IRON COUNTY—Area girls basketball fans were incredibly lucky this winter. Whether they followed Forest Park or West Iron County, they saw their conference’s most valuable player playing for their team.
The Lady Trojans’ Lexi Gussert and the Wykons’ Jaclyn Waara both were voted conference most valuable players during conference meetings last week.
It’s the second MVP honor for both girls. Gussert, a sophomore, was also voted MVP by the Skyline Conference after her freshman year.
As for Waara, a senior, she was voted MVP after her sophomore season for the Wykons. (Hancock’s Maria Almquist was voted MVP last winter.) Waara was picked to the West Pac first team in both her junior and freshman seasons.
Both Gussert and Waara started district tournament play Monday, Feb. 27.
Skyline: Joining Gussert on the all-Skyline team are Lady Trojan teammates Tanner Bartczak, named to the first team, and Audrey Sholander, voted to the second team and also as defensive player of the year. It’s the third straight year she has earned that honor. Both Bartczak and Sholander are seniors.
Most valuable player: Lexi Gussert (soph.), Forest Park.
First team: Jaime Madalinski, Bark River-Harris; Sarah Madalinski (jr.), Bark River-Harris; Heather Sanderson, Rapid River; Taylor Granquist, North Central; Tanner Bartczak, Forest Park.
Second team: Krysta Van Damme (soph.), Mid Peninsula; Morgan Wells (soph.), North Central; Abbie Madalinski, Bark River-Harris; Kelly Bintner, Rapid River; Audrey Sholander, Forest Park.
Honorable mention: Megan Derusha, Bark River-Harris; Ashleigh Monticello, Rapid River; Casey Charlier, Taylor Henderson and Lauren Murray, Carney-Nadeau; Brittany Charlevoix, North Dickinson.
Defensive player of the year: Audrey Sholander, Forest Park.
All-defensive team: Gussert, Forest Park; Van Damme, Mid Peninsula; Granquist, North Central; Monticello, Rapid River; Abbie Madalinski, Bark River-Harris.
Coach of the year: Joel Schultz, Bark River-Harris.
West Pac: Joining Waara on the all-West Pac team, senior Shannon Koski was voted to the first team, and Kylee Erickson, a junior, was picked to the second team. Senior Joanna Pellizzer received honorable mention.
Most valuable player: Jaclyn Waara, West Iron County.
First team: Joey Carroll, Houghton; Taylor Dillinger, Houghton; Shannon Koski, West Iron County; Kristy Lasanen (jr.), Calumet; Maddissen Swanson (soph.), L’Anse.
Second team: Martha Anderson, Calumet; Kylee Erickson (jr.), West Iron County; Addy Grier-Welch, Houghton; Hannah Hill, Houghton; Valerie Rajala (soph.), L’Anse.