P-W next foe for Lady Eagles in state quarterfinals

PORTAGE — Schoolcraft girls’ basketball coach Doug Flynn sees many similarities between his own team and its opponent in Tuesday’s Class C state quarterfinals.
Schoolcraft (20-5) takes on Pewamo-Westphalia (22-2) at Portage Northern at 6:30 p.m.
The winner advances to the state semifinals on Thursday at 2:50 p.m. at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.
“Playing Pewamo-Westphalia is like looking in the mirror. Many things that they do, we do,” Flynn said.
“Defensively they play a man-to-man, a splash in a half court trap and a full court trap after a made free throw. Offensively they run many sets, just like us. They run a Motion 4 (dribble drive), flex and make a lot of scissor cuts and back cuts.”
Pewamo-Westphalia’s best player is junior Emily Spitzley.
“She (Spitzley) is a forward who can shoot the three-pointer and attack the basket off the dribble,” Flynn said.
The Pirates also start two freshmen and have sisters on the team.
Pewamo-Westphalia, which finished second in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, is coached by Steve Eklund.
Both of Pewamo-Westphalia’s losses this season came against Bath, 48-36 and 49-47.
Schoolcraft starts freshman Gabi Saxman who averages 11 points and leads the Lady Eagles in assists at 4.3 per game and 3.9 steals per contest.
Junior guard Lydia Goble averages 12 points for Schoolcraft, including a game-high 22 points in a 51-26 district semifinal win over Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep.
Junior Kennedy Leighton was clutch for Schoolcraft in its 39-32 come-from-behind regional championship win last Thursday over Bronson at Homer.
Leighton drained two long-range three-pointers in the fourth quarter of that game that ignited a late Lady Eagles’ rally.
Senior postplayers Wynn Stitt and Amber Overley continue to rebound in the paint and play solid post defense to key Schoolcraft’s attack.
Another key senior for the Lady Eagles has been senior Sophia Woodhams, who is one of her team’s most versatile players. Woodhams can play post and guard.
“It should be a fun night at Portage Northern. Pewamo-Westphalia is a solid team and we will have to play a stellar game to beat them,” Flynn said.
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or sports@threeriversnews.com.

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