Westwood Patriots, Munising Mustangs break things open for wins
ISHPEMING — Sophomore guard Tessa Leece nearly attained a triple-double in Westwood’s 53-28 victory over visiting Gladstone in a high school girls basketball game played Tuesday night.
Leece scored a game-high 17 points while grabbing team highs of 10 rebounds and eight steals.
“Tessa is the type of girl you don’t want to play against,” WHS coach Kurt Corcoran said. “Tessa manages to get a hand on every shot and every pass she can reach.”
The game was close throughout the first half before the Patriots broke things open in the third quarter.
The Braves led 11-8 after one quarter before Westwood pulled ahead 18-13 at halftime. A 20-8 burst in the third put the Pats up 38-21 entering the final period.
“The first quarter, (Gladstone) came out strong and had us a little bit on our heels,” Corcoran said. “Then our defense held them to two points in the second quarter. The girls themselves have set a pretty lofty goal of holding every opponent in the 30s(-point range).”
He added that a 3-pointer made by Leece with about 13 seconds left in the first half turned a tight two-point game into a bit cushier five-point margin at the break.
“That shot made us a little more comfortable, and we started in the third quarter and came out firing on all cylinders,” the Westwood coach said.
Fellow sophomore guard Madi Koski added 12 points, while senior Liz Farley and freshman Ellie Miller added eight points apiece.
“Madi is our ‘bus driver,'” Corcoran said. “She controls where we’re going.”
Taylor Hunter paced Gladstone with 12 points.
The Patriots held the visitors at bay in the fourth quarter by making 9 of 11 free throws.
Gladstone won the JV game 40-28.
Westwood is off until next Wednesday when it hosts Houghton.
Munising 69, Newberry 15
At Munising, both teams were a bit shorthanded but it seemed to hurt Newberry more with its shorter roster.
Four Mustangs scored in double figures, led by Michaela Werner with 14 points. Teammate Kianne Wendt added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds, Kelsea Ackerman had 11 points and Keira Stampfly 10.
“It was nice to see a senior like Keira get 10 points,” Munising coach Matt Mattson said.
Alexisg Groenhout paced the Indians with five points and 10 rebounds.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 19-5 lead after one quarter, extending it to 36-6 by halftime as they shot 53 percent (26 of 49) from the field.
Newberry, which won the JV game 60-25, travels to Manistique on Thursday night. Munising is off until Jan. 4, when it travels to Gwinn.
Forest Park 46, Superior Central 32
At Crystal Falls, the Cougars lost their shooting touch in the third quarter and it cost them.
Trailing just 20-17 at halftime, Forest Park outscored SC 15-1 in the third quarter to take a 35-18 lead into the fourth.
“We had a hard time putting the ball in the bucket in the third,” SC coach Greg Trowbridge said. “I thought we had some good looks, but they just weren’t falling.
“But I also think Forest Park had more energy left when we got to the second half.”
Cougars senior Emma Rondeau led all scorers with 14 points while she grabbed 13 rebounds. Sophomore teammate Willow Pasanen added seven points.
Hannah Cross led the Trojans with 11 points, while teammate Claudia Nocerini contributed 10.
Forest Park also won the JV game 62-30.
SC is off until Friday, Dec. 29, when it hits the road for Carney-Nadeau.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is email@example.com.