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Monday December 11, 2017
North Central Jets Cruise To District Championship

FELCH---Not this time.

There would be no Coke bottles on the floor. No long dry spells without scoring a basket. No miracle three-pointers by the opposing team.

The Nordics can't get the inbound pass against the defense of Trevor Ekberg (40).
Nope, this was the North Central Jets' night to shine, and the demons from last year were thoroughly sent away as the Red and Black won a Class D district championship in Felch.

The Jets beat the North Dickinson Nordics, 54-40, in the district final...two days after also knocking off their nemesis, the Carney-Nadeau Wolves.

And so the Jets boys join the NCA girls as district champions this spring, one of the most successful in school history.

"It's really nice to see these young kids stepping up at the right times," NCA Coach Adam Mercier said of his team, which has no seniors. "We're making our shots, we're rebounding the basketball. And our defense is really good right now."

The Jets had lost to both North Dickinson and Carney-Nadeau earlier in the season, but turned the tables here in the districts. What caused the turnaround?


NCA's Rob Granquist goes coast-to-coast.
"I think it was our defense," Jets junior Trevor Ekberg said. "All season, we've been relying on it, but, now that it comes to crunch time, it's been very tough."

"I think the difference was our team defense," Jets junior Tyler Polfus agreed. "The last two games, if we haven't been shooting good, our defense has been sticking it to them. That's what you've got to do to win. You've got to play defense."

NCA's Tyler Polfus is "nothing but net" on this three-pointer against the Nordics.
The Jets continued their late-season roll by taking a lead early and then maintaining it throughout the game.

North Central broke a 6-6 tie by going on a 14-2 run that had the Jets in a 20-8 lead. It was 26-15 at halftime, and then the Jets put the game away in the third quarter, building leads as big as 21 points along the way.

"This is a great win for us tonight," Mercier said. "It's great for the community. We had great support up here. A lot of fan base. Hopefully that continues on Monday."

Travis Vincent scored 14 points to lead the Jets, who improved to 20-3 on the season.

Tyler Polfus and Josh Granquist both scored ten points, and Rob Granquist added eight.

Ekberg had six points, but two of them were on a dunk that electrified the Jets crowd in the fourth quarter. It was his second dunk against the Nordics this month.


ND's Matt Schultz scores in the paint.
"When you get it, and see nothing but open court, it's just second nature to go for it," Ekberg grinned. "I mean, being 6-5, it's not very hard!"


North Dickinson was led by Matt Schultz's 19 points.

The Granquist boys were all smiles Friday.
And so now the Jets head to the regionals, where they will face Superior Central at 5:00 CT Monday night at the Lakeview Gym in Negaunee.

"That's going to be a great matchup again," Mercier said. "We played them early in the season, and I think that both teams have improved so much since then. They're a big, athletic team, but size-wise, we match up with them. It should be a great game."

"They're really tough," Ekberg said. "They beat Munising, and we lost to Munising. So you never know what might happen."

There will NOT be any advanced ticket sales for Monday night's regional game at the North Central school. You will have to buy your ticket at the Negaunee gym Monday night. The cost, set by the MHSAA, is $5. Season passes are NOT accepted.

The second semifinal Monday night features Forest Park and Chassell.

Click the thumbnails in the "ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS" box to see photos and videos from the game, and to listen to post-game interviews.





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Choose team:
Date Time Opponent Score Record
12/3
8:00 PM
Stephenson Eagles
61 - 48 (W)
1-0
12/6
7:45 PM
at Rapid River Rockets
67 - 47 (W)
2-0
12/10
7:00 PM
at Republic-Michigamme Hawks
60 - 43 (W)
3-0
12/13
8:00 PM
at Carney-Nadeau Wolves
53 - 59 (L)
3-1
1/3
7:45 PM
at Rapid River Rockets
64 - 32 (W)
4-1
1/7
8:00 PM
North Dickinson Nordics
66 - 70 (L)
4-2
1/12
6:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
65 - 60 (W)
5-2
1/17
7:30 PM
at Big Bay deNoc Black Bears
48 - 39 (W)
6-2
1/25
7:45 PM
Bark River-Harris Broncos
68 - 39 (W)
7-2
1/29
8:00 PM
Carney-Nadeau Wolves
52 - 49 (W)
8-2
2/1
8:00 PM
at Forest Park Trojans
67 - 56 (W)
9-2
2/5
8:00 PM
Republic-Michigamme Hawks
60 - 41 (W)
10-2
2/8
8:00 PM
Big Bay deNoc Black Bears
73 - 45 (W)
11-2
2/12
8:00 PM
at North Dickinson Nordics
53 - 49 (W)
12-2
2/15
8:00 PM
at Stephenson Eagles
57 - 44 (W)
13-2
2/18
7:30 PM
at Munising Mustangs
56 - 63 (L)
13-3
2/22
7:45 PM
at Bark River-Harris Broncos
59 - 47 (W)
14-3
2/23
7:00 PM
Mid Peninsula Wolverines
57 - 47 (W)
15-3
2/26
8:00 PM
Forest Park Trojans
61 - 41 (W)
16-3
2/28
7:30 PM
at Mid Peninsula Wolverines
54 - 41 (W)
17-3
3/4
7:00 PM
Mid Peninsula Wolverines
87 - 65 (W)
18-3
3/6
7:00 PM
Carney-Nadeau Wolves
65 - 54 (W)
19-3
3/8
7:00 PM
at North Dickinson Nordics
54 - 40 (W)
20-3
3/11
6:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
64 - 61 (W)
21-3
3/13
7:00 PM
Forest Park Trojans
59 - 50 (W)
22-3
3/19
7:00 PM
at Cedarville Trojans
71 - 57 (W)
23-3
3/21
6:00 PM
at Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian Defenders
36 - 51 (L)



Branstrom, Schetter, Mercier Get All-U.P. Honors
Saturday March 30, 2013
NCA Jets Return Home To Community Celebration
Saturday March 23, 2013
NCA Jets' Dream Season Ends In State Semifinals
Thursday March 21, 2013
MSU-Bound! Jets, Miners Advance To State Semis
Tuesday March 19, 2013
NCA Jets Prepare For Huge Quarterfinal Challenge
Sunday March 17, 2013
2012-13 Upper Peninsula Boys Basketball Playoffs
Saturday March 16, 2013
Regional Champions! NCA Jets Party Like It's 1985
Thursday March 14, 2013
Jets Turn Up Defensive Pressure To Beat Mid Pen
Saturday February 23, 2013
NCA Jets Work Hard To Beat North Dickinson
Tuesday February 12, 2013
Jets Get Paybacks In 'Civil War' Win Over Carney
Tuesday January 29, 2013
Menominee County Civil War: Carney-Nadeau Wins
Thursday December 13, 2012
NCA Jets Pull Away In Second Half To Beat Eagles
Monday December 3, 2012