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Westwood, Negaunee hang in for girls basketball victories

ISHPEMING — The Westwood High School girls basketball team held on for a down-to-the-wire win at home on Tuesday night, fighting off West Iron County’s comeback to take a 44-43 victory.

A game that was once 22-8 was decided on a missed layup from WIC’s Eden Golliher to seal the win.

Westwood head coach Kurt Corcoran said it was a good game to play for the Patriots’ morale.

“Even though we almost gave it away, everyone’s spirits in the locker room were high,” Corcoran said. “All the players and coaches were screaming and yelling in a positive way. It’s something to build on.”

Westwood had a four-point lead with less than a minute remaining and held possession after a defensive rebound, but a Patriot lost her dribble for a turnover.

The Patriots’ Elizabeth Farley led all with just 12 points, while teammate Marissa Carello and Tessa Leece added 11 points each.

The Wykons also got 11 points out of Golliher and Riley Stine.

Corcoran said he expects to see West Iron County again in the MHSAA Class C tournament before the season ends.

“It’s a team we could face again in the districts, so we’re glad to have seen what they’re made of,” Corcoran said. “Our teams are built very similar with youth and skill, and it will be another great matchup if we get there.”

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Negaunee 57, Gwinn 37

At Negaunee, head coach Brandon Sager said his Miners are finally starting to learn their identity without senior Aleda Johnson.

After the team lost its scoring leader two weeks ago due to a season-ending injury, Sager said players stepped up their game Tuesday.

Aleda’s sister, Clara Johnson, led Negaunee in scoring with 14 points, but also got 12 points from Abby Nelson and six from Chloe Norman.

“The girls played very well,” Sager said. “We’re settling in and not wondering who’s going to step up, and we’re starting to get into a flow and play together.”

Negaunee held a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and a commanding 37-13 lead at halftime, finishing the night shooting 38.3 percent from the floor.

“Our discipline was good and we found mismatch opportunities,” Sager said. “Our defense was solid, and that’s becoming our identity.”

Kia Evans led Gwinn in scoring with nine points.

Negaunee travels to Westwood on Friday night.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ray Bressette. His email address is rbressette@miningjournal.net.