Sharpshooters rule: Free throws, 3-pointers help lift Negaunee Miners boys basketball team to 49-46 win over Westwood

Westwood’s Taylor Dellangelo, left, and Negaunee’s Jakson Sager battle for a loose ball late in the first half of their game played at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Up next: Both teams are in the MHSAA Division 3 district tournament hosted by Manistique next week; Westwood plays at Manistique at 7 p.m. Monday; that winner plays at Negaunee at 7 p.m. Wednesday

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NEGAUNEE — Junior guard Jason Waterman scored 18 points and Negaunee made 8 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull out a 49-46 boys basketball victory over Westwood at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

The Miners finished the regular season at 13-7 overall and 9-3 in the Mid-Peninsula Conference, good for second place behind undefeated Iron Mountain and a game ahead of third-place Gladstone.

Westwood finished out at 11-9 and 6-6 in the M-PC.

The Patriots may get a third chance at Negaunee after the Miners won both regular-season games.

Westwood opens the MHSAA Division 3 district tournament on Monday at Manistique, and if the Pats win that game, they’ll play at Negaunee on Wednesday in this nontraditional-format district.

In their regular-season finale, Westwood held narrow leads after each of the first three quarters — 13-11, 27-26 and 38-37 — before the Miners limited the Patriots to just eight fourth-quarter points to overtake them in the end.

Waterman made 3 of 4 free throws in the final period and 6 of 7 for the game as the Miners overall were 13 of 15 at the line.

That was the difference as Westwood had the same number of attempts — 15 — while making three fewer.

Negaunee also made six 3-pointers, including two by Waterman in the opening quarter and three by junior Drew Lindberg that accounted for all nine of his points.

Junior teammate Jakson Sager also had a triple and finished with nine points.

Senior Blake Hewitt led the Patriots with 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Seven of his points came in the opening quarter.

Senior teammate Nathan Beckman added 12 points as he hit a trio of 3s, while junior Taylor Dellangelo added 11 points.

Westwood won the JV game 49-31.

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