Braves take another close one vs. Negaunee

NEGAUNEE – Despite being the No. 4 Class A-B-C team in the Upper Peninsula, the Negaunee High School girls basketball team hasn’t been able to solve the riddle known as Gladstone this season.

On Wednesday, the Miners lost their second tight game to the Braves this season, 46-45, at Lakeview Memorial Gym.

In the season opener on Dec. 1, Gladstone prevailed 44-42 in Delta County.

Following two missed free throws by the Braves’ Ashley Edwardsen, Negaunee (13-4) controlled the ball with 9 seconds left and trailing by one point.

“I called timeout but we were only able to get up a desperation shot with 1 second left,” Miners coach Brandon Sager said.

Despite leading for most of the game, Negaunee fell behind by three points with about a minute to go.

Then midseason JV callup and freshman Chloe Rajala drew a foul and sank two free throws with 30 or 40 seconds remaining, pulling the Miners back within one.

Those were Rajala’s only points of the game.

Junior teammate Hailey Fezatt led all scorers with 17 points and fellow junior Aleda Johnson added 15.

Senior Courtney Finnila led Negaunee rebounders with six.

For Gladstone (9-7), Tasi Martinez scored 12 points.

The Miners led 8-5 after one quarter and 16-15 at halftime before extending it to a 36-28 advantage heading into the fourth.

Gladstone won the JV game, 42-33.

Westwood 47, Manistique 26

At Manistique, a change in their defensive scheme seemed to be all Westwood needed to start rolling after a quarter-and-a-half’s slow start.

The game was the opening half of a boys-girls varsity doubleheader at Manistique, which fell to 2-16 overall and 1-10 in the Mid-Peninsula Conference.

Westwood improved to 3-13 and 2-6.

“That’s two wins in a row,” Westwood coach Kurt Corcoran said after a victory at West Iron County a night earlier.

“In the second quarter, Manistique was up 18-7 when we switched to a zone defense early in the second quarter.

“We stayed with it the rest of the game and it really took them out of their offense. That and we rebounded well.”

The Patriots scored the final 14 points of the first half to take a 21-18 lead at intermission.

It was more of the same in the second half, when the Emeralds managed just eight more points.

Westwood sophomore Marissa Carello and junior Lauren Farley led all scorers with 12 points apiece as Carello also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Senior Allie Nagy paced Manistique with 10 points.

The Patriots return to action Friday at Negaunee, while the Emeralds, who won the JV game 44-35, are off until Tuesday when they play at Ishpeming.

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