Special to the EagleHerald
Menominee’s five juniors pose for a picture before a basketball game during the season. All five juniors earned postseason honors in the Great Northern Conference. They are, from left: Erin Barrette (first team), Jenna Nolde (second team), Emma Anderson (Player of the Year), Josie Hofer (honorable mention) and Makenzie Wellner (honorable mention).
Special to the EagleHerald

Menominee’s five juniors pose for a picture before a basketball game during the season. All five juniors earned postseason honors in the Great Northern Conference. They are, from left: Erin Barrette (first team), Jenna Nolde (second team), Emma Anderson (Player of the Year), Josie Hofer (honorable mention) and Makenzie Wellner (honorable mention).

ESCANABA, Mich. — Entering this basketball season, every girls basketball coach in the Great Northern Conference knew that Menominee junior Emma Anderson was going to be a problem.

Anderson — a 6-foot-3 post player — is one of those players who can do it all. She has the ability to score from both inside the paint and outside the 3-point line, she can rebound the basketball with the best of them and has the floor vision to find the open player whenever she gets double teamed — which is something she was used to this season.

She averaged 18 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in the GNC on 47.7 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range, scoring 20 or more on five separate occasions, and at the GNC coaches’ meeting held at the Family Inn Restaurant in Escanaba just before it was closed to the public for the coronavirus lockdown, Anderson was named GNC Player of the Year to lead five Maroons granted postseason honors.

“Emma had a terrific conference season,” Menominee coach Lucas Chouinard said. “She does a tremendous job and puts a lot of pressure on teams. She got much better at beating people off the dribble from out on the wing this year and that made her a lot more dangerous offensively.”

Anderson’s best conference game of the season came against Escanaba when they racked up 23 points and 15 rebounds, added a 22-point, 10-rebound game against Kingsford and just missed out on another double-double with a 20-point, 9-rebound at Marquette.

Joining Anderson in the postseason honors is the rest of her fellow juniors Erin Barrette, Jenna Nolde, Josie Hofer and Makenzie Wellner.

A 5-6 point guard, Barrette controls the flow of Menominee on both ends of the court, and after averaging 11.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.75 steals, she was the lone Maroon to earn herself a spot on the All-GNC first team.

“Erin was always great defensively but I feel like she made a lot of progress this year offensively,” Chouinard said. “She makes great decisions with the ball and doesn’t have trouble getting through the defense’s pressure. Defensively, she’s a threat 94-feet from the hoop at all times. She is a great 1-on-1 defender and has such a great feel for the passing lanes and that gets her and the rest of the team a lot of easy baskets.”

Nolde is what would be classified as a 3-and-D player in that she is a sharpshooter from outside and is the Maroons best on-ball defender. She averaged 8.1 points per game and was always given the task of guarding the opposing teams’ best offensive player, and for her efforts on both ends of the floor she earned a spot on the All-GNC second team and was the only Maroon chosen on the All-GNC Defensive team.

“Jenna went through her ups and downs shooting this year and sometimes that can affect your play on the defensive end but that wasn’t the case for Jenna. She consistently picked up her play on that end of the floor, and offensively she started attacking the basket very well this year and that was a nice addition to her game.”

Hofer and Wellner were both chosen as honorable mention for their contributions to Menominee’s undefeated regular season.

Hofer led the Maroons in assists in conference play with 2.9 per game and added 6.5 points and 1.9 steals, second to only Barrette, and knocked 42.1 percent (8-19) of her 3-point tries which was second to Anderson’s 43.3.

“Josie is a very unselfish player. She has a pass-first mentality but if you give her any space she has the ability to knock down the open shot,” Chouinard said. “Her and Erin are a great 1-2 punch and they do a good job of leading the team defensively and then again on the offensive end.”

Wellner’s numbers are not going to jump out at anyone as she averages 3.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, but it’s what she does that does not show up on the stat sheet that got her an honorable mention selection.

“Makenzie makes up for a lot of mistakes we make defensively because she’s always in the right place,” Chouinard said. “She saved a lot of baskets for us on defense and was huge for us in the few close games we played down the stretch.”

Chouinard was named Coach of the Year, and while the award is designated for the best coach in the conference, Chouinard noted that he wouldn’t have gotten this award if wasn’t for the every girl on the team – but especially those five juniors.

“This is a special group of girls,” he said. “They have great chemistry with one another and there is no way I would be here without them. I can’t say enough about them. They put in so much hard work and they bought in to everything we preached every day and sacrificed so much. They really deserve these awards and I’m truly proud of them.”

The best part about all of this for Chouinard — he gets all of five of them back next year in addition to the three sophomores that were brought up this season, so the future is bright in Menominee.

GNC All-Conference

Player of the Year – Emma Anderson, Menominee, Jr.

Coach of the Year – Lucas Chouinard, Menominee

First Team

Erin Barrette, Menominee, Jr.

Megan Crow, Gladstone, Jr.

Brooke Kriegl, Kingsford, Sr.

Aspen Michelin, Marquette, Sr.

Nicole Kamin, Escanaba, Jr.

Second Team

Jenna Nolde, Menominee, Jr.

Maria Millado, Marquette, Sr.

Taylor Ray, Escanaba, Sr.

Maddie Ahlgren, Gladstone, Sr.

Maggie Strehlow, Kingsford, Sr.

Maddie Carter, Marquette, Sr.

Honorable Mention

Josie Hofer, Menominee, Jr.

Makenzie Wellner, Menominee, Jr.

Baily Barron, Escanaba, Soph.

Madison Monkevich, Escanaba, Soph.

Andie Balenger, Gladstone, Sr.

Taelor Zeise, Gladstone, Sr.

Ali Doolittle, Kingsford, Sr.

Christy Glodowiski, Kingsford, Jr.

Reegen Ketzenberger, Marquette, Sr.

Sofia VandenEnde, Marquette, Sr.