Westwood Patriots girls basketball team counting on their quickness for success this season

Westwood’s Megan Marta, right, and Negaunee’s Madi Smith scramble for a loose ball in the second quarter of their game played at the Patriots’ gym in Ishpeming on Feb. 19. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of season previews of Marquette and Alger County high school basketball teams as the girls’ season started Monday and the boys season commences next Monday.


ISHPEMING — Annie Skewis played at Westwood and has recently coached with the Patriots as their junior varsity girls coach.

Now at the helm of the varsity team replacing Kurt Corcoran, Skewis couldn’t be happier to head up her former program.

“I am really, really, really excited to give back to the school that I got to play at, and just to be able to teach girls kind of how we played Westwood basketball a long time ago,” Skewis said. “But basically I’m just excited and happy to be here.”

From left, Westwood's Mallory Leece collides with Negaunee's Alyssa Hill while chasing down a loose ball in the first quarter of their high school basketball game played at the Patriots' gym in Ishpeming on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. Around them on the play are Westwood's Ellie Miller and the Miners' Larissa Anderson and Morgan Carlson. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Westwood went 7-7 a year ago with a two-point loss to Negaunee in the MHSAA Division 3 district tournament. The Patriots have key returners from that team that Skewis is counting on for the squad to be successful.

“Obviously Natalie (Prophet) coming back as a four-year varsity player is really, really helpful,” Skewis said. “A very strong player, she has a voice, has a leader’s voice.

“So talking to everyone else, and Mal(lory Leece) coming back, leads the team very, very well. Megan (Marta) coming back as a sophomore who played up as a freshman last year, again leading the team as a point guard, is doing well.

“Even Jillian Koski coming back to the program (after not playing last year) is very helpful.”

Skewis compares freshman Alyssa Prophet to her older sister in her style of play.

With this core of players, the expectation is for the Patriots to play fast and use their quickness.

“They’re coming together really, really good,” Skewis said. “I think we’re going to be a team that likes to get up and down the floor really quick, press, we’re a quick team.

“We don’t have a true post player, we don’t have anybody taller than 5-9, I don’t think, but kind of a quick, fast team like I said before, how Westwood basketball was before, kind of running and gunning.”

The Patriots open up their season a bit later than everyone else on Friday at home against Kingsford. Westwood has a quick turnaround to take on Menominee at home Monday.

Facing two Great Northern Conference opponents to begin the season, the Patriots will be battle tested early.

“I think I’m really excited, it’s going to let us know how good we’re going to do against teams that come from obviously a bigger pool of players,” Skewis said. “They work really hard and are usually quicker as well. Then we have Ishpeming in our third game, and that will be our first (Mid-Peninsula Conference) game, and that’ll be a good game, too.”

Friday’s game against Kingsford, originally listed at an earlier time, has been confirmed to be scheduled for a 7:15 p.m. start.

Travis Nelson can be reached by email at tnelson@miningjournal.net.


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