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Sophomore Natalie Prophet leads Westwod Patriots girls basketball team in 56-48 comeback over Gladstone Braves

ISHPEMING — Sophomore Natalie Prophet spurred the Westwood girls basketball team back into their game against Gladstone in the second quarter on Monday night, and head coach Kurt Corcoran helped keep the pace going at halftime.

It all turned out for a 56-48 victory by the 5-1 Patriots on their home court.

“We were down 20-14 in the second (quarter) when Natalie Prophet scored five straight points to bring us back in it,” Corcoran said. “After a small halftime adjustment, we came out firing on all cylinders and built up a 18-point lead in the third.

“Some inabilities to hit free throws down the stretch (2 of 7) and Gladstone’s ‘never quit’ mentality allowed them to make a late run.”

The Braves (3-4) came out with great energy on both sides of the ball, according to their coach, particularly on defense to build a 14-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“We got off to a great start,” Gladstone’s Andy Cretens said. “Our defense was great considering we were playing one of the highest scoring teams in the (Upper Peninsula).

“Offensively, especially in the first quarter, we did a great job. We knocked down some big shots. It was definitely our best game of the season. Our offense finally started to click for us.”

Then the struggles occurred because of Westwood’s adjustments.

“In the second quarter, we had a couple mental lapses that gave them an extra edge,” Cretens said. “In the third quarter, it was offensive rebounds. We gave up multiple, and they seemed to capitalize on every one. A few turnovers here and there were where they got some easy layups. Offensive rebounds and transition shots really hurt us.”

Megan Crow led the Braves with 18 points.

The Patriots were led by Tessa Leece with 18 points, including two triples, and a team-high nine rebounds. She was followed by Prophet and Madelyn Koski with 10 points and two treys apiece. Koski also had five steals and three assists, both team highs.

Westwood made 43 percent of its shots (21 of 49), including 57 percent from 3-point land (8 of 14), though they only made 55 percent on free throws (6 of 11).

Westwood also won the JV game.

These two teams meet again next Tuesday in Gladstone.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee with contributions from the Escanaba Daily Press. Email Brownlee at sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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