EagleHerald/Brian Bell
Menominee’s Keagan Monroe (left), Emma Anderson (center) and Erin Barrette (right) were all chosen as members of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan’s BEST Team. Mornoe and Anderson were named to the BEST Team and Barrette was given an honorable mention nod.
EagleHerald/Brian Bell

Menominee’s Keagan Monroe (left), Emma Anderson (center) and Erin Barrette (right) were all chosen as members of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan’s BEST Team. Mornoe and Anderson were named to the BEST Team and Barrette was given an honorable mention nod.

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MENOMINEE — Every spring at the end of basketball season, the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan hand out hundreds of awards to high school varsity players and teams, and both the Menominee boys and girls basketball teams had players honored one last time for the 2019-2020 season.

In order to be selected for the BCAM’s BEST award (previously known as the BCAM’s All-State Teams), players have to be nominated by a BCAM member, and once they are nominated the choice lies in the hands of the Chairmen of the BCAM’s BEST Committee and the 15 Regional Directors for both boys and girls. The reason for the change from the All-State Teams to BCAM’s BEST is some of the state’s best players were not being nominated by their coaches, so in 2007 the BCAM Board of Directors decided to make the change.

This year, senior Keagan Monroe and junior Emma Anderson were selected to the BCAM’s BEST in Division 2 and junior Erin Barrette was given an honorable mention nod, rounding out a stellar season for all three.

A human highlight reel whenever he stepped on the court, Monroe can add one more honor to his wild list of accomplishments in just his senior year alone.

“We’re very proud of Keagan for earning this award,” Menominee boys coach Sam Larson said. “We have always known he is one of the top players in the state, and this award validates that.”

During football, Monroe was a workhorse for the Maroons and he was recognized at the end of the season with GNC Player of the Year, All-GNC First Team, U.P. Offensive Player of the Year, All-U.P. Dream Team and an All-State selection. After the season, he signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his football career at Central Michigan University.

In basketball, he was second in voting for GNC Player of the Year, given a spot on the First Team and was second team All-U.P. He led Menominee in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals and was a true leader for the Maroons’ on and off the court.

“Keagan’s statline speaks for itself. For a player to lead the team in four major stat categories means he is doing quite a bit on the floor. We asked him to do a lot, rarely gave him any breaks, and he responded well. It was great to be able to witness his maturation as a leader over the last few years. He became more vocal in practices and during games and all of that contributed to our success.

“He is a hard worker on the court and in the classroom. We look forward to following his successes at the college level.”

The U.P.’s Miss Basketball and Player of the Year and a First Team All-State selection in the state of Michigan, Anderson helped to carry the Maroons to their first undefeated season since 2000, leading the way in scoring and rebounding in the process and doing it with a mixture of inside and outside scoring.

In addition to her BCAM’s BEST nod, Anderson was also second in the state in 3-point percentage, going 40-of-83 for a 48.19 percent mark, just behind Brethren’s Megan Cordes (30-53, 56.60). She didn’t stop there however as she was also top-10 in free throw percentage, coming in at 54-64 (84.38 percent).

“Being named as one of the BCAM BEST in Division 2 is another great accomplishment for Emma,” Menominee coach Lucas Chouinard said. “All the accolades she has earned this year is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the game of basketball.”

After Anderson, there was not much of a fall off for the Maroons shooting-wise as Menominee as a team ended the season top-10 in both categories. Menominee went 126-371 (33.96 percent) from 3-point range for fifth in the state and from the charity stripe, the Maroons made 194 of 282 tries (68.79 percent), good for sixth out of all divisions.

“As a team we always put a premium on shooting not only during the season, but in the offseason as well,” Chouinard said. “Being named top-10 in those categories is a direct products of their hard work and dedication to being shooters.”

Barrette, who could have an argument she was snubbed at the All-U.P. and All-State meetings, controlled everything Menominee did on both ends of the floor and got the recognition she deserved with an honorable mention look by the BCAM.

While Anderson was the main focus of opposing team’s offensively, she wouldn’t have had the season she did without Barrette controlling the game as the point guard and making the right decision with the ball in her hands. Her ability to dribble through and past defenders opens a lot of looks up for other players on the team running the court.

On the defensive side, Barrette made life miserable for opposing point guards and it shows in the history books as she set the career steals record this season as a junior. She already has 214 in her career, and with another season yet to play that number will undoubtedly continue to grow.

“I thought Erin was snubbed not being named to the Associated Press All-State team because her play on the court was worthy of that recognition, but it’s great that she is being recognized by the BCAM,” Choiunard says. “She really deserves it.”

The Menominee girls squad showed they worked just as hard in the classroom as they did on the court, finishing the season with a team G.P.A. of 3.542 for an honorable mention look in the BCAM Girls Team Academic All-State list.

“I’m most proud of this award. These girls are not only great basketball players, but phenomenal in the classroom as well,” Chouinard said. “They are a perfect example of what is meant by student athlete.”

For the Coach of the Year voting, Menominee girls coach Lucas Chouinard was a runaway winner, getting 20 first-place votes and finishing with a total of 160 points — 58 ahead of the legendary Dorene Ingalls of St. Ignace.

Menominee’s boys coach Sam Larson cracked the top-five for Coach of the Year, but the award eventually went to Negaunee’s Dan Waterman with 24 first-place votes and 199 total points.

In other U.P. news, Iron Mountain’s star junior Foster Wonders was one of 13 players in any division in Michigan selected to the BCAM’s Best of the “BEST”, which is similar to an All-State version of the Dream Team. He joins the likes of Gatorade National Player of the Year Emoni Bates of Ypsilanti Lincoln, Michigan’s Mr. Basketball Carlos “Scooby” Johnson and Oregon commit Jalen Terry of Flint Beecher.

Iron Mountain’s Marcus Johnson (Division 3), Negaunee’s Jason Waterman (Division 3) Carney-Nadeau’s Brett LaFord (Division 4) and Dollar Bay’s Davin Hill and Ashton Janke (Division 4) each were selected to their respective division’s BCAM BEST Team, and on for the girls Gladstone’s Megan Crow joined Anderson on the Division 2 BEST Team.