Menominee’s Amanda Pedersen goes hard to the hoop against Westwood’s Lizzie Dauphinais-Van Buren and Caitlin Hewitt during their game Monday night.EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
Menominee’s Amanda Pedersen goes hard to the hoop against Westwood’s Lizzie Dauphinais-Van Buren and Caitlin Hewitt during their game Monday night.
EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
MENOMINEE - Instead of being rattled by Westwood's press, the Menominee girls' basketball team turned the Patriots pressure into points Monday night.
The Maroons (3-0) burned Westwood with its poise and crisp passing in an impressive 43-33 win on their home floor.
"It's a huge team win for us," coach Lucas Chouinard said. "We slowed things down, assessed the situation and there was always one girl open and we hit that girl for easy shots."
After turning the ball over eight times in the first quarter, Menominee had just eight turnovers the rest of the way against a Patriots' defense that pressured Kingsford into 24 turnovers in a 65-41 win last week.
"We gave up too many layups off our press," Westwood coach Kurt Corcoran said. "I think it was second game woes. We still have to learn how to run our press."
With Allia Stewart and Lexi Christian disrupting the Westwood offensive flow at the point of attack and Amanda Pedersen (6-0), Amanda Simmons (6-0) and Maddy Anderla a brick wall in the paint, the Patriots connected on just 11 of 52 shots.
"We knew they were a good 3-point shooting team. Our guards did a good job of containing them and our girls inside really helped out," said Chouinard.
Menominee has allowed just 60 points in its first three games.
Only a struggle from the line prevented the Maroons from breaking away in the first half. Menominee sank just 3 of 13 free throws in the opening half, but capitalized on Westwood's frosty shooting to hold a 23-20 lead at the break.
The Patriots (1-1) became the first team to score against the Maroons in the third quarter when Lizzie Dauphinais-Van Buren popped in a layup to cut the lead to 23-22 in the opening minute of the quarter.
Menominee held Westwood to one field goal over the next five minutes while opening up a 31-24 lead.
Pedersen, Christian and Simmons all connected from inside and Christian pulled in the Patriots with a drive to the hoop before dishing to Stewart for a layup to stretch the lead to seven points with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
Anderla pumped in a rebound and Christian knocked down an 8-footer to extend the margin to 37-28 with 6:23 left in the game.
"We knew they had a high intensity with their man to man, so this was a great game for our team," said Chouinard.
The Maroons sank three of four field goals, capped by another Simmons' swish from the paint, to pull out to a 39-28 lead with 5:14 left.
Dauphinais-Van Buren bagged a 3-pointer and zipped a pass to Caitlin Hewitt for a layup to pull the Patriots with 39-33 with 3:22 left.
But Simmons answered again with a shot from the left baseline and Anderla and Stewart each cashed in two free throws to seal the win.
Simmons led the Maroon scoring with 13 points and Pedersen had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds and she added four steals. Allison Barley had three assists.
"Pedersen is such a force in the middle," said Corcoran of the six-foot senior. "We emphasized trying to draw contact on her, but she intimidated our girls inside. They shied away from going at her."
Simmons (6-feet) added seven rebounds to lift the Maroons to a 29-24 edge on the boards.
Menominee sank 19 of 50 shots but finished 5 of 17 from the free throw line.
"We'll work on that," said Chouinard. "We have to turn free throws into points."
Dauphinais-Van Buren led the Patriots with 16 points, including a 5 of 5 night at the line, and six rebounds."
The Maroons play host to Sault Ste. Marie Saturday.
WESTWOOD (33) - Hewitt 4, Rankinen 6. Hebert 4, Salmi 3, Daupinais-Van Buren 16. Totals - FG: 11-52 FT: 9-12 F:21
MENOMINEE (43) - Simmons 13, Barley 4, Christian 4, Woods 2, McDonnell 2, Stewart 3, Anderla 4, Pedersen 11. Totals - FG: 19 -50 FT: 5-18 F: 13
Westwood 11 9 8 5 - 33
Menominee 16 7 10 10 - 43