By RON DEUTER
KINGSFORD - Westwood and Kingsford combined for 26 turnovers and 16 fouls here Friday night, and that was before the second quarter even started.
Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Andrea Roell looks to get between Westwood’s Taryn Moyle (40) and Kara Harrington (12) during Friday night’s non-conference game. Carlee Benzie (11) looks on.
While far from the cleanest contest, Kingsford took advantage with 26 points at the foul line and defeated the Patriots 61-51 in non-conference girls basketball here Friday night.
"We talked about being a better defensive team this year, and I think we're doing that," Flivvers coach Mike Cross said. "I'm really proud of how we played, really impressed with defensively how we are getting after it."
The Flivvers helped force some 26 Westwood turnovers in the game, but also had 28 of their own. The difference came at the foul line, where Westwood had just 18 tries to Kingsford's 40.
For most of the game, the Flivvers were solid with the freebies, but some late misses kept the door open a crack for Westwood.
"Maybe we need to make a few more of those but overall I thought we did pretty good with our free throws," Cross said. "Anytime you can get 40 free throws, there's a good chance you're going to win."
Carlee Benzie led Kingsford with 18 points, collecting 10 of those at the stripe where she only missed three. Andrea Roell (13 points), Amber Larson (11 points) and Courtney Qualley (10 points) all reached double figures for the Flivvers.
From the game's first bucket, Kingsford never trailed, but Westwood refused to go away. The Patriots were behind by as many as 20 points midway through the third quarter before nearly cutting it under 10 in the game's final minutes.
"My girls played real hard and that's what I asked them," Patriots coach Kurt Corcoran said. "They left all on the floor didn't give up. I'm proud of them for working their tails off."
Caitlin Hewitt led Westwood with 18 points, the only Patriot to crack into double digits. She connected on two of her three 3-pointers in the game's final minutes to help close the gap as the Flivvers struggled at the line.
Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren added eight points and Katie Rankinen scored seven for the Patriots.
Corcoran said the film he had on the Flivvers didn't show the 2-3 zone and half court trap the Flivvers were employing.
"I wasn't ready for their zone, and I'll take blame," he said. "But they made 23 free throws. For a while, they didn't miss. It was unbelievable."
Kingsford led by as many as eight in the first quarter before Westwood closed to within three. The Flivvers kept the Patriots scoreless, and without a shot for the first several minutes of the second quarter to build a 30-11 lead. And the lead never dropped below 15 until late in the game.
"I'm happy with the win," Cross said. "Benzie was huge tonight. I can't say enough about how much hard work she put in. She deserves every bit of her success.
"And it was nice to see four players in double figures again."
Kingsford (2-0) plays at Norway Monday.
Westwood 11 8 16 16 - 51
Kingsford 14 23 13 11 - 61
WESTWOOD: Hewitt 18, Dauphinais-VanBuren 8, Rankinen 7, Forchini 4, Massie 4, Moyle 4, Salo 4, Harrington 2. FT: 10-18. F: 28. FO: Rankinen, Harrington.
KINGSFORD: Benzie 18, Roell 13, Larson 11, Qualley 10, Tresedder 4, Fleming 3, Smith 2. FT: 26-40. F: 17.
FGs - WW: 19-59 (3-pt: 3-19); K: 17-34 (3-pt: 1-4). 3-pt FGs - WW: Hewitt (3); K: Fleming. Reb. - WW: 38; K: 30 (Larson 11).