Madi Koski, Tessa Leece combine for 50 points in Westwood girls basketball win over Iron Mountain
ISHPEMING — Iron Mountain senior standout Riley Poupore finished with 21 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Mountaineers to overcome Westwood junior guards Madi Koski and Tessa Leece.
The Westwood High School duo combined for 50 points as the Patriots topped Iron Mountain 63-54 at WHS on Tuesday night to improve to 14-1.
Westwood head coach Kurt Corcoran said it was a close battle throughout the evening after Leece got into some early foul trouble that forced his team to adjust on defense.
“They have a dynamic player in Poupore,” he said. “She always gives Iron Mountain a fighting chance.
“Tessa had foul trouble so we had to sit her in the first half. She’s our best defender. We had to switch (sophomore guard) Emily Nelson over to Poupore. Every time we started pulling away, Poupore kept making big plays.”
Westwood took a 15-10 lead after one quarter and 29-24 lead into halftime.
The fourth quarter was the biggest of the night for the Patriots, with Koski and Leece coming in clutch down the stretch.
“Madi and Tessa had a combined 13 of our 17 fourth-quarter points and went 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to seal the deal,” Corcoran said.
“When they go off for 50, they make me look like a good coach, but I just call the plays while they’re the ones making the shots. When you have two players like that who can go off for 50, it’s calming as a coach.”
Koski led the way with 28 while Leece had 22. Junior forward Karlie Patron added six points and led Westwood with seven of its 30 rebounds.
The Patriots shot 21 of 45 from the field and 16 of 18 from the free throw line. Iron Mountain was 17 of 48 shooting and 14 of 26 at the line, grabbing 28 rebounds with Emma Thomann collecting eight.
Iron Mountain, which fell to 5-9, visits Negaunee (12-2) on Thursday while Westwood hosts Manistique (2-10) on Friday.
Westwood also won the JV game though no score was available.
Negaunee 46, Calumet 40
At Negaunee, the Miners (12-2) squeaked out a home win over Calumet (8-8) behind 19 points from senior forward Abby Nelson and 13 from senior guard MacKenzie Karki.
The Miners found themselves down 22-20 at halftime and still trailed 32-28 going into the final quarter.
The fourth period was the best of the night for the Miners as they outscored Calumet 18-8.
Ava Anderson led Calumet with 13 points while Ceila Kiilunen had nine.
Negaunee collected 15 rebounds and went 5 of 6 from the free throw line.
On Thursday, the Miners host Iron Mountain (5-9).
Gwinn 57, Hancock 41
At Hancock, Mallory and Marissa Delmont combined for 29 points to lead the Modeltowners.
“We led for the whole game and the middle quarters proved to be the turning point as we outscored them 40-21,” Gwinn head coach Ben Olsen said. “(The Bulldogs) were able to cut it to 12 in the middle of the fourth, but we were able to make our free throws and take care of the ball down the stretch to end.
“Overall, it was a good night and we had timely contributions from the entire team. We also shot the ball better, which has been an issue the last few weeks. We had 14 assists and when we have a high assist total I know our offense is running well.”
Gwinn shot 19 of 51 from the field and 12 of 18 from the line while Hancock was 16 of 47 shooting and 7 of 11 at the line.
Marissa Delmont had 16 points with eight rebounds and three steals, while Mallory Delmont finished with 13 points. Brooke Mannor and Emily Curtice finished with eight points each while Trisha McGuire had seven points, six rebounds and six steals.
As a team, Gwinn collected 25 rebounds while Hancock had 22. The Bulldogs were led by Taylor Sebbas with 24 points.
Hancock (7-6) visits L’Anse (7-7) on Thursday while Gwinn (9-4) hosts West Iron County (11-2) on Friday.
West Iron County 57, L’Anse 46
At L’Anse, Maija Rice led the Purple Hornets with 10 points but it wasn’t enough to upset the No. 1-ranked Divisions 1-3 girls team in the Upper Peninsula.
“I thought we took a lot of high-percentage shots,” L’Anse head coach Scott Lloyd said. “They’re the No. 1 team in the U.P. for a reason. They were a lot bigger than we were. We struggled with shots in the paint. They blocked everything there.
“I’m pleased with my girls, though. If we hang with West Iron it shows we can hang with anyone.”
Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Spitza. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.