Prep boys basketball: First quarter explosion powers Negaunee over Westwood

NEGAUNEE – Zane Radloff signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play football at Northern Michigan University.

Later in the day, he showed he can play some basketball, too.

The 6-foot-5 Negaunee High School center popped in 17 points and grabbed five rebounds to help lead the Miners to a 76-57 Mid-Peninsula Conference victory over visiting Westwood.

“Some people were saying ‘you’ve signed with Northern to play football and now you have to show you can play basketball, too,'” Radloff said. “I guess I did.”

He popped in 11 points in the opening quarter as the hot-shooting Miners took a 29-17 lead.

“We weren’t taking our best shots, but we were making most of them,” Radloff said. “I was taking the ball more to the basket, trying to be more aggressive.”

Negaunee coach Mike O’Donnell said the 29 points were the most Class ABC No. 2-ranked NHS – now 12-1 overall and 7-0 in M-PC play – had scored in a quarter this season.

“We were executing our offense and sharing the ball,” he said. “Zane was a beneficiary of that passing. We need more scoring threats than Tyler (Jandron) and Eric (Lori).

“We ran our offense well with high-percentage shots, good screens and passes. We were finding the open person.”

Lori complemented Radloff with 17 points of his own to go with 10 of Negaunee’s 20 total assists. Jandron added 15 points and four steals, while NHS teammate Jay Lori tossed in 11 points.

“When the best 1-2 punch in the Upper Peninsula (in Jandron and Lori) are on one roster, it’s tough,” Westwood head coach Ryan Reichel said.

“Zane did a great job finding gaps (in our defense), too.”

Luke Gray paced the Patriots (3-6, 2-3) with 13 points. Luke Woods sank four triples for 12 points and Justin Luke chipped in 10.

The opening quarter was a tale of 3s. The two teams combined for seven triples – Westwood hitting four – and Negaunee came up with a pair of three-point plays. Radloff wears No. 3, too.

In all, Negaunee sank seven treys and the Patriots buried five in the first half. The Miners finished with eight on the night, tied for most in a game this season.

“They hit some jumpers and just beat us in the first half,” Reichel said, noting NHS had taken a 49-30 halftime lead. “We tried to win the second half and we ended up tying them (17-17).”

O’Donnell said Westwood’s 2-3 zone defense in the final two quarters had something to do with the Miners not being as potent.

“We had perimeter shots and forced them a little,” he said. “We weren’t in as much rhythm as in the first half.”

Still, the Miners made 32 of 53 shots on the night for a scorching 60.3 percent.

Negaunee won the JV game, 50-40.