All-around strong: Westwood Patriots girls basketball team snaps losing skid, extend Gwinn’s, with 45-34 victory
Megan Marta led the Patriots (3-7) with 16 points, while the Modeltowners’ Lena Pleaugh led all scorers with 17.
Marta had the most help in the scoring column, getting 13 from Lexi Olson and 12 from Isabelle Marta. Next highest scorer for Gwinn was Miaha Scheifel with eight.
Although the Modeltowners won the opening tipoff, Westwood came out strong and took an early lead. They staved off Gwinn, keeping them trapped with just three points for the majority of the first quarter.
“We talked about coming out and coming out with our foot down, the pedal down, running the floor and working hard,” Westwood coach Annie Skewis said. “That’s how we’re going to win games, with our quickness and our scrappiness.”
With less than five seconds left in the first quarter, Pleaugh put up a well-aimed shot from behind the 3-point line and doubled her team’s score as the buzzer ended the period, though WHS still had a healthy 14-6 lead.
“We’re really trying to apply the things we want to apply,” Skewis said. “One thing that some teams have over us at the moment is that they (have played) 10 games and we hadn’t hit 10.”
And this night could prove to be a momentum provider for the Patriots, who has lost six straight after a 2-1 start.
Gwinn came back with a flurry in the second quarter, then got stuck again on the scoreboard as Westwood opened up a 24-13 halftime advantage.
“It took us a quarter and a half to bring the heat,” Modeltowners coach Justin Maki said as his team slipped to 4-7 after losing its sixth in a row. “I think that was the biggest influence, us coming out slow, kinda flat, and missing free throws.
“We’ve got to play four quarters of complete basketball and we can’t play slow like we did. I am proud of the effort for eventually getting to that point, but we gotta start out that way, we can’t get into it mid-game.”
The Modeltowners made their best run at Westwood in the third quarter, outscoring their hosts 10-6 to pull within 30-23 entering the final period.
Quarter No. 4 was tense. By the time Gwinn hit the 30-point mark, the Patriots were already on their way to 40 as players on both sides seemed to become quicker and more scrappy.
“They’re not happy about this loss, but there’s a great learning (curve) on how we need to approach practice, how we need to approach every game,” Maki said.
Both teams are back on the hardwood at 7:15 p.m. EST Friday. The Modeltowners host West Iron County, while Westwood is at Iron Mountain.
Alexandria Bournonville can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.