Gage Kreski kept moving up the Upper Peninsula career scoring list until there was no one left to catch.
Kreski, a 6-foot-3 senior point guard at St. Ignace LaSalle, broke a U.P. career scoring record that stood for over five decades on Feb. 27 as he scored 46 points vs. Pellston.
He surpassed the previous career mark of 2,140 points scored by Negaunee St. Paul’s Dom Jacobetti, a record that had been established over 50 years ago. Kreski completed his prep career with 2,178 points.
Additionally, Kreski shattered a statewide record for career steals in late January and finished the regular season with 466 takeaways over his four years. The previous record was 363, set by Matt Taylor of Pinckney in 2000.
The overall body of work Kreski compiled in his final year with the Saints has garnered him The Associated Press Class C Player of the Year recognition. This is also his third time being selected as an All-State player.
“Breaking the U.P. scoring record was definitely a proud moment for me,” Kreski said. “I know that I worked really hard for it and it’s cool that it all paid off.”
Kreski led St. Ignace to a 17-4 record this season, averaging 29.5 points per game. He also racked up 12.5 rebounds, 6.7 steals and 5.6 assists.
Also a three-time All-State Division 7-8 football player, the left-handed Kreski used his strength on the basketball court to his benefit as he consistently scored on drives to the basket while also getting to the free throw line.
“I’m a big, strong guard,” Kreski said. “All the stuff my coaches have taught me has helped me throughout the years. I was able to shoot a lot of free throws and I posted up a lot being a bigger guard.”
St. Ignace LaSalle head coach Doug Ingalls said Kreski is in a class of his own as someone who uses every minute of practice time in positive fashion.
“He has a tremendous work ethic,” Ingalls said. “He practices as hard as anybody I’ve ever had. He had a will to win and the main thing about him is that he’s a great all-around basketball player. He defends as well as anybody. He shares. He rebounds. There aren’t many high school players who do all aspects as well as him. Shooting is actually his weakness, which is a strange thing to say for someone who scored as much as he did. But he made up for it by being so good everywhere else.”
Kreski will attend Central Michigan University and join the football program as a preferred walk-on.
“I love the atmosphere, the coaches and the school,” Kreski said. “I’m really excited to be a Chippewa.”
Joining Kreski on the Class C All-State First Team are Millington’s Shawn Pardee, Southfield Christian’s Marlo Brown, Detroit Allen Academy’s Mark Watts, Shelby’s Jeffrey Beckman, Detroit Cornerstone’s Jamal Cain, East Jordan’s Jordan Weber, Flint Beecher’s Malik Ellison, Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian’s Tyler Baker, Grand Rapids Covenant Christian’s Derrick DeVries and White Pigeon’s David Miller.
The Class C Coach of the Year is Keith Haske of Traverse City St. Francis.
Associated Press Class C basketball All-State list
The 2016 Associated Press Class C basketball All-State team as selected by a panel of 10 Michigan sportswriters and broadcasters.
Player of the Year
Gage Kreski, St. Ignace LaSalle, Sr.
Malik Ellison, Flint Beecher, Jr.
Marlo Brown, Southfield Christian, Sr.
Jamal Cain, Detroit Cornerstone, Jr.
Shawn Pardee, Millington, Sr.
Jordan Weber, East Jordan, Sr.
Tyler Baker, Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, Sr.
Derrick DeVries, Grand Rapids Covenant Christian, Sr.
David Miller, White Pigeon, Sr.
Mark Watts, Detroit Allen Academy, Fr.
Jeffrey Beckman, Shelby, Sr.
Keith Haske, Traverse City St. Francis.
(Nominees receiving two or more votes from the 10-member panel)
Jay McMiller, Hanover-Horton, Sr.
Jason Williams, Detroit Allen Academy, Sr.
Dane Preston, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central
Aquavius Burks, Flint Beecher, Sr.
Caleb Hodgson, Dansville, Fr.
Craig Covington, Detroit Allen Academy.
(Nominees receiving one or no votes from the 10-member panel)
Levi Lehman, Ithaca; Kaleb Barrett, Carson City-Crystal; Hogan Hayes, Beaverton; Tyler Humpert, Vassar; Andrew Schroeder, Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary; Drew Fletcher; Saginaw Valley Lutheran; Tommy Morneau, Bad Axe; Aaron Saenz, Unionville-Sebewaing; Andrew Storm, Marlette; Danny Pippen, Detroit Allen Academy; David DeJulius, Detroit Edison; Will Weems, Detroit Edison; Kieshon Watson, Muskegon Heights Academy; Riley Fairfield, North Muskegon; Carson Wonders, Iron Mountain; Dre Touminen, Negaunee; Jay Lori, Negaunee; Tyler Shank, Constantine; Jalen Boes, Union City; Nate Karney, Quincy; Quinn Elfrid, Quincy; Brock Ridgeway, Homer; Nick Knowlton, Bridgman; Stephan Umfress, Monroe St. Mary’s Catholic Central; Paul Zysk, Addison; Greg Liedel, Erie-Mason; Preston Laketa, Hanover-Horton; Kylen Brown, Michigan Center; Kamron McDonald, Concord; Andrew Dufek, Inland Lakes; Austin Putman, Charlevoix; Shae Somers, Elk Rapids; Charlie Harris, Flint Hamady; Malik Smith, Flint Hamady; Raheem Riley, Burton Bendle; Dedric Hendricks, Burton Atherton; Tony DeWitte, Grand Rapids Calvin Christian; Blake Dunn, Saugatuck; Craig Sterk, McBain; Dylan Sheehy-Guiseppi, Traverse City St. Francis; Dylan Sandy, White Pigeon; Edward Carter III, Detroit Edison; DeQuan Powell, Detroit Loyola; Logan Huff, Johannesburg-Lewiston
Mike Williams, Flint Beecher; Luke Pohl, Pewamo-Westphalia; Chad Mortimer, Hanover-Horton.
Voting panel: Brian Calloway, Lansing State Journal; David Goricki, The Detroit News; Jason Schmitt, The Oakland Press (Pontiac); Matt Wenzel, MLive-Jackson; Eric Woodyard, MLive-Flint; Corky Emrick, Sturgis Journal; James Cook, Traverse City Record-Eagle; Steve Kaminski, MLive-Grand Rapids; Mark Opfermann, MLive-Muskegon; Nate Schneider, The Morning Sun (Mount Pleasant).