ISHPEMING - Freshman point guard Luke Gray followed up a teammate's miss with a rebound and quick putback to just beat the buzzer and lift Westwood to a 39-37 victory over visiting Houghton in a high school boys basketball game played Friday night.
Though Gray finished with just four points, it was his final two that spelled the difference after Patriots coach Ryan Reichel called timeout with 14 seconds left to reset his team.
Junior Luke Woods put up a shot after the timeout that missed before the 5-foot-7 Gray scooped up the ball and put it back to break a tie.
It was an identical score and almost identical situation to what happened to the Westwood girls in Gwinn the night before. WHS won 39-37 when Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren grabbed an offensive rebound on a near half-court miss just before the buzzer to avert overtime in that game.
"For a freshman point guard, that could be one of those career-defining moments," Reichel said about Gray's heads-up play that gave the Patriots their fourth win in six games as they improved to 4-13.
While Westwood grabbed a narrow 11-10 lead after one quarter, the Gremlins (10-6) held leads of 24-21 and 32-31 after each of the next two periods.
"We battled the whole game and hit some free throws down the stretch," Reichel said about his team making 6 of 8 from the line, including 3 of 4 by junior Justin Luke in the fourth quarter.
Senior Travis Swanson led Westwood with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Woods had five points and seven rebounds.
For Houghton, Trent Keteri scored 12 points and Cody Goodreau 10.
The Patriots also won the JV game, 55-39.
Negaunee 50, Norway 21
At Norway, Negaunee rolled to a 10-0 start in a Mid-Peninsula Conference game.
The league champions moved out to a 20-5 lead in the first quarter.
"Negaunee is good from top to bottom," Norway coach Ben Leiker said.
Eric Lori laced 12 of his game-high 16 points in the third quarter when the Miners (18-1, 11-0 M-PC) owned a 40-15 cushion.
Tanner Uren added 12 for Negaunee. Illness kept 6-foot-7 Miner standout Brock Weaver out of the lineup.
Austin Grayvold led Norway (4-13 overall, 2-9) with seven points.
Negaunee won the JV?game, 52-29.
At Munising, the Mustangs overcame a sluggish start for the second night in a row, something not totally unexpected by MHS coach Dan Waterman.
"We haven't practiced since Sunday between the blizzard and the three games we've had this week," he said as Munising won a night earlier in Ishpeming in overtime.
Senior point guard Gage Webster scored 26 points and sophmore forward Ben Stasewich added 18 points and 16 rebounds to the winning effort.
The Mustangs (15-4) led 23-18 at halftime before Manistique (5-13) opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run to take the lead.
"At that point, that's when Gage and Ben took over," Waterman said.
Munising went back ahead 37-36 by the end of the third and piled up its lead after that.
Senior Conner Selling paced the Emeralds with 14 points and six rebounds, while junior Tyler Kangas added 11 points.
The Mustangs won the JV game, 60-50 in overtime.
Mid Peninsula 74,
At Rock, the Branstrom cousins dominated as the trio scored all but 13 of the Wolverines' points. Brett Branstrom had 33 points, Chad 19 and Trey nine.
The Hawks (4-13, 0-11 Skyline Conference) stayed within range for a quarter before MP got rolling. Mid Pen (12-5, 8-3) led 22-16 at the end of the first period before extending it to 45-21 at halftime.
"We stuck with them in the first quarter when we were shooting really well, but then we weren't making our baskets and not getting back on defense in the second," R-M coach Bill Radcliffe said.
Junior guard David Simula led the Hawks with 15 points, while sophomore forward Philip Koski added 13 points and eight rebounds and junior center Jonatan Lygdman had seven points and 11 rebounds.
Sault Ste. Marie 75,
At Newberry, the Indians led 30-27 at halftime before the roof caved in during the third quarter when they were outscored 31-2 to fall behind 58-32.
Sault Ste. Marie (11-7, 8-2 Straits Area Conference) got 22 points from Ray'Shon Anderson, 18 from Kyle Root and 16 from Terrance Fuller.
For Newberry (3-15, 2-8), senior forward Kyle Welty scored 20 points.