Prep girls basketball roundup: WHS girls win MPC title
By Journal Sports Staff
GWINN — Westwood wrapped up the Mid-Peninsula Conference girls basketball title with a 49-26 victory at Gwinn on Thursday night.
The Patriots improved to 18-1 overall and completed their M-PC season at 11-1. Closest pursuer Negaunee is 7-2 in the league with three M-PC games remaining in the next week, including a home game vs. the Modeltowners tonight.
Gwinn slipped to 11-7 and 6-4 with a pair of league games remaining.
Westwood jumped out early on Thursday, taking leads of 16-9 after one quarter and 24-15 at halftime.
“When you play in a conference as competitive as this one, any hardware you can put in the trophy case means something,” Patriots head coach Kurt Corcoran said. “Hardware doesn’t come easily with teams like Negaunee and Ishpeming in the conference.
“That was definitely a goal of ours. It took us 19 games to clinch it and now our eyes look to districts. As tough as it is to win a conference, it’s even tougher to win a district.”
The Patriots have a nonconference game on Thursday at Kingsford before opening an MHSAA Division 3 district hosted by Gwinn with a home game against Negaunee on Monday, March 4.
The nontraditional format of the district means all games will be played at one of the teams involved in each game. Westwood will have to beat the M-PC runners-up just to have a shot to host Skyline Central Conference power Bark River-Harris in the semifinals on Wednesday, March 6, with the possibility of Gwinn, Ishpeming or Manistique hosting and playing in the district championship game on Friday, March 8.
“You love to walk into a locker room when the girls are cheering, screaming and happy,” Corcoran said in the aftermath of clinching the M-PC title. “You can enjoy the fruits of your labor a little bit.”
On Thursday, Patriots junior Tessa Leece led all scorers, nearly matching the Gwinn total with 23 points, hitting on 4 of 5 attempts from 3-point range to go with a 3-for-3 night at the free-throw line. She also pulled in four rebounds.
Junior teammate Madi Koski added 15 points, making all nine of her free-throw attempts, and had three steals and three assists.
Natalie Prophet added six rebounds and two assists to a four-point night.
Brooke Mannor paced the Modeltowners with eight points.
Marquette overcame a slow start with a big second half to defeat Menominee 54-44 in a Great Northern Conference girls basketball game played Thursday night.
The Redettes kept their GNC record perfect at 7-0 while improving to 16-3 overall as the No. 3 team in Divisions 1-3 in the Upper Peninsula. The Maroons slipped to 2-6 and 11-8.
The Maroons jumped out to a 15-8 lead after one quarter, an advantage that was even bigger than that at times.
“We got off to a rough start and were down as many as nine (points),” MSHS coach Ben Smith said. “We came out and played with a little more purpose in the second half. We finished plays in the paint and made some 3s to get us going.
“They battled us well. Menominee played with purpose and we were on our heels. But we toughed it out and made enough plays to get the game going our way and made some free throws down the stretch to get the win.”
Marquette cut its deficit to 24-21 by halftime, then took a narrow 36-35 lead at the end of the third quarter before outscoring the visitors 18-9 in the final period.
Avery Ledy led the Redettes with 22 points, including four 3-pointers, while pulling down 18 rebounds and even finding time to chalk up a blocked shot.
Teammate Sydney Kivi wasn’t far behind Ledy with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Aspen Michelin contributed nine points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Three sophomores led Menominee in scoring — Emma Anderson had 16 points, Erin Barrette 11 and Jenna Nolde nine.
Marquette also won the JV game 55-40.
The Redettes close out their regular and GNC seasons with a home game against Escanaba on Tuesday.
Rapid River 38
At Rapid River, senior Michaela Werner led a Mustangs’ parade at the free-throw line that proved to be the difference as Munising improved to 12-4.
Werner, who scored a game-high 21 points, was 11 of 16 at the line as the Mustangs were 18 of 31.
Rapid River was just 4 of 11 at the line.
Munising broke open a close game in the third quarter, turning a narrow 22-18 halftime advantage into a 42-28 bulge entering the fourth quarter.
In the third, Werner was 5 of 6 on free throws while hitting a couple of buckets.
Senior teammate Daryn Johnson added 17 points, including her team’s only 3-pointer of the night.
The Rockets were paced by Kristin Goodacre with nine.
RR won the JV game 56-15.
L’Anse 66, Jeffers 40
At L’Anse, the Purple Hornets raced out to a 21-4 lead after one quarter.
“I started my four seniors as it was Senior Night,” L’Anse head coach Scott Lloyd said. “They got us up about 11-2 before I went back to our regular rotation.
“We stayed in a zone defense and got some pickoffs and easier transition buckets.
“The girls took care of the ball tonight. I’ve always said if we can do that and not turn it over, we can play with a lot of teams.”
The Hornets’ balanced scoring effort, with six players scoring at least eight points, was led by junior Addison Mattson and sophomore Maija Rice with 12 points apiece as Mattson sank two 3-pointers.
Senior teammate Josie Rice added 11, senior Brianna Keinz had nine and junior Kailyn Voskuhl and senior Haley Nankervis added eight each.
Keinz led L’Anse rebounders with nine while Voskuhl had eight.
Gracia Asiala paced the Jets with 13 points, including a three triples.
The Hornets also won the JV game, though the score was unavailable.
L’Anse (9-9) closes out the regular season with a game at Chassell on Tuesday and home against Lake Linden-Hubbell on Thursday.
At Baraga, the Vikings improved to 15-2 with an early well balanced scoring effort.
Six players scored baskets in the first quarter and five in second as Baraga raced to leads of 17-4 and 38-7 at the end of the first two periods.
The Hawks (3-13) were led by junior Tailyn Raisanen with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while Rachel Erickson added five points.
The Vikings got 23 points from sophomore Rylie Koskinen, 15 from senior Martina Jahfetson, 12 from sophomore Allison Durant and 11 from sophomore Jaylyne Lindenmann.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.