West Ishpeming, MI – February 10, 2021 – It was the second straight game that came down to the wire for the Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team to begin the season. It took double overtime to decide a winner, but the Miners fell 51-45 on the road against the Westwood Patriots. Jesse Anderson had the call live from Westwood High School on Sunny 101.9.
The Miners started the first quarter off strong with a Gerald Johnson basket to give them a 2-0 lead. Seniors Will Luke and Eli Luokkala delivered offensively for Negaunee, extending the lead to 7-1 early. The Patriots were having trouble scoring against Negaunee’s 2-3 zone defense, but Zachary Beckman hit Westwood’s first field goal with a jumpshot to cut the deficit to 7-3. The Miners didn’t waste any time getting their lead back up to six points as a Mason Sager steal led to a fast break layup for Luke. Negaunee and Westwood traded baskets in the final minutes of the first quarter with a Beckman layup cutting the Miners’ lead to 13-10.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 13, Westwood Patriots 10
Westwood was having issues in the first quarter with Negaunee’s zone defense, but they appeared to figure it out in the second. Three-pointers by Carlson and Garrett Sundberg gave the Patriots all of the momentum and a 21-17 lead halfway through the quarter. The Miners were the ones struggling offensively now with turnovers and errant passes. Despite this, Negaunee stayed in the game with its defense, and trailed 23-19 with less than two minutes left in the first half. Luke cut the deficit back down to two points in the final minute, and Negaunee trailed 23-21 at halftime.
Halftime: Westwood Patriots 23, Negaunee Miners 21
The Patriots picked up where they left off in the first half and extended the lead to 27-23 to begin the third quarter. Luke hit a big 3-pointer on the next possession for Negaunee to cut the deficit down to one point. Westwood responded with four consecutive free throws from Carlson and Luke Olson for a 31-26 advantage halfway through the quarter. The Miners recaptured its first quarter momentum and took a 32-31 lead with baskets from Luokkala and Johnson. Sundberg’s floater at the buzzer was no good for Westwood, and the Miners held a one-point lead into the fourth.
End of 3rd: Negaunee Miners 32, Westwood Patriots 31
A back-and-forth battle spilled into the fourth quarter, where an and-one by Beckman put Westwood in front, 33-32. Suddenly, Negaunee got the lead up to 38-33 with five minutes left on a Luokkala 3-pointer and Sager and-one on back-to-back possessions. Luke continued the Miners’ run with a bucket to extend the lead to 40-33. Those two points would be Negaunee’s final points in regulation, as Westwood scored the fourth quarter’s final seven points to tie it up at 40. Both teams had attempts to take the lead in the last minute of play, but this close game was destined for overtime.
End of 4th: Negaunee Miners 40, Westwood Patriots 40
The four-minute overtime period didn’t provide much scoring as both teams made two baskets and two free throws each. Luokkala scored three of Negaunee’s four overtime points, and Johnson added the other. After one overtime period, Negaunee and Westwood were tied at 44.
End of Overtime: Negaunee Miners 44, Westwood Patriots 44
There was a bit more scoring in double overtime for the Patriots, as Sundberg’s 3-pointer early in the period put Westwood up 47-44. Luokkala made a free throw for Negaunee to cut the deficit to two, but that was the Miners’ only point. The Patriots made more plays down the stretch, and defeated Negaunee 51-45 in a double overtime battle.
Final Score: Westwood Patriots 51, Negaunee Miners 45
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners Boys Basketball team returns to action on Friday, Feb. 12 against another rival in the Ishpeming Hematites! Jesse Anderson will have the call live from Negaunee’s Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium for the Miners’ first home game of the season. The action begins early with the Elder Agency Pregame Show at 5:45 p.m., with the game to follow at 6 p.m. Go Miners!