Negaunee Basketball

Negaunee BasketballThe Miners celebrate their second Class B State Championship in 1957. The team won seven playoff games to win the title, defeating Harper Woods in the Final, 68-66
Image courtesy of the Negaunee Public Schools.
It would be impossible to say that any one basketball program is better than any other in the Upper Penin­sula. Some have won the most State Championships, but year in and year out, none have been more consis­tent than the Negaunee Miners. Over the past cen­tury, they have had some of the best teams in the U.P. and the record to prove it. Since 1950, the Miners have the best winning percentage and the most wins in post-season play (128 wins vs. 60 losses, .681). In that same time, they won 31 district titles, 13 regionals and two state championships.

Negaunee BasketballNegaunee Miners boys basketball team celebrates its 2012 Regional Championship.
Image courtesy of Denny Grall, Escanaba Daily Press
School Athletic Asso­ciation had an official state tournament. There was an Upper Peninsula tournament held in Marquette, which the Miners won in 1919. Three years later, the Miners had what many thought would be their great­est team in history. They came in third in the State Class A tournament, but had a team with one All- American (Eino Pulkinen) and four All-Staters (James Scanlon, 1st team; Gilbert Lindstrom, 2nd team; Theodore Sundquist, 2nd team; and George Ferm, honorable mention.

Negaunee BasketballThis is the 1930 Negaunee High School basketball team that won the state Class B title. In the front from the left: Matt Gleason, George Rudness, Arthur Doolittle, Rudolph Thoren, coach Eddie Shadford and Ralph Lindstrom. In the back row: George Bennett (manager), Sevino Bessolo, Marvin Williamson and Allan Phillips.
Photo courtesy of Matt Gleason
The program's first state title came in 1930, led by legendary coach Eddie Shadford. This plucky squad took the train to Detroit to compete in the tournament, defeating Coldwater, Grand Haven and then St. Mary's of Orchard Lake for the Class B crown, 31-25. Scores were low then because, as team member Matt Gleason stated in a 2005 Mining Journal article, "Back then, after every basket made there was a jump ball...And there was not three-point shooting and no bonus free throws, so that's why the scores were so low."

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