Miners clamp down on defense to clinch M-PC

NEGAUNEE – Defense propelled the Negaunee girls to an early lead as the Miners clinched the outright title in the Mid-Peninsula Conference with a 49-21 victory over Westwood on Friday night.

The Miners sprung out to a 10-1 lead after one quarter and 23-5 at halftime.

“Our defense, they were pretty focused all night,” NHS coach Brandon Sager said. “We were a little overexcited to start, and they might have hurt our offense a little.”

But by the second half, Sager was able to empty his bench.

“For awhile there, we had two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior on the court,” the coach said.

In the end, though, Negaunee junior point guard Aleda Johnson was the only player to score in double figures with 24 points as she added seven rebounds and four steals.

Sophomore center Lynsee Dempsey also grabbed seven rebounds for the Miners, who improved to 14-4 overall and 11-0 in the M-PC, while junior Hailey Fezatt made five steals.

Sophomore guard Elizabeth Farley paced the Patriots (4-14, 2-7) with nine points.

Negaunee, which won the JV game 39-29, plays at Marquette on Tuesday, while Westwood has a makeup game at Norway on Monday.

Munising 59,

Superior Central 33

At Eben, the Cougars accomplished their goal of slowing down Munising leading scorer Frankie Mattson, but it left a number of other players free to score.

Mattson, a junior, finished with just six points, but sophomore Kianne Wendt put in 15 and sophomore Kelsea Ackerman scored 12. Junior Bailey Downs contributed a team-high nine rebounds along with eight points.

“We did a pretty good job inside (on defense), especially early,” SC coach Greg Trowbridge said. “But they have a lot of shooters.”

The Mustangs (15-3, 11-1 Skyline Central East Division) made five 3-pointers as they trailed 10-9 after one quarter before taking control and going ahead 26-16 at halftime.

Sophomore Emma Rondeau paced the Cougars (6-12, 5-9) with seven points and seven rebounds.

Munising won the JV game, which was played Thursday, 56-18.

Both teams return to the court on Monday. Munising plays at Big Bay de Noc while SC hosts Carney-Nadeau.

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