AE clinches first girls NSL basketball title


MIO — It’s official, Arenac Eastern’s girls basketball team has clinched its first-ever North Star League championship.

The 19-1 Eagles took care of the Mio Thunderbolts, who were in second place going into the game on Feb. 11, defeating the Thunderbolts 51-36 to earn the title outright.

“It’s quite an accomplishment for our kids, our school, and our community,” said AE coach Butch Beckham. He said the Eagles are now three games ahead of the next best team in the NSL with only two league games to play.

But before the Eagles claimed their crown, they had to get past Mio.

“It was pretty tight at the beginning of the game,” Beckham said. “But we made a run.”

With AE leading 11-7 after the first quarter, the Eagles would go on to outscore the Bolts 30-16 during the second and third quarters.

“It all came down to defense,” Beckham said. “They’re a three-point shooting team and we held them to just two three-pointers.”

Ashley Navarre, who sat out a game against Whittemore-Prescott on Feb. 8 due to health issues, scored 16 in her comeback performance. Chelsea Dery, another Eagle who has struggled with injury issues this season, also scored 16. Erin Ecker added 11.


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