Smith each had eight points, while Borowiak and senior Carolyn Burzynski each had seven.

Schlicher had a game-high 11 points for J-L, while Sides and senior Allison Burley each had six.

St. Mary closes out its pre-Christmas season Friday at home against Pellston, while J-L hosts Lake Leelanau St. Mary’s Wednesday. But both teams are already looking forward to their return battle, which will take place Jan. 25 in Gaylord.

“We’re young, and we’re going to make young mistakes,” Huff said. “But I thought we did some good things too. We could be a completely different team when we see teams a second time.”

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J-L Sporting Event Ticket Prices

Adults ~ $4.00
Students ~ $3.00
Family ~$10.00

Family Season Pass $150.00
(Includes all Home Games ~ Excludes Tournaments)


Updated 4/19/11
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