Agree to disagree: Not everyone thinks the same in weekly voting in hoops polls

MARQUETTE — There’s apparently some disagreement about the polling in some areas of the weekly high school basketball polls conducted by the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

While the girls’ Divisions 1-3 polling is amazingly consistent — the only way their vote totals could’ve come about was to have all five voters have the same five teams in the same order — there was definite disagreement in the boys Division 1-3 rankings.

Negaunee (11-4) is the prime example. The Miners lost the only game they was able to play in the past week, a 58-47 decision last Tuesday at No. 1 Iron Mountain.

But while Negaunee slipped just a touch from second place alone into a tie with Kingsford, the Miners also picked up a first-place vote they hadn’t received before.

That might’ve had something to do with the Mountaineers (10-1) getting tagged with their first loss of the season last week, a 59-46 decision at Westwood on Thursday.

And that, in turn, had to help the Patriots (8-6) get back into the rankings at No. 5.

Meanwhile, in those rankings, Marquette (7-6) fell off the “others receiving votes” list as the Redmen split a pair of games at the St. Ignace BC Pizza Classic, defeating Gaylord 69-58 before falling to the host Saints 78-57.

For the Division 4 boys, Munising (13-1) rose back to No. 2 after falling to No. 3 last week.

The Mustangs had the top spot a couple weeks ago after starting their season 11-0. Then they dropped after a loss to Brimley, but now have a two-game winning streak after beating Engadine 69-23 last Tuesday and Newberry 62-45 on Thursday.

Jeffers (13-0) leads the D-4 rankings after dropping back into that division this school year as it had been in Division 3 for several years before that.

The Division 1-3 girls don’t have any area teams involved, but Division 4 has a pair from our area.

Baraga (12-2) went from a “regular” No. 1 into a unanimous top-ranked position after it received three of the five first-place votes a week ago. Now it has all five of the first-place ballots.

Previously undefeated Norway had edged close to the Vikings last week, but fell back to No. 3 after the Knights suffered their first loss last week to Niagara, Wisconsin, 39-34.

Baraga has built a four-game winning streak after posting a 64-51 win at Wakefield-Marenisco and 62-47 victory at Ironwood last week.

Also mentioned with Division 4 girls is Munising (10-3), which despite a good record and three wins in a row, can’t quite crack the top five. Last week, the Mustangs won at Engadine 61-39.

The two area teams ranked in the top 10 in last week’s Associated Press state polls, which like the UPSSA’s is released each Tuesday, dropped a spot this week.

The Baraga girls are No. 3 in Division 4 after being tied for second last week. The Vikings have 62 polling points, six behind No. 2 Kingston and 11 behind No. 1 Maple City Glen Lake. Those two Lower Peninsula schools also split the first-place votes.

Meanwhile, the Munising boys dropped from No. 9 to No. 10 in the boys Division 4 rankings. They’re six points behind No. 9 Baldwin but also eight points ahead of the first team in the “others” category, Gaylord St. Mary.

Some other U.P. teams are also in the state rankings.

For the girls in Division 2, Escanaba is just outside the top 10 in 11th. In Division 3, Hancock is sixth and Calumet is 13th.

And in Division 4, Norway is eighth, Cedarville tied for 10th, St. Ignace is 18th, Carney-Nadeau 19th, Ontonagon tied for 20th and Lake Linden-Hubbell tied for 22nd.

For the boys in Division 2, Kingsford is 15th. In Division 3, Iron Mountain is eighth and St. Ignace 15th.

In Division 4, Jeffers is third, North Central fourth, Rudyard 13th, Ironwood tied for 14th, Ewen-Trout Creek and Watersmeet tied for 16th, and LL-H tied for 20th.

In notable games this week, Ishpeming boys is set to host No. 1 Iron Mountain on Friday.


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