Patriot Girls Move To 6-0

The Westwood girls basketball team is still perfect, beating Gladstone 50-32 on Tuesday.

Gladstone scored the first five points of the game and Westwood didn’t get on the board until the 4:01 mark in the opening quarter when Madelyn Koski split a pair of free throws. Westwood got within a single point but the Braves led 10-7 after one quarter.

The Patriot’s first lead came with 4:21 to play in the second quarter when Koski knocked down a three-pointer, forcing a Gladstone timeout. The Braves tied the game with a layup on their next possession but Westwood ended the half on a 10-2 run to lead 24-16 at the break.

The Pats went scoreless for over three minutes late in the third quarter but Koski drilled a three-pointer with two seconds left to put Westwood ahead 33-25 heading to the fourth frame.

The Patriots got their first double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter and the Braves wouldn’t get within ten points the rest of the way. Koski turned in a season-high 21 points while Karlie Patron added 13 to the lead the Patriots. Westwood is now 6-0 and hosts Hancock on December 28th.

Westwood Girls Remain Unbeaten, Boys Win At The Buzzer

The Westwood girls basketball team remained unbeaten, topping Manistique 44-30 on Thursday.

Manistique led 6-5 early in the first quarter but Westwood ripped off an 8-0 run and led the rest of the way. Westwood held an 11-6 lead after one quarter and stretched it to 21-13 at halftime. Madelyn Koski knocked down four three-pointers in the third quarter, including one that beat the buzzer. Ahead 37-24 entering the fourth frame, Westwood’s lead never dipped below double digits thereafter.

Koski led all scorers with 15 points while her sister Jillian added ten. The Patriots are now 5-0 and visit Gladstone on Tuesday.

The Westwood boys won their fourth straight game, downing Kingsford 54-53 in overtime. The Patriots led 13-5 after one quarter and 27-20 at halftime. However, the Klivvers roared back and tied the game 33-33 entering the fourth quarter. The score was knotted at 47-47 at the end of regulation, forcing a four-minute overtime period. Trailing by two points, Taylor Dellangelo knocked down a three-pointer as time expired in the extra session to give the Pats the non-conference victory.

Westwood improves to 5-1 and gets set to welcome Gwinn on Thursday.

Balanced Scoring Leads Westwood Past West Iron County

The Westwood girls basketball team was victorious for the second time in as many nights, downing West Iron County 49-34 Tuesday night in Iron River.

The two teams traded baskets early and were tied 13-13 after one quarter. The Patriots opened the second frame on a 12-2 run and led 30-19 at halftime. Westwood went up by as many as 20 points in the third quarter and led 40-25 entering the fourth. The Wykons got within 13 points with less than three minutes to play but could get no closer.

Tessa Leece tallied 15 points to lead all scorers. Karlie Patron added 13 and Madelyn Koski finished with 12 to lead three Patriots in double figures.

Westwood is now 4-0 for the first time since 2007-08 and visits Manistique on Thursday. West Iron County dips to 1-2 and travels to Houghton on Friday.

Patriot Hoops Teams Pick Up Two Wins On Monday

The Westwood Patriot basketball teams both earned West PAC wins on Monday. The boys rolled at Hancock 61-43 while the girls topped Ishpeming 66-40 at home.

The Patriot boys never trailed, finishing the first half on a 29-11 run. The lead never dipped below ten points after that as Westwood extended their advantage to 44-27 after three quarters.

Nathan Beckman led four Patriots in double figures with a game-high 17 points. Zach Niemi scored eleven while Blake Hewitt and Taylor Dellangelo each added ten. Eight different Patriots recorded a point and Westwood finished 10/14 at the foul line as a team.

The Patriots improve to 4-1 and host Kingsford on Thursday. Hancock drops to 0-5 and travel to Houghton on Thursday.

The Westwood girls led their arch rivals wire-to-wire. Madelyn Koski nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer to put Westwood ahead 22-10 after one quarter. The Pats extended their lead to 35-20 at halftime before Ishpeming closed the gap to nine points early in the third quarter. Westwood entered the fourth frame leading 47-35 and promptly ripped off a 13-3 run to put the game out of reach.

Tessa Leece led the way with 19 points. Jillian Koski added 17 and Madelyn Koski finished with 13 to lead three Patriots in double figures.

Westwood is now 3-0 and visits West Iron County on Tuesday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN UP with the pregame show beginning at 7:00 ET.

Beckman’s Career Night Lifts Westwood Past Ishpeming

Nathan Beckman scored a career-high 27 points and finished 9/10 at the free throw line to lead Westwood past archrival Ishpeming 47-44 on Friday.

The Patriots jumped out to a 10-2 lead but Ishpeming closed the gap with five consecutive points to end the first quarter. The Hematites trimmed the deficit to a single point with just over four minutes to play in the first half but Westwood ripped off a 12-4 run and led 24-15 at the break.

The Patriots led by as many as ten points in the second half but Ishpeming answered with a run of their own and took their first lead of the game with 56 seconds left in the third quarter. The Hematites outscored Westwood 18-6 in the third frame and led 33-30 heading into the fourth.

That’s when Beckman took command and scored 14 of Westwood’s 17 fourth quarter points, seven of which came at the free throw line. The Patriots were 16/41 (39%) from the field, 3/9 (33%) from behind the arc and 13/16 (81%) at the foul line.

Westwood is now 3-1 and visits Hancock on Monday. Ishpeming drops to 0-2 and welcomes Gwinn on Wednesday.

The Westwood junior varsity and freshman teams also picked up wins on Friday; the freshman team topped Ishpeming 49-27 while the JV won 60-20 to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Patriots Roll Past L’Anse

The Westwood Patriots started fast and never looked back; routing L’Anse 63-35 on Thursday.

L’Anse led 2-0 and again 4-2 but the Patriots answered with a 13-0 run and were in command the rest of the way. Westwood led 21-8 after one quarter, 35-14 at halftime and 49-21 after three.

Every Patriot played in the game and scored, led by Madelyn Koski‘s 15 points and five assists. Emily Nelson was in double figures with ten points while Jillian Koski added nine points and four steals.

Westwood is now 2-0 and hosts Ishpeming on Monday. L’Anse falls to 1-1 and squares off with Iron Mountain on Tuesday.

Matthew Stafford knows what ‘talented’ Sam Darnold faces

Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Matthew Stafford can understand it all, everything New York Jets rookie Sam Darnold might be going through this week. Because the veteran quarterback has been there, and he understands all the expectations and ups and downs that could come.

In 2009, Stafford was Darnold — opening his rookie season as a highly touted quarterback on the road against an opponent with a veteran defense and a top quarterback. That opponent was New Orleans with Drew Brees. And the Saints ended that season by beating Indianapolis in the Super Bowl.

Stafford watched Darnold play at USC. Watched him play during the preseason. Likes his arm. Thinks Darnold is “a talented kid.” But like any rookie, Stafford said, you don’t know what you don’t know because college is way different than the NFL.

“Listen, this game is about experience,” Stafford said. “This league is about experience. You know, he played at a high level in college against some high-level competition. He’s gotten some under his belt in the preseason and he’s a talented guy.

“He can make a bunch of plays not only with his arm but with his feet. We’ve seen it more and more recently, these young guys coming in and playing at a really high level.”

Stafford and Darnold weren’t in the exact same situation. Darnold has more talent around him in New York than Stafford did coming off the Lions’ 0-16 season in 2008. But the issues he faced in 2009 will be similar to what Darnold will face this week against Detroit and for the first part of this season.

Stafford’s first game as a pro didn’t turn out too well, either. He completed 16 of 37 passes for 205 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He was sacked once and had a passer rating of 27.4 — the worst of his career.

“All of it is tough. We weren’t a great football team at that point,” Stafford said. “We were rebuilding in a lot of areas. I was not by any means, and still am not, a finished product. You know, learning on the fly against some great competition, but that’s what it’s all about.”

So Darnold will start in Detroit. Against Stafford. On Monday Night Football. And the Lions, like the Saints did to a rookie 10 years ago, will hope to give the Jets’ starter plenty more to learn.

Photo: AP Photo/Gail Burton