Meet the Men’s All-UP Basketball Team
MARQUETTE — The 72nd Annual Meeting of UP Sportswriters and Sportscasters to select the All-Upper Peninsula men’s basketball team was held in Marquette last week.
A pair of four-year-old starters for Rudyard — EJ Suggitt and Tate Besteman — both earned All-UP Division 4 First Team spots.
Suggitt, a 6-0 senior guard, served as team captain for four years and capped off a stellar career as Rudyard’s all-time leader with 1,442 points. He averaged 15.7 points, 4.32 assists and 4.12 rebounds as a senior. Suggitt was a three-time Straits Area Conference Player of the Year and a two-time Eastern UP Conference Player of the Year.
“EJ is our glue, a starting captain for four years,” Rudyard coach Jim Suggitt said. “EJ defines our offense and our defense. He moved to full-back this year. He is an excellent passer who sees the whole floor. He led our team in assists, being able to get out of the double team and find the open guy.
Besteman, a 6-8 senior forward, was a game changer with his shot-blocking abilities. He averaged 16.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.28 blocks per game. Also a team captain for two years, Besteman was twice SAC and EUPC Defensive Player of the Year.
“Tate is our shot blocker/changer down the middle,” Coach Suggitt said. “At 6ft 8in and a wingspan of nearly 8ft, he is an imposing sight in the paint. When Tate is on the front of our press he creates slippers in his size. He finds openings in attack and he is a good passer. He will also take over the defense when not crushing shot attempts.
Rudyard has staged back-to-back seasons that are among the best in school history. The Bulldogs won the Straits Area and Eastern UP conferences and went 23-2 overall before pulling out against Ewen-Trout Creek in the quarterfinals this year. The Bulldogs qualified for the semifinals last year with an 18-3 record, their best run since 1963.
St. Ignace sophomore Jonny Ingalls clinched a 1-3 All-UP Division second team berth. Ingalls, a 5-10 guard, tallied 18.5 points, 5 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 3 steals per game for the Saints. St. Ignace finished 15-6 overall.
Suggitt, Besteman and Ingalls each received All-UP honors for a second straight year.
Two Eastern UP players clinched All-UP Division 4 recognition for the first time, including Newberry’s Claudio Bistolfi and Cedarville-DeTour’s Cason Smith.
Bistolfi, a 6-0 senior exchange student from Milan, Italy, averaged 19 points per game, along with five rebounds and three assists per game for the Indians.
Smith, a 5-10 junior guard, led the Islanders with 15 total points per game and he scored 17.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in the EUPC. The Islanders finished 11-9. Smith was also selected for the Eastern UP conference first team.
Two players from the region received special mention All-UP (2 or more votes), including Rudyard’s Cam Peterson and Brimley’s Grady Newland.
Peterson, a 5-10 sophomore guard, averaged 10.8 points, 5.48 rebounds. 2.68 interceptions as the Bulldogs’ primary point guard. Rudyard had three starters scoring in double digits and two more just below that mark. Peterson, along with Suggitt, Besteman, Ingalls and Bistolfi, were all the team’s first picks in the straits.
“Cameron is our spark plug,” Coach Suggitt said. “He has been a starter for two years in second year and captain this year. He ran the point for us this year and manages the best ball handler of the other teams on defense. He drives very well in basketball and can finish with both hands.
Grady Newland, a 6-2 senior forward, scored 14.1 points per game for the Bays, who finished 11-11. He was also a first team pick in the EUPC.
EUP players receiving honorable mention All-UP include juniors Kevin Frazier of St. Ignace in Division 1-3 and Aidan Ondrus of Cedarville-DeTour in Division 4. Both were the team’s first picks in their respective conferences, the SAC and the EUPC.
Mr. UP Basketball, Player of the Year
Ewen-Trout Creek senior Jaden Borseth is this year’s Mr. UP Basketball. A 6-3 senior guard, Borseth helped lead a veteran E-TC team to the state finals for the first time since 1982. The Panthers finished second in the state in Division 4, falling 56-45 in overtime against Wyoming Tri-unity in the final at the Breslin center. E-TC finished 23-4.
Borseth has averaged just under 19 points per game this season, on a team that had five senior starters. The Panthers beat Rudyard 56-40 in the quarter-finals, which was a clash between the top two teams in UP.
In voting for UP Division 4 Player of the Year, Borseth was the unanimous choice. Borseth finished with 2,073 career points, ranking 7th on UP’s men’s basketball all-time scoring list. Only nine UP boys have passed the 2,000 point mark.
Menominee’s Aidan Bellisle was named the UP Division Player of the Year 1-3, by a 13-7 vote over Westwood’s Zach Carlson. Bellisle, a 6-1 senior guard, helped lead the Maroons to the state championship game in Division 3. He was also the Great Northern Conference Player of the Year and the Maroons won the conference. Menominee was the state runner-up and finished 23-4, reaching the final for the first time since 1967.
Carlson was the Mid-Peninsula Conference Player of the Year. He averaged 24.4 points per game for the Patriots.
2022 All-UP Boys Basketball Team
Mr. UP Basketball: Jaden Borseth, Ewen-Trout Creek, Sr.
Division 1-3 Player of the Year: Aidan Bellisle, Menominee, Sr.
Division 4 Player of the Year: Jaden Borseth, Ewen-Trout Creek, Sr.
Division 1-2 Team of the Year: Escanaba
Division 3 Team of the Year: Menominee
Division 4 Team of the Year: Ewen-Trout Creek
Divisions 1-3 Coach of the Year: Sam Larson, Menominee
Division 4 Coach of the Year: Brad Besonen, Ewen-Trout Creek
Jaden Borseth, Ewen-Trout Creek, 6-3, Sr.
Zach Carlson, Westwood, 5-10, Sr.
Aidan Bellisle, Menominee, 6-1, Sr.
Colin Hudson, Escanaba, 6-9, Sr.
Johnny Schutz, Jeffers, 6-2, Sr.
Oskar Kangas, Iron Mountain, 6-5, Fr.
Nic Nora, Kingsford, 6-0, Jr.
Jonas Bicik, Marquette, 6-5, Sr.
Zach Beckman, Westwood, 6-1, Sr.
Brady Schultz, Menominee, 6-5, Sr.
Cooper Conway, Menominee, 6-4, Sr.
Jayce Kipling, Ishpeming, 6-3, Sr.
Jordan DeMay, Marquette, 6-2, Sr.
Jared Hanson, Escanaba, 6-3, Sr.
Jonny Ingalls, St. Ignace, 5-10, Soph.
Mikko Salmi, Houghton, Sr.
Marcus Boase, Westwood, 5-8, Sr.
David Eberhard, Marquette, 6-0, Sr.
Gerald Johnson, Negaunee, 6-2, Sr.
Brady Badker, Menominee, 5-10, Sr.
Special Mention (receiving two or more votes from the panel): Trevor Brown, Escanaba, 6-4; AJ Miley, Bark River-Harris, 6-0, Sr.; Caleb Stieler, Gwinn, 6-4, Sr.
Honorable mention: Brody Bell, Negaunee, 6-4, Jr.; Joey Colavecchi, Iron Mountain, 6-1, Jr.; Levi Frahm, Jeffers, 6-0, Sophie; Preston Gauthier, Ishpeming, 5-9, Jr.; Logan Getzloff, Bark River-Harris, 6-1, Sr.; Kaden Gibbs, Gladstone, 5-10, Sophie; Trevor Lippens, Bark River-Harris, 6-1, Sr.; AJ Prosser, Ishpeming, 6-3, Jr.; Mason Sager, Negaunee, 5-11, Jr.; Connor Smale, Escanaba, 6-0, Sr.; Brody Waara, Menominee, 6-1, Sr.; Kevin Frazier, St. Ignace, 5-11, Jr.
Eric Abramson, Ewen-Trout Creek, 6-5, Sr.
Tate Besteman, Rudyard, 6-8, Sr.
Luke Gorzinski, North Central, 5-10, Jr.
EJ Suggitt, Rudyard, 6-0, Sr.
Kyle Sorensen, Wakefield-Marenisco, 6-3, Sr.
Kelsey Jilek, Ewen-Trout Creek, 6-3, Sr.
Claudio Bistolfi, Newberry, 6-0, Sr.
Jesse Duran, Munising, 6-5, Sr.
Nolan Amundsen, Norway, 6-0, Sr.
Jack Matrella, Bessemer, 6-0, Sr.
Mike Englund, Mid Peninsula, 6-0, Soph.
Marcus Sutherland, Lake Linden-Hubbell, Sr.
Brendan Polkky, Ewen-Trout Creek, 6-2, Sr.
Cason Smith, Cedarville-DeTour, 5-11, Jr.
Connor Florenski, North Central, 6-3, Jr.
Special Mention (receiving two or more votes from the panel): Brady Anderson, North Central, 6-1, Sr.; Spencer Coldron, Stephenson, 5-11, Jr.; Rease Dawley, Rapid River, 5-9, Sr.; Shawn Gibbons, L’Anse, 6-0, Jr.; Peyton Imhoff, Carney-Nadeau, 6-1, Sr.; Von Lyons, Ironwood, 6-1, Sr.; Grady Newland, Brimley, 6-2, Sr.; Cam Peterson, Rudyard, 5-10, Soph.; Gaven Ritala, Forest Park, 5-9, Soph.; Ian Sundling, Rapid River, 6-1, Jr.; Kevin Giuliani, Forest Park, 6-2, freshman.
Honorable mention: Luis Alloza, Stephenson, 6-1, Soph.; Aiden Boyd, Ironwood, 5-10, Jr.; Zach Frusti, Superior Central, 5-8, Sr.; First-year student; Kodey Goldi, Rapid River, 6-3, Jr.; Antonio Inglese, North Dickinson, 5-11, Soph.; Jerry Lee LaFord, Carney-Nadeau, 5-10, Sr.; Trenton Naser, North Central, 6-1, Sr.; Aidan Ondrus, Cedarville-DeTour, 5-10, Jr.; Alec Ortman, Norway, 6-0, Soph.; Eli Ostermeyer, L’Anse, 6-5, Sr.; Michael Peterson, Norway, 6-0, Jr.; Jesse Sampson, North Central, 6-3, Jr.; Zack Schwartz, Stephenson, 6-5, freshman; Jonah Nordine, Ewen-Trout Creek, 5-10, Sr.
Contact sportswriter Rob Roos at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter, @rroosTEN.