County players make a splash in all-star games

IRONWOOD—Some basketball players take a bit of time to work their way into the flow of all-star games. But the three Iron County representatives at the fourth annual Kiwanis Classic Border Bash prep basketball all-star games June 7 at Gogebic Community College did not.
    Forest Park’s Abby Nylund and West Iron County’s Emmy Kinner and A.J. Weisnicht needed little time to make their presences felt for the Northern Michigan squads against the Northern Wisconsin teams.
    Nylund was in the starting five and hit a quick 3-pointer and finished with eight points, all in the first half, in her team’s 95-70 defeat to Northern Wisconsin. Kinner recorded a steal and a bucket shortly after entering the game and wound up with 11 points.
    Nylund also competed in the final round of the free-throw contest, held at halftime of her game. The Lakeland University recruit opened the contest by sinking nine of her 10 attempts but was immediately tied by teammate Jordan Kraemer of Norway. In the sudden-death tiebreaker, Nylund’s first shot rimmed out before Kraemer sank hers to win the trophy. Kraemer, who will suit up for former West Iron County boys coach Rae Drake with the Bay College women’s team next season, also won the 3-point shooting contest.
    Lexi Smith of Northland Pines led all scorers with 22 points and was named the game’s most valuable player. Smith will play collegiately at Northern Michigan University.
    Forest Park Lady Trojans coach Jackie Giuliani coached the Michigan squad.
    In the boys’ game, Weisnicht came off the bench and hit his first five shots and finished with 12 points in Northern Michigan’s 139-124 win. The game featured a host of players who will play collegiately, including Division 1 recruits Jason Whitens of North Central, who is headed to Western Michigan, and Bennett Vander Plas of Ripon (Wis.), who will play at Ohio University.
    Whitens led all scorers with 33 points and was named co-MVP with Negaunee’s Trent Bell, who poured in 32 points. Whitens also won both the 3-point shooting contest and the dunk contest. Carson Wonders of Iron Mountain added 26 points in his team’s victory. Bell is headed to Michigan Tech, while Wonders will play for Northern Michigan.
    The games were played with 25-minute halves at GCC’s Lindquist Center.