Momentum swings: Westwood boys basketball team gets last big run to take 66-44 win at Gwinn

Westwood’s Blake Hewitt, right, brings the ball around Gwinn defender Tucker Taylor Thursday evening at the Modeltowners gym. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

GWINN — Blake Hewitt hit four straight 3-pointers at the start of the game to set the tempo for the Westwood boys basketball team as the Patriots defeated Gwinn 66-44 in a game of momentum swings at the Modeltowners gym on Thursday night.

Hewitt finished with 22 points to help Westwood improve to 2-2 on the season while Gwinn dropped to 1-5.

Westwood head coach Chad Hewitt talked about the back-and-forth contest and his team being able to make shots when it needed them the most.

“We came out, we were hot, we knocked down shots which makes our job a little bit easier in the post,” he said. “We got a little bit lazy there, especially late in the second quarter, and let Gwinn back in the game.

“(Gwinn head coach) Jim (Finkbeiner) is a great coach and he’s never going to let his kids give up. Basketball is a game of runs, and one team goes on a run, one team goes on a run, back-and-forth and we were just able to continue to make shots.”

Blake Hewitt said he found his shooting groove.

“It went very well,” he said. “Coach (Hewitt) just drew up plays for me and I just came out and started shooting, and luckily they were going in for me.

“I didn’t really feel on fire, I just caught it in a groove and luckily the shots were falling.”

Finkbeiner said his team needs to improve its starts.

“Getting down early of course is never a good thing,” he said. “It takes a lot of energy when you have to fight out of holes continually. We have to look to get better and try to play from the lead instead of from behind.”

Finkbeiner added that despite the results of the early season, his team is improving.

“I give these kids credit. They come in here every day, they’re not hanging their heads, they come in and work hard and they continue to believe in what we’re doing,” he said. “I think they really understand that this is a work in progress. Today we kind of saw some other pieces fall into place, so at some point all five pieces on the floor are going to come together and we’re going to be really happy with what we have. It’s just going to take some time.”

With the Patriots jumping out to a 12-2 lead off of Hewitt’s 3s, they never looked back in the early going, holding Gwinn to just six more points and gaining a 24-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

But with Westwood comfortably ahead 32-13 in the second, momentum shifted into Gwinn’s favor, with the Modeltowners scoring 12 of the last 14 points before halftime, seven of those from junior guard Austin Forbes, that made it a nine-point game, 34-25, at the half.

Gwinn’s momentum continued into the third. After a 2-point bucket from Hewitt, the Modeltowners stormed back on a 3-pointer from junior forward Daniel Holmes, a 2-pointer from junior forward Tucker Taylor and another 3-pointer from Forbes. It sliced Westwood’s lead to just one, 36-35.

After a couple of free throws at each end made it 38-37 Westwood, the momentum reshifted.

Hewitt drained another 3-ball followed by senior teammate Camron Mason making a three of his own. Senior center David Delarye followed that up with consecutive 2-point baskets to build a Westwood lead of 48-37.

This time the Patriots never looked back the rest of the way, holding the Modeltowners to just five points in the fourth quarter as Westwood pulled away.

Delarye added 14 points for the Patriots while junior guard Nathan Beckman notched 12. Taylor led the way for Gwinn with 22 points while Forbes had 15.

On Thursday, Westwood hosts West Iron County while Gwinn goes to Superior Central.

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