Beckman comes through for Westwood boys

Senior’s free throws help lift Patriots over Ishpeming

Ishpeming's Darius Yohe keeps the rebound away from Westwood's Blake Hewitt in the fourth quarter. Also defending on the play is Ishpeming's Jacob Kugler. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

By Journal Sports Staff

ISHPEMING — Nathan Beckman made 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to lead Westwood to a 47-44 comeback boys basketball win over visiting Ishpeming on Friday night.

The Patriots (3-1) established a solid 24-15 halftime lead before the Hematites roared back in the third quarter, outscoring WHS 18-6 to grab a 33-30 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Darius Yohe scored eight of his 15 points in Ishpeming’s third.

But Beckman answered with 14 of his game-high 27 in the fourth for Westwood, which took the lead for good with about a minute and a half to two minutes to go, according to WHS head coach Chad Hewitt.

“I’d equate this to a typical Westwood-Ishpeming game, a heavyweight title fight,” Hewitt said. “Each team had it own runs. It all came down to who would be standing at the final buzzer.”

With Westwood leading by three points, Ishpeming came up court and launched a potential game-tying 3-pointer with about 10 to 12 seconds left, Hewitt said.

It missed and a Patriot made the rebound and withstood Hematite pressure to run out the clock.

“You’ve got to give Ishpeming credit — they’re a great team that is well coached,” Hewitt said. “We were able to knock down some shots in the first half before Yohe really established himself coming out to start the second half.

“They defend well, and they ramped it up a couple notches in the third. I then challenged our guys to answer that intensity.”

The only other player to score in double figures was Ishpeming’s Jacob Kugler with 12. Zach Niemi was second in Westwood scoring with seven points, while teammate Blake Hewitt pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds to go with five points.

Up next for the the Patriots is a road game at Hancock on Monday, while the Hematites host Gwinn on Wednesday.

Westwood also won the JV game 60-20.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is