A little of everything: Blistering shooting, withering defense lead Westwood girls to big win over Manistique

Westwood’s Tessa Leece, left, takes a shot as Manistque defenders, from left, Madison Berry, Sydnee Machail and Sydny Peterson watch during their high school girls basketball game played Thursday evening at Westwood High School. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

“We were hitting shots from all over the place.” — Kurt Co

rcoran, head coach,

Westwood girls basketball

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ISHPEMING — Westwood coach Kurt Corcoran is looking to bottle a little of his team’s offense from Thursday night.

The Patriots shot a blistering 63 percent from the field on 26-of-41 shooting to defeat Manistique 69-20 in a high school girls basketball game played Thursday night.

Ishpeming's Katie Loman, center, wrestles for the ball with Escanaba's Lexi Challier, left, and Mykenzie Monkevich during their high school girls basketball game played at the Hematites gym on Thursday. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

“We put a little pressure on them right out of the gate,” Corcoran said. “Plus we were hitting shots from all over the place.

“We’ve been really focusing on our half-court defense. The girls are communicating — they’re talking a lot and that’s really good to see.

“One of our team goals is to keep teams (scoring) in the 30s.”

With Westwood jumping out to leads of 25-5 after one quarter and 43-9 at halftime, he was able to substitute liberally.

“We got to use some other players in other positions, like getting our backup point guard some good minutes,” the WHS coach said.

He added, though, that Manistique hustled all through the game.

“The score doesn’t show how hard they played,” Corcoran said.

Westwood sophomore Tessa Leece led all scorers with 19 points, which included three 3-pointers, while senior Aidan Reath added 12 points.

Pats sophomore Madi Koski dished out nine assists to go with eight points, while freshman Ellie Miller paced a balanced rebounding effort with five.

The Emeralds were led in scoring by senior Madison Berry with six points.

Westwood also won the JV game 50-36.

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Ishpeming 60, Escanaba 47

At Ishpeming, senior Madigan Johns led a perfect night at the free-throw line for the Hematites, who went 14 for 14 on those charity tosses.

Johns made 8 of 8 free throws in scoring 24 points, which also included a pair of 3-pointers, five rebounds and five assists.

“In our close games that really helps us get wins,” Ishpeming coach Ryan Reichel said about his team’s good free-throw shooting.

While the Hematites raced out to a 23-7 lead after one quarter, they couldn’t shake Escanaba, which stayed within 33-19 at halftime and 43-35 at the end of three quarters. Reports said the Eskymos got as close as five points late in the third.

“We had plenty of chances to extend our lead, but Esky never gave up and ground baskets out,” Reichel said. “Their players showed a lot of heart down the stretch and that hustle created a lot of problems for us.

“They forced a lot of turnovers, which turned into fast breaks.”

Ishpeming’s Chloe Sjoholm scored 15 points and fellow senior Mariah Austin had 13. Each finished with a double-double as both grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Hematites also won the JV game 43-22.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.