EagleHerald/Brian Bell
Tessa Wagner of Carney-Nadeau shoots over a slew of Stephenson defenders. Wagner was named to the All-U.P. Division 4 first team.
EagleHerald/Brian Bell

Tessa Wagner of Carney-Nadeau shoots over a slew of Stephenson defenders. Wagner was named to the All-U.P. Division 4 first team.

By AUSTIN HEMMINGSON Escanaba Daily Press

ESCANABA — Tessa Wagner was dominant inside all season long.

Carney-Nadeau’s 6-foot-2 sophomore center averaged 15 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks per game while shooting 45% from the field to help lead the Wolves to a 19-5 record and their first district title since 2006.

For her efforts, she was named to the All-U.P. Division 4 first team by the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association through online balloting late last week. This comes after she was selected to the Associated Press All-State second team just a week ago.

“She just has very good hands. She’s starting to move better in the post and getting better at moving to her left, especially at the end of the season,” C-N coach Ken Linder said. “That’s why her numbers started going up, because it opened up going back to her right. She’s an outstanding rebounder and shot blocker. She has real knack for shot blocking and has a real good defensive presence on the inside. I expect her numbers to go up next year.”

Joining Wagner on the first team are Munising’s Megan Matson, Engadine’s Sophia Vaughn, St. Ignace’s Ally Schultz and North Dickinson’s Briana Smith.

A pair of unanimous Skyline Central Conference first team picks highlight the D-4 second team — Mid Peninsula’s Kennedy Englund and Carney-Nadeau’s Sandra Boulton.

Englund was selected to the second team for the second year in a row after averaging 17.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game. She had two games over 30 points and finished with 1,127 for her career.

“She’s a great kid to coach and has a very high basketball I.Q.,” Mid Pen coach Phil Croasdell said. “She is a great scorer and probably a better rebounder than anyone in the league despite being a point guard most of the time. She’s not afraid to post up anyone, even against Mercedes Simmons or Tessa Wagner. She’s also called upon to guard anyone’s point guard to guarding the bigs down low. She can shoot from anywhere — she made 47 3-pointers this year. Just an awesome presence on the floor and will be greatly missed next year.”

Boulton averaged 15.9 points, six rebounds and three steals while shooting 47% from the floor.

“What separates Sandra is she’s very strong and physical in the post,” Linder said. “She has a good mid-range shot and she’s very quick at driving to the basket. She’s also a left-hander, which makes her harder to defend.”

Also selected to the second team was North Central’s Andie Arsenault. The 5-7 junior guard averaged 15 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.5 assists while shooting 47% from 2-point range and 33% from 3-point territory. Her importance was on great display late in the season, as the Jets went 1-3 in games she missed due to illness.

“She was our best ball handler, and it showed in the four games she missed,” Jets coach Lee Vincent said.

Nine area players earned honorable mention, including Big Bay de Noc’s Meagan Yonker, Carney’s Giselle Laurila, North Central teammates Bree Arsenault and Alex Neville, Rapid River teammates Natalie Belanger and Kristin Goodacre, and Mid Pen teammates Daisy Englund, Chevy Koski and Camryn Croasdell.

Yonker was the player of the year in the Northern Lights League after averaging 15.7 points, 4.3 steals, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

“She’s a tenacious defender, great leader, and has a motor that will not quit,” Black Bears coach Bob Pederson said. “She’s tough as nails. She had great stats even though her supporting cast was the age of a junior varsity/middle school team.”

Laurila averaged seven points, four assists and three steals while shooting 40% from the floor as a senior leader for the Wolves.

“She’s an outstanding defensive player, and by far our best defensive guard,” Linder said. “She shut down some outstanding guards this season. She was pretty much the quarterback of our team and was a big part of our success. Very clutch player.”

Bree Arsenault averaged 10.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the Jets, while Neville averaged 8.1 points, 5.8 boards and 2.0 steals.

“(Bree) always gave 110% and never complained of being sick or hurt. She’s a girl you would want on your team,” Vincent said. “(Alex) always played hard and always sacrificed her body to the floor.”

Belanger led the Rockets by averaging 11.7 points, 9.3 rebounds 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks.

“Natalie’s competitive spirt always shined through,” Rockets coach Scott Goodacre said. “She was always ready to battle, with 30 blocks on the season. She’s a highly competitive player.”

Goodacre averaged 11 points, 3.9 steals, 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

“Kristin’s tenacity on the basketball court is second to none,” coach Goodacre said. “Her competitive/non-stop drive was at times confused with attitude. She’s one of the league’s best pure ball handlers. As a team captain, she always led by example, always came to play and left it on the court. She’s an incredibly high effort player who will be hard to replace.”

Daisy Englund averaged 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists for the Wolverines. Koski averaged 8.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 assists, while Croasdell averaged six points, six rebounds, two steals and 1.5 assists.

“(Daisy’s) a great shooter but is unselfish with the ball. I wanted her to shoot more, so the last nine games of the regular season she averaged 14.1 points per game,” coach Croasdell said. “(Chevy) does a great job defensively on big girls and frustrates them to the point where they commit frustration fouls. She’s a great shooter, rebounder and ball handler.

“(Camryn) is really quick, so she always had one of the other team’s best defenders on her freeing up the rest of the team. This is why no one could ever double-team Kennedy this year and she flourished. She had lots of tipped balls and steals. This team doesn’t win 15 games without her.”