Leece, Corcoran, Westwood Sweep UPSSA Postseason Awards

It was a great day for Westwood at the 44th Annual UPSSA girls basketball meeting. The Patriots were named the Upper Peninsula Class C Team of the Year, Tessa Leece earned the title of UP Class ABC Player of the Year and Head Coach Kurt Corcoran captured UP Class ABC Coach of the Year. Leece along with backcourt mate Madelyn Koski were also the top two vote-getters on the all-UP Dream Team while Karlie Patron garnered Special Mention.

Leece, the Player of the Year in both the Mid Peninsula Conference and the West PAC, turned in 15.2 points per game and tallied 98 total assists. She shot 46% from the field, 42% from behind the arc and 83% at the free throw line. Leece also collected 141 total rebounds and represented the Patriots at the state three-point contest.

Koski averaged 15.8 points and four assists per game, both team bests. Koski also anchored the team defensively with a team-high 65 steals. She shot 41% from the field and connected on 60 three-point baskets this season. Koski was an 86% free throw shooter and participated in the state free throw contest last weekend. She also eclipsed 100 total assists for the season compared to just 56 turnovers.

Corcoran, now in his seventh year at Westwood, guided the Patriots to a 24-2 record as the Patriots reached the state quarterfinals for the first time in eleven years. He is the first Westwood coach to win UP Girls Basketball Coach of the Year since Tom Hammer in 2008.

Patron averaged 8.4 points per contest and led the team with 145 total rebounds. She was the team’s most efficient shooter, knocking down 53% of her field goal attempts. She also finished with 56 assists and came up with 35 steals.

Patriot Boys Claim UP Postseason Honors

Several members of the Westwood boys basketball were recognized at the 69th annual UPSSA basketball meeting this week.

Nathan Beckman was named Second Team all-UP while classmate Blake Hewitt earned Special Mention. Beckman, a First Team selection in both the West PAC and the MPC, averaged a team-best 13.3 points per game and connected on 37% of his three-point attempts. Hewitt turned in eight points and seven rebounds per night while shooting 44% from the floor. 

Junior big man Ty Alderton and senior defensive specialist Zach Niemi each received Honorable Mention. Alderton averaged 8.6 points per game and shot 51% from the field. Niemi, an all-defensive pick in the MPC, started all 22 games for Westwood this season. He averaged five points per night while cementing himself as the team’s top defensive option.

Patriots Fall In State Quarterfinals

A storybook season came to an end for the Westwood girls on Tuesday, falling to Lake City 50-46 in a State Quarterfinal matchup played in Gaylord.

Westwood went up by seven early in the first quarter and led 14-12 after one. A buzzer-beating tip-in put the Pats ahead 26-22 at halftime and Westwood scored the first five points of the third quarter to take their largest lead of the night.

But Lake City gained momentum with a stifling 1-3-1 zone defense and ended the quarter on the 13-4 run to tie the game at 35-all. Tied at 40 late in the fourth, Lake City went on a 6-0 run and Westwood never got within three the rest of the way.

Madelyn Koski led the Pats with 15 points, Tessa Leece added 12 and Natalie Prophet had nine. Westwood closes at 24-2 with no seniors on the roster.

Patriots Rout Charlevoix, Punch Ticket Downstate

The Westwood girls basketball team is headed below the bridge for the state quarterfinals after taking down Charlevoix 47-29 in a regional championship game played Wednesday in Sault Ste Marie.

Westwood never trailed, racing out to a 27-14 lead at halftime. The Patriots led by as many as 15 early in the second half but the Rayders ripped off ten consecutive points to get within five. That’s when Mallory Leece came off the bench, canned a three-pointer that ignited a 15-0 run and Westwood led by double digits for the rest of the night.

Madelyn Koski led the way with 14 points while Karlie Patron turned in a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Westwood improves to 24-1 and advances to the state quarterfinals for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The Patriots will square off with Lake City (21-2) Tuesday night in Gaylord.

Second Half Rally Sends Westwood To Regional Championship

March Madness was on display in full force Monday night as Westwood rallied to beat West Iron County 50-46 in a regional semifinal played in Escanaba.

Westwood scored the first seven points of the game and it took the Wykons more than half of the first quarter to record their first field goal. But West Iron County scored eight of the next eleven points to get within 10-8 after one. The Wykons took their first lead midway through the second quarter but the Patriots roared back and grabbed a 23-18 edge late in the first half. However, West Iron County scored the final six points before halftime and led 24-23 at the break.

The Wykon’s largest lead was 35-28 late in the third quarter. That’s when Westwood called timeout and changed the tempo of the game with a stifling full court press. The Patriots got within 35-32 at the end of the third and used a 13-3 run to retake the lead for good. Westwood outscored the Wykons 22-11 in the final ten minutes of play.

Madelyn Koski scored 12 points in each half for a game-high 24 while Tessa Leece added 13 to lead the Pats. Westwood improves to 23-1 and will play for a regional championship Wednesday night. The Patriots will match up against Charlevoix (19-2) who advanced with a 48-47 triumph over Elk Rapids.

Patriot Girls Claim District Title

The last time Westwood played on Gwinn’s floor, the Patriots clinched the West PAC and the Mid Peninsula Conference titles. Now they’ve secured a district title there, topping the host Modeltowners 58-51 on Friday.

Gwinn used a 6-0 run to take a three-point lead late in the first quarter but Westwood scored the next four points to go up 11-10 after one. The Patriots‘ largest first half lead was nine and led 30-23 at halftime.

Westwood went up by as many as 11 early in the third quarter but Gwinn rallied back to get within 45-44 heading into the fourth. The Patriots extended their lead to seven in the final minutes and knocked down enough free throws late to hold off the Modeltowners.

Tessa Leece poured in 22 points while Karlie Patron added 14 to lead the Patriot attack. Natalie Prophet scored 11 and Madelyn Koski ten to lead four Patriots in double figures. Westwood is now 22-1 and will face West Iron County (19-2) in Monday night’s regional semifinal at Escanaba. The Patriots topped the Wykons 49-34 on December 11th in their only regular season meeting.

Westwood Cruises Past BRH, Sets Up District Final Matchup Against Gwinn

Westwood never trailed Wednesday night, routing Bark River-Harris 63-45 in a district semifinal contest played at Westwood High School.

The Patriots scored nine of the game’s first eleven points and led 16-7 after one quarter. Westwood stretched their lead to 29-14 at halftime and 48-25 after three quarters. The Broncos never got closer than 15 points down the stretch as they close their season with an 18-3 record.

Madelyn Koski led all scorers with 19 points while Tessa Leece finished with 16 and Natalie Prophet had 15 to lead three Patriots in double figures. Westwood is now 21-1 and visits Gwinn in the district championship game on Friday. The Modeltowners beat Ishpeming at the buzzer on Wednesday, topping the Hematites 51-49 in overtime. Westwood won both regular season meetings against Gwinn; 51-41 on January 22nd and 49-26 on February 21st.

Patriots Top Negaunee, Set Up Semifinal Show With BRH

Westwood never trailed during Monday night’s district quarterfinal against Negaunee, topping the Miners 49-37 at Westwood High School.

The Patriots scored the first seven points of the game and raced to an 18-9 lead after one quarter. Westwood went up by as many as 15 points in the second stanza but Negaunee closed the first half on a 7-2 run to get within 28-18 at the break.

The Pats led by double digits for the entire third quarter and carried a 39-28 advantage in the fourth. Negaunee trimmed the deficit to nine points on multiple occasions but could get no closer.

Natalie Prophet led the Patriots with 17 points and seven rebounds. Karlie Patron added twelve points and collected eight boards while Tessa Leece scored in double figures with ten. Westwood is now 20-1 and hosts Bark River-Harris (16-3) in a district semifinal on Wednesday. Negaunee closes at 16-5 and graduates five seniors. Elsewhere in the district, Ishpeming downed Manistique 56-44 and will travel to Gwinn for a district semifinal on Wednesday.

Patriot Girls Win Regular Season Finale

The Westwood girls basketball team closed the regular season on a winning note, downing Kingsford 60-48 on Thursday.

The two teams traded buckets early on and Westwood led 13-10 after one quarter. The Patriots went on a 12-0 run midway through the second stanza and led by as many as 14 points in the first half. Kingsford knocked down a three-pointer in the final minute of the second quarter to get within 31-20 at halftime and scored 11 of the first 13 points in the third quarter to get within one possession.

Madelyn Koski canned a pair of triples in the final minute of the quarter to put Westwood up 39-33 after three. Westwood led by double digits for most of the fourth quarter and the Flivvers were unable to get closer than within nine points down the stretch.

Koski turned in a game-high 24 points while Tessa Leece added 15 to lead Westwood. The Patriots close the regular season at 19-1 and ride an eight-game winning streak into the district tournament. Westwood will host Negaunee on Monday in the first round of the playoffs. The teams split their regular season meetings, with each defending their own home floor.

Westwood Boys Fall In District Semis

The Westwood boys basketball season came to an end on Wednesday, falling to Negaunee 56-47 in the district semifinals.

The Miners raced out to a 5-2 lead but Westwood ended the first quarter on a 12-2 run, capped by a buzzer-beating half court heave from Zach Carlson. The Patriots led by as many as nine points early in the second quarter but Negaunee closed the half with an 11-1 run and led 20-19 at the break.

Westwood hit a dry spell offensively that spanned two quarters and went eleven minutes without a field goal as Negaunee built a 36-28 lead after three. Westwood could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way as the Miners (14-7) punched their ticket to Friday night’s district championship.

Westwood was led in scoring by Carlson and Nathan Beckman who each finished with 11 points. Ty Alderton added nine points and Blake Hewitt had seven. The Patriots close at 12-10 and graduate six seniors; Beckman, Hewitt, Jacob Adriano, Zach Niemi, Troy Anderson and Dakota Rodda.