Huskies basketball teams ready for GLIAC tournaments | News, Sports, Jobs

Michigan Tech guard Isabella Lenz looks for an opening during a game against Grand Valley State Saturday at the SDC Gym. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

HOUGHTON — With a strong second half, the Michigan Tech Huskie women’s basketball team vaulted its way into a top-4 seed in the GLIAC Tournament. Wednesday, they host the Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers in a quarterfinal matchup at the SDC Gym.

In the month of February, the Huskies went 6-2, and found a way to work their way up the conference standings in the process. As part of that strong run, they defeated the Rangers at home, 74-68.

A big reason for the Huskies’ success, according to coach Sam Clayton, has been the way the team has approached defense. The Huskies defeated Davenport on Thursday and then lost to No. 2 Grand Valley State on Saturday. However, Clayton loved what she saw out of her team defensively throughout.

“I thought, both games, we brought defensive urgency, which, at this point in the season, you have to be able to defend,” she said. “We’re going to have to show up on that side of the ball, especially playing Parkside. So I was happy with that.

“On Thursday, obviously, our offense was rolling as well, (with) a lot of players shooting it well. Grand Valley, I mean, they’re a phenomenal defensive team. I think everyone who has played against them would say that. I thought we got some decent looks and shots didn’t necessarily fall, but I was happy with the way we competed. Being down 18, (it would be) easy to just put your heads down and think it’s over. But, I thought we really fought back.”

Michigan Tech drives between a pair of Grand Valley State defenders during a game Saturday at the SDC Gym. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

One big positive factor for the Huskies heading into the playoff is the return of fifth-year senior forward Sara Dax, who missed three games with an injury. She played 23 minutes Saturday and scored 10 points against the Lakers.

Clayton felt that having Dax back was important for helping the Huskies do a lot of different things offensively. At the same time, Clayton also felt that sophomore forward Maja Kozlowska, who helped fill in during Dax’s absence, gained a lot of confidence from getting increased playing time.

“It was really nice having Sara out there,” Clayton said. “I think just her presence as a fifth-year senior to bring a sense of calm to the team, her ability to score it, obviously from three-point range, but also at the basket, (is a) really nice touch. She’s also probably one of our best passers as a post player. I think she makes phenomenal decisions, especially when she is in the post. So great to have her back.

“I don’t know that it was great that she was out, but it’s great that Maja got a lot of minutes, and got her confidence, because she’s playing really well for us right now, too, so that just adds to our depth.”

When the Huskies and Rangers last met, on Saturday, Feb. 10, Clayton began experimenting with a lineup change from four guards and a forward to a two-forward, three-guard lineup, which brought some more size to the floor. Typically in the games since, Clayton has used Dax and junior forward Emma Anderson together on the floor.

She said that she is happy with how that experiment is coming along.

“Actually, the first time I tried that was against Parkside,” Clayton said. “The first time, or the last time, we played them, and really liked it. Then Sara went out. So, now it’s back to getting used to lineups again. We’ve had people in and out all year, so it’s adjusting, but now we have things set. I do like trying that bigger lineup with Sara and Emma, or Maja and Sarah, Maja and Emma. I think we have advantages in a lot of ways when we can do that.”


The Rangers come into Wednesday’s game coming off a season where they went 15-11 overall and 10-8 in GLIAC play, closing out the season with a loss to Ferris State and win over Lake Superior State.

They have two players who average in double digits in junior guard Sheridan Flauger, who averages 12.3 points per game, and senior guard Paty Gallasova, who averages 10.8 points per game. Fifth-year guard Gabriela Loiz has also been very good, averaging 9.5 points per game.


The Huskies men’s basketball team is heading out on the road to face Grand Valley State Wednesday. The two battled to a very close game Saturday, with the Lakers earning the win, 92-86, in a game that Huskies coach Josh Buettner felt was lost defensively, as the Huskies struggled to make a stop in the second half.

The Huskies had to battle through the month of February to earn themselves a spot in the GLIAC Tournament. They did so by going 5-3 in February, which helped them improve to 11-16 overall and 8-10 in conference play.

A big reason for the turnaround has been the return to the lineup of sophomore guard Dan Gherezgher. The other, as Buettner believes, has been the team’s dedication to defense.

“I think, at first, we were struggling offensively, defensively,” Buettner said. “Then we were starting to figure out offensively, and then, getting Dan back in the mix, I think we were struggling with both again a little bit.

“Once we started defending, I think the offense came along, and we’re playing at a pretty good level right now. It’s frustrating that it takes this long, and that your record looks like it is. But I think right now, I don’t know that anybody wants to play us. I think we’re a pretty confident group, and we’ll go on the road and fight.”


The Lakers enter Wednesday evening on the heels of a 14-14 season overall and sporting an 11-7 record in GLIAC play. They split last weekend with Northern Michigan, where they lost in double overtime, and with Michigan Tech, where they emerged with the win.

The Lakers has four players who average in double digits. Sophomore forward Ethan Alderink averages 11.8 points per game. Fifth-year senior Marius Grazulis averages 11.4 points per game. Junior forward William Dunn averages 11.3 points per game. Sophomore guard Britain Harris averages 11.2 points per game.


The Huskies women’s team faces the Rangers Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at the SDC Gym in Houghton. The Huskies men’s team takes on the Lakers Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale.

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