West Ishpeming, MI – March 22, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners Girls Basketball team held on to defeat the Westwood Patriots 47-45 in the opening round of the 2021 district playoffs. Jesse Anderson had the call on Sunny 101.9.
It was a great start to the game for Negaunee. The Miners were able to take advantage of Westwood’s zone defense by hitting a couple threes and some mid-range jumpers early on. The depth of Negaunee, which has been key to their success all year, was on full display in the first. No player for the Miners got more than four points. For the Patriots, Natalie Prophet was the leading scorer for the first quarter, having six of Westwood’s seven points. Negaunee led at the end of the quarter 14-7.
At first, it seemed like the Patriots were going to get back in the game. They scored two quick baskets and forced a turnover in the first two minutes, which made Negaunee take a quick timeout. However, they were able to get back the momentum. The Miners went on an 8-2 run in the middle of the quarter to give them some breathing room. Alyssa Hill came up big, scoring eight points in the quarter which gave her an impressive total of twelve at halftime. This quarter was a little better for Westwood offensively, but they still only managed to get ten points on the board. The Miners led at halftime 29-17.
Early on, this quarter was competitive. Both teams traded baskets and Negaunee’s lead stayed about the same. Later in the quarter, Westwood got on a roll. The Patriots scored seven unanswered points to end the quarter. The scoring was spread out, as Ellie Miller, Mallory Leece, and Natalie Prophet hit big shots for Westwood. The Miners struggled offensively, only getting three field goals in the entire quarter. Nonetheless, Negaunee still had a slim 35-30 lead after the third.
Westwood continued to make a comeback. Miller scored four big points early in the quarter to cut Negaunee’s lead to two. The teams would trade baskets for a lot of the quarter, as Hill and Prophet continued to lead their squads offensively. Neither side could get on a big run. In the final minute Negaunee went up by four, but Prophet drew a foul on a three-pointer and hit two free throws. After rebounding a missed shot, Leece tied the game up for Westwood with less than 30 seconds left. In the final ten seconds, Negaunee’s Emilia Palomaki drew a foul and hit two clutch free throws to put the Miners up two. A buzzer-beating three by Westwood was short, and the Miners held on to win 47-45 and advance to the next round. Alyssa Hill led the Miners with 21, and Palomaki finished with 11, including the game-winning free throws. For Westwood, their valiant comeback effort was led by Prophet and Miller, who had 18 and 12 respectively.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday, March 24th, on the road. (opponent TBA). Tune into the Elder Agency Pregame Show with Jesse Anderson at 6:45pm on Sunny 101.9.