Put-in-Bay High School will be hosting the 3rd annual Great Lakes Islands Basketball Tournament for boys and girls teams on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4. The tournament will match the Put-in-Bay Panthers against island high school squads from Beaver Island, Mich. (Islands); Mackinac Island, Mich. (Lakers) and Washington Island, Wisc. (Bucks).
Put-in-Bay’s boys and girls squads are coached by Craig Schuffenecker, whose boys record is 76-86 over 14 seasons, and 24-11 record in five years of coaching the girls teams.
The Friday, Dec. 3 tournament games will be:
- 11:45 a.m. Boys – Mackinac Island vs. Washington Island
- 1 p.m. Girls – Put-in-Bay vs. Beaver Island
- 2:15 p.m. Boys – Beaver Island vs. Mackinac Island
- 3:30p.m. Boys – Washington Island vs. Put-in-Bay
- 6:30 p.m. Boys – Put-in-Bay vs. Beaver Island
Games on Saturday, Dec. 4:
- 8:30 a.m. Boys – Washington Island vs. Beaver Island
- 9:45 a.m. Girls – Beaver Island vs. Mackinac Island
- 10:30 a.m. Boys – Put-in-Bay vs. Mackinac Island
- 12:00 pm Girls – Put-in-Bay vs. Mackinac Island
The games will be broadcast live on WPIB radio.
Put-in-Bay’s returning starters this year are: Girls – Kate Byrnes, senior point guard, McKenna Stacy, junior forward, and Lilian Frederick, junior center. Boys – Doug Steidl, junior guard; and Joe Blumensaadt, sophomore forward.
In the fall of 2017, nearly 75 business owners, government officials, chamber of commerce leaders, and education leaders from a dozen islands in the Great Lakes and the coast of Maine converged on Mackinac Island to share ideas, concerns, plans, and stories.
This event was called “The Great Lakes Islands Summit.”
It was at this first annual summit of island leaders that Put-in-Bay School Superintendent Steve Poe came up with the idea of having a high school basketball tournament for island schools. The following winter, Beaver Island hosted the first annual Great Lakes Islands Basketball Tournament. In 2019, Mackinac Island hosted the tournament. Put-in-Bay was scheduled to be the host last year, but had to postpone it due to Covid-19 concerns.
Put-in-Bay High School and Mackinac Island High School had scheduled basketball games with each other a couple times prior to the Great Lakes Islands Tournament. When Beaver Island, Mich. and Washington Island, Wisc. accepted the invitation to join in and make it a round-robin tournament format, with four island schools competing, bragging rights among the island school districts intensified.
So far, Beaver Island has dominated the boys tournament, while Put-in-Bay has won the first two tournaments for the girls.
Each year the host school and islanders roll out the red carpet. Activities and tours are planned for the players, coaches, and parents. A few downtown bars, restaurants, and retail shops re-open. Mackinac Island put on a beautiful tree lighting ceremony, with song and refreshments the year they hosted.