Westwood Patriots girls remain unbeaten, while Negaunee Miners tagged with first loss
ISHPEMING — The Westwood girls basketball team started this season with a lot of hype and it continued to live up to those high expectations Tuesday night.
The Upper Peninsula’s No. 1 team in Divisions 1-3, the Patriots held Gladstone’s Megan Crow to no points in the first half and led by double digits at halftime en route to a 61-40 victory over the Braves. Tessa Leece led Westwood (9-0) with 23 points, while Madi Koski had 15. Crow finished with 15 points for Gladstone.
Westwood head coach Kurt Corcoran was proud of his team’s performance and said that the Patriots looked good both ends of the court.
“We got a nice lead early in the first quarter,” he said. “We shot the ball remarkably well too (52.5 percent) and that’s props to our girls putting in a lot of time in the gym. That’s not just luck. That helps, but the girls shot the ball well.
“They (the Braves) came back in third quarter and we let them creep back into it, but then Madi and Tessa tag-teamed and got us some quick buckets to get our lead to 19.”
Up 21-11 after the first quarter, Westwood built its advantage up to 15 at the half at 36-21. After Leece and Koski started to take control in the second half, the Patriots cruised the rest of the way.
When asked how he’s feeling about his team at this point in the year, Corcoran said he’s happy, but he wants the Patriots to keep getting better.
“Of course, we’re happy to be 9-0,” he said. “I’m happy and the girls are happy. Everybody loves it when the polls and the rankings come out, but we’ve got to make sure we don’t get too caught up on that stuff.”
Westwood will try to extend its unbeaten streak Friday when the Patriots host Houghton.
West Iron County 53, Negaunee 42
At Iron River, the U.P.’s Divisions 1-3 No. 5 Wykons held the No. 2 Miners to just three points in the second quarter and pulled away in the third to emerge with the victory.
Alexis Hill led Negaunee with 15 points, while Abby Nelson had 11. Colbi Laturi was WIC’s offensive leader with 14 points, including four 3-pointers, while Eden Golliher had 12.
The Miners held a slim 12-11 lead after the first quarter, but the Wykons starting clicking in the second and built up a 21-15 lead. In the third, WIC padded its advantage to 40-26 and held on the rest of the way.
Negaunee won the JV game 52-34. The Miners play at Gwinn next Tuesday.
Bark River-Harris 55, Munising 47
At Munising, the Broncos opened up the game with a 13-0 run and didn’t look back as they took down the Mustangs.
Daryn Johnson led Munising with 16 points, while Michaela Werner and Taylor Downs both had 14. Sierra Debelak scored 24 points for BR-H and Cassidi Stannard put in 16.
BR-H held a 21-7 advantage after the first quarter, but the Mustangs pulled within seven at the half at 27-20. Munising kept pace with the Broncos in the second half, but its attempt at a comeback came up short.
The Broncos also won the JV game 55-18. Munising travels to Carney-Nadeau Friday.
Manistique 46, Engadine 27
At Manistique, the Emeralds controlled the fourth quarter and got a rare chance to celebrate after completing a season sweep of Engadine.
“By far this was the best team game (this season),” Manistique coach Dave Winkel said. “We played really well together all night. The ball was moving. This is what we have been striving for.”
The Emeralds (2-6) used a 20-6 fourth-quarter outburst to secure the victory.
“It was nice to close out a close game,” Winkel said. “It was probably our best game in terms of a full 32 minutes. It felt like we were always in some control of the game.”
Manistique led 20-16 at halftime.
He thought the Eagles (0-7) seemed to tire out due to Manistique’s game-long, full-court pressure.
“The girls had a lot of fun. It was nice to see them in good spirits. All the hard work they have put in is paying off,” Winkel said.
Joslyn Muth and Emma Swanson had nine points apiece for the Emeralds, who hit 21 of 54 field goals and held a 41-28 rebound advantage.
Muth had 12 rebounds and six assists.
“She kind of led the charge. She had a good all-around floor game,” said Winkel. “She played extremely hard and kept everybody going.
“(Guard) Emma Swanson broke out of a shell tonight. She did a good job attacking the basket.”
The Emeralds, who won the JV game 52-40, host Gladstone (0-6) Friday.
Baraga 56, Republic-Michigamme 28
At Republic, the Hawks played one of their best games of the season before ultimately falling to the Vikings on their home floor.
R-M (0-6) was outscored 15-7 in the first quarter before finding itself down 23-10 at halftime.
The turning point of the game came in the third quarter, with the Vikings (7-1) notching 21 points to the Hawks’ 11 to pull out to a 44-21 lead after 24 minutes.
The fourth quarter ended up being the closest, with the Vikings outscoring the Hawks 12-11.
Sophomore Allison Durant led all scorers with 14 points for the Vikings while fellow sophomore Jaylyne Lindemann finished with 13.
Nikki Wertanen led the Hawks with nine points while April Radcliffe added six.
Baraga travels to Bessemer on Friday while R-M travels to Dollar Bay.
Baraga also won the JV game 28-8.
L’Anse 41, Hancock 32
At Hancock, the Purple Hornets improved to 5-3 on the season behind a 15-point night from sophomore Maija Rice and 13 points from senior Josie Rice.
L’Anse head coach Scott Lloyd credited his defense for allowing zero Bulldogs (3-5) points in the fourth.
“They had 18 points in the third and then we held them to zero in the fourth, so our defense must have fallen asleep and then woke back up,” he said.
L’Anse shot 6 of 10 from the free throw line while Hancock was 4 of 4. No other information was available.
Junior D’Anra Kero led the Bulldogs with 13 points.
L’Anse travels to Gwinn (6-1) on Thursday while Hancock hosts Jeffers on Friday.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Writers Ryan Stieg and Ryan Spitza with contributions from the Escanaba Daily Press. Email Stieg and Spitza at email@example.com.