Girls basketball: Norway under Tinti’s eye in new conference

NORWAY — Norway enters a new conference with a new girls basketball coach this season.

The Knights, with Joe Tinti taking over at the coaching helm, moves from the Mid-Peninsula Conference to Skyline Central Conference this season.

“I am excited and proud to be given the opportunity to coach the Norway Lady Knights,” said Tinti, a successful girls basketball coach at Niagara before heading to Norway for administrative positions. “Basketball for me, has always been more than just basketball. It is about creating a positive environment that allows student athletes and myself to grow as individuals.”

Veteran assistant Kevin Kangas also turned in his resignation after last season but returned when Tony Adams left for North Central.

Kelly guided Norway to the 2017 MPC title, the first for the Knights since 1985. She stepped down after 12 seasons with the program.

“It’s time to be a mom,” said the mother of three in submitting her resignation to principal and athletic director Tinti.

“Coach Carli Kelly did an amazing job with the program during her tenure, and this year’s team and program still carries her intensity and enthusiasm,” Tinti said. “Having Kevin Kangas back as the junior varsity coach is a asset to the program and will be instrumental with the transition of coaches along with extensive coaching knowledge and guidance.”

Norway graduated MPC Player of the Year Jordan Kraemer along with league second-teamer and defensive standout Britta Grayvold. The Knights also graduated MPC honorable mention Teidra Fuson plus Jada Lasater and Kelly Madigan.

“We will have a new look this year, as we have graduated a veteran, highly experienced class of athletes,” Tinti said. “This year’s team is a scrappy, athletic group, and will be a fun team to watch. I feel we will see this team grow throughout the season and has a very high potential.”

Junior Haley Clifford, an All-MPC honorable mention last year, returns to the varsity with seniors Karli Stanchina, Teiona Fuson and Mikayla Faull, and junior Ada VanHolla.

Norway hosts non-conference foes Iron Mountain (Tuesday) and West Iron County (Friday) before traveling to Rapid River on Tuesday, Dec. 5, for its Skyline Central Conference opener.

“It will take some time to learn about each team in the conference and preparing for games will be challenging especially early in the season,” Tinti said of Norway’s first season in the conference.”

This year’s roster:

SENIORS — Karli Stanchina, Teiona Fuson, Kayte Casanova, Mikayla Faull

JUNIORS — Jaclyn Bal, Haley Clifford, Holly Mattia, Mariah Gyselinck, Ada VanHolla, Alexandria Miller