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Patriots pair all-state: Westwood’s Tessa Leece 2nd Team, Madelyn Koski honorable mention in Division 3 girls basketball

Westwood senior guard Madi Koski, center right, takes contact from Ishpeming ball handler Emma Poirier as Westwood's Tessa Leece watches the play during their MHSAA Division 3 district tournament game played at Ishpeming High School on March 2. (Journal photo by Ryan Spitza)

By BRIAN CALLOWAY
Lansing State Journal
and Journal Sports Staff
Before her arrival in high school, Hannah Spitzley used to spend her time at the top of the bleachers as part of the film crew for the Pewamo-Westphalia girls basketball program.
Spitzley knew then, while closely watching her older sister and teammates having success and fun, that she wanted to be like them.
She’s turned those aspirations into reality over a four-year varsity career in which she’s helped P-W reach new heights.
The Western Michigan-bound Spitzley has been a key component in a record run of success for P-W and leads The Associated Press Division 3 All-State team as the Player of the Year.
Spitzley, who was part of a state runner-up team as a freshman, a squad that reached the state semifinals as a sophomore and the Pirates’ first-ever state championship as a junior, repeats as the top player in Division 3.
Spitzley, who averaged 14.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.3 steals, 2.2 assists and shot 58% from the field, had the top-ranked Pirates in position to make another deep run before the MHSAA state tournament was suspended due to the coronavirus. P-W was 22-2 and set to play for a fourth straight regional championship.
“Now that I have this break and looking back at what we’ve done in those four years, it’s really unheard of,” Spitzley said. “The journey that we’ve had and the success that we had — it just came out of nowhere, especially for our school not having a state championship before and not having (tournament) runs like that to having (potentially) four in a row. It’s amazing to be part of something like that and look back and say you did that.”
Two Westwood seniors also had set their sights on a deep run in the tourney as they were hoping to win a second straight regional title.
Tessa Leece was named to the all-state Second Team, while Madelyn Koski earned honorable mention.
Just one other Upper Peninsula player earned recognition on this Division 3 team, Emily Nelson of West Iron County, who was an honorable mention.
A relentless work ethic made Spitzley a key figure in her team’s success. She is a career 1,000-point scorer, a defensive standout and did many other things to help P-W to a 98-7 record the last four years.
“It’s the whole adage you get out what you put in,” P-W coach Steve Eklund said. “She’s the hardest working kid I’ll ever coach. She set the bar so high.
“On the defensive end, she’s that multiple-effort kid. She doesn’t just block the shot. She blocks the shot and recovers the loose ball. She covers up for her teammates. Offensively she gets us going by the way she rebounds and the way she picks up loose balls and with the kind of chaos she causes on the floor with her effort. She works just as hard when people aren’t watching as she does when they’re watching.”
Spitzley was joined on the Division 3 All-State squad by Kent City’s Kenzie Bowers, Oscoda’s Lauren Langley, Flint Hamady’s Xeryia Tartt and Aryana Naylor, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep’s Mya Petticord, Byron’s Sarah Marvin, Schoolcraft’s Gabi Saxman, Springport’s Alana Nelson, Maple City Glen Lake’s Grace Bradford, Lake City’s Rylie Bisballe and P-W teammate Ellie Droste.
Byron’s Theresa Marvin was voted Coach of the Year.