Prep girls basketball roundup: Negaunee defense stifles Gwinn while Westwood, Newberry get nonconference wins
GWINN – Gwinn couldn’t solve the riddle of Negaunee’s defense for three quarters on Tuesday, and it allowed the Miners to escape with a 43-35 girls basketball victory at the Modeltowners gym.
Negaunee built a lead of 27-15 through three quarters before Gwinn coach Ben Olsen was fully able to implement a four-guard set for the fourth quarter.
“Their pressure really got to us, especially in the first quarter,” Olsen said after his team committed 22 turnovers. “They’re a pretty good team. They won’t let you do what you want to do.
“We went small for awhile with four guards and one post. That actually opened the post up for us.”
He explained the strategy, which allowed the Modeltowners to better keep up with Negaunee’s speed, was something he hadn’t employed yet this season, but he will consider it in the future.
The Mid-Peninsula Conference-leading Miners improved to 9-1 in league games and 10-6 overall, while Gwinn slipped to 7-9 and 4-4.
Negaunee senior Rosalie Anderson and Modeltowners sophomore Tori Lauren led all scorers with 17 points apiece. Anderson also pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.
Junior Ellie Olsen added 12 points for Gwinn, which made 12 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 6 of 9 by Olsen and 4 of 5 by Lauren.
“They started getting a lot more aggressive going to the hoop,” Negaunee coach Brandon Sager said. “But my four guards – Aleda Johnson, Courtney Finnila, Ashley Tresedder and Courtney Clickner – had probably their best game of the year.”
The Miners also won the JV game, 44-39 in overtime.
West Iron County 41
At Iron River, senior Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren got the lion’s share of the credit from Patriots coach Kurt Corcoran for helping their team catch and pass the host Wykons in the fourth quarter.
Westwood (11-6) trailed by 10 points late in the third quarter, 33-23, before VanBuren scored 11 of her game-high 18 points in the final period.
“Our press (defense) finally kicked into gear and caused a lot of turnovers in the fourth quarter,” Corcoran said. “Then Lizzie made some ‘circus’ shots. She put us on her back and willed us to win.”
He said the Wykons (6-9) came out with a lot of jump due to it being their Senior Night.
Patriots’ senior Caitlin Hewitt added 12 points, while Alexis Golfis paced WIC with 17.
Westwood also won the JV game, 46-29.
At Engadine, visiting Newberry got a combined 40 points from Taylor Bryant and Bridget Stoetzer in the non-league win.
Bryant poured in 25 points and Stoetzer added 15 as Newberry improved to 10-5.
“Taylor is the story line,” Newberry head coach Hondo Depew said of his freshman guard. “She scored 18 of our 26 points in the first half.
“She was our leader on the defensive end, as well.”
He added his team going 18 of 24 from the free throw line (75 percent) was a big difference in the game. Engadine was just 7 of 14 for 50 percent.
“We haven’t shot free throws this well all season,” Depew said. “It was huge for us.”