Westwood boys basketball team falls just short to Calumet, 45-44

CALUMET — Sometimes calls don’t go your way on the basketball court and that’s what happened to the Westwood boys basketball team Thursday night at Calumet.

In the closing seconds of a tie game, the Copper Kings’ Will Twardzik was fouled in the lane as time expired and he hit one of two free throws to give Calumet a 45-44 win over the Patriots.

“Will went in there and fought for that rebound and then he hit the free throw. What a night for Will,” said Calumet coach Mike Ojala. “You cannot be in any tougher position that that, and he was able to knock the big one down.”

Westwood jumped out to a 6-0 lead and led 12-10 after the first quarter and 30-21 at the half.

Nathan Beckman, Westwood’s leading scorer with 17 points that included five 3-pointers, scored nine first-quarter points. And teammate Blake Hewitt hit back-to-back triples during another Patriots’ run in the second quarter.

“We do not practice the 3 a lot, but tonight it worked,” Westwood coach Chad Hewitt said. “We have kids who like to shoot the ball and they had the open shots and followed through.”

But Calumet (13-3) rallied in the second half. The Copper Kings whittled their deficit to four points at 36-32 at the end of the third quarter and tied it late before Twardzik became Calumet’s hero at the end.

“At halftime, they were really down and I told them we have to keep fighting,” Ojala said.

“They matched us in the second half and took it to another level,” Chad Hewitt said. “We made one too many bad passes and did not block out under the basket and you cannot do that with a team like Calumet.”

Matt Ojala had 19 points for the Copper Kings.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg with contributions from the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette. Stieg’s email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.