Prep boys basketball: Westwood beats Norway

NORWAY – Austin Grayvold scored a game-high 18 points, including eight in the final quarter, but Norway lacked punch early and fell to Westwood, 44-35, in Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball action Friday.

“We missed a lot of opportunities early and they wanted it more than we did,” Knights head coach Ben Leiker said. “They played harder than we did. They out hustled us the whole game.”

Led by Mitchell Messing’s double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, Westwood hurried out to a 13-3 lead and never looked back. Messing scored 10 points in the first quarter.

The Patriots pushed the tempo all half and their defense took advantage of some sloppy play by the Knights.

“I thought our zone was effective,” Westwood coach Ryan Reichel said. “We were just the beneficiary of some good press and some good zone.

“We got ourselves on the board early and that helped develop a little confidence.”

Westwood (5-8, 4-5 M-PC), maintaining its fast pace and aggressive attack, steadily built its lead into halftime, keeping Norway off the board for nearly the first five minutes of the second quarter.

Messing was the only Patriot in double figures, but eight other players put in points, including six each by Luke Woods and Luke Duquette.

The latter dropped in all six of his points in the third quarter.

The Patriots, shooting percent 38 percent (17-for-45), also pulled down a season-high 38 rebounds.

“They out rebounded us and we’re bigger than them,” Leiker said. “We have no excuses there. They played better than we did.”

Norway trailed 39-22 after three quarters, but closed the gap late, going up against Westwood’s reserves.

Jason Schultz and Grayvold both canned late triples to get the Knights within seven.

But Westwood got a couple of free throws from Ahmad Abdul-Mujeeb to fend off the threat.

Schultz and Nick Bal each had five points for Norway (5-11, 2-8).