HANNAHVILLE - The Hannahville gym will be a center of activity this weekend as the Soaring Eagles host the Northern Lights League basketball tournament.
Action begins Friday with eight games, with five scheduled for Saturday.
The Munising Baptist girls meet Grand Marais in Friday's opener at 10:30 a.m., with the winner facing defending champion Kinross Maplewood Baptist at 9 p.m.
Hannahville (9-7) opens Friday at 6 p.m. against the winner of the Beaver Island/Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter contest.
"Maplewood has the target on their back," said Hannahville coach Josh Eagle. "When you're in the middle, you're kind of dangerous. Beaver Island has very good ballhandlers in Hannah Roberts and Meg Works. They have a younger team and only six players as far as I know. Ojibwe is the most improved team in our league. I love what their coach is doing with them. She's doing an awesome job with them."
Maplewood Baptist is led by sophomore forward/point guard Hannah May.
"She (May) has a beautiful shot," said Eagle. "She's the person you have to focus on. They have three girls who never take a play off."
Should the Soaring Eagles win their opener, they would face Mackinac Island in a semifinal contest Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
"Mackinac Island has a tough team," said Eagle. "You can't come in flat against them. If you do, you're in trouble. They have a tough tandem (Halee Tokarz and Hailey Armstrong) in the backcourt. Our win over them early in the season was a pivotal win for us."
Hannahville's season-long leaders have been senior point guard Sophie Manitowabi, senior forward Mary Saldana and sophomore forward Selena Williams.
"The seniors have been playing real hard," said Eagle. "Mary really wants it and has been reaching out to colleges. She wants to go on to the next level. We're also very proud of our underclassmen."
The Hannahville boys come in as two-time defending champs, but are considered underdogs to Maplewood Baptist which last won the league tourney in 2011.
"You need to execute your game plan against them," said Hannahville coach Seth Miller. "Ours is a work in progress. But if we execute, we can play as tough as anybody. From top to bottom there should be a lot of close and exciting games, especially in the early rounds. I think this will be good for every team."
Hannahville opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Munising Baptist/Ojibwe Charter winner.
"I don't like the draw at all," said Miller. "I kind of call it a trap game. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. I won't be comfortable until the clock hits all zeroes at the end of the fourth quarter, if we're ahead."
The winner meets Grand Marais in a semifinal match-up Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
"We played our two worst games against them," said Miller. "Their style of play has given us problems. Leroy Ward-Harbaum is a very good player and Dominic Kinlaw has averaged more against us then any other player in the league. We would like to get another shot at them."
Hannahville's leaders are juniors J.J. Larson and Myron McCullough.
League champions will be crowned Saturday, with the girls' title game set for 2 p.m., followed by the boys' final at 3:30.
10:30 a.m. - Munising Baptist vs. Grand Marais
1:30 p.m. - Beaver Island vs. Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter
6:00 - Beaver Island/Ojibwe Charter winner vs. Hannahville
9:00 - Munising Baptist/Grand Marais winner vs. Kinross Maplewood Baptist
Noon - Paradise vs. Beaver Island
3:00 - Munising Baptist vs. Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter
4:30 - Paradise/Beaver Island winner vs. Mackinac Island
7:30 - Munising Baptist/Ojibwe Charter winner vs. Hannahville
9:30 a.m. - Beaver Island, Ojibwe Charter or Hannahville vs. Mackinac Island
2:00 p.m. - Championship game
11:00 a.m. - Beaver Island, Paradise or Mackinac Island vs. Kinross Maplewood Baptist
12:30 p.m. - Munising Baptist, Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter or Hannahville vs. Kinross Maplewood Baptist.
3:30 - Championship game