PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Marshall marches over Redwood Valley, 62-38

Photo by Lacey Barke Marshall’s Kaia Sueker drives around a screen during their game against Redwood Valley on Tuesday. The Tigers defeated the Cardinals 62-38.

MARSHALL– The Marshall girls basketball team started out the gates on fire offensively and never looked back, outshooting Redwood Valley 33-14 in the first half en route to a 62-38 victory on Tuesday night.

Jordyn Hilgemann got things started for the Tigers in the opening minutes with a 3-pointer, which was followed by another basket from Hannah Meier. The Marshall guards were able to find their post players and feed the ball to the inside to get open looks, taking advantage of their size down low. The Cardinals didn’t have as much luck in the paint on their side of the court however, as the Tigers defense utilized their speed and intensity on defense to pressure Redwood Valley’s post players and forced turnovers continuously throughout the game. Marshall rushed the ball a few times on offense and made little mistakes that resulted in turnovers, but they made up for it with their steals and tough defense overall. Marshall continued this strong combination as they led by 19 at the break.

Defense and post strength are the game aspects that Marshall head coach Dan Westby said his team did best at.

“I thought our pressure was good,” Westby said. “Our posts did a good job offensively. We were able to get some looks inside and turned some of those into baskets.We gave them some problems that we were able to turn into points, and that always makes it easier for us offensively. We pride ourselves on defense and spend a lot of practice time on that.”

The baskets continued to come easy for the Tigers in the second half, and Lenei Estrada kicked things off in the frame with a bucket. Estrada’s effort was quickly reinforced with a pair of 3-point shots sunk by Kaia Sueker, who helped to lead her team’s offense in the game by contributing 12 points overall. Marshall kept forcing the turnovers with their well-placed traps, and the figures on the board reached to as many as 45-20 in Marshall’s favor with just 12 minutes to go. Redwood Valley picked up their defensive pressure to force a turnover and a charge from Marshall, but this only held the Tigers back briefly as Estrada helped her team reach 50 from a free-throw. Marshall kept up the intensity and with two minutes left the Tiger starters got to see the bench for a well-earned break. More buckets were tacked on to the total by Abigail Wendorff and Corrin Naughton to bring it to the 62-38 final.

Westby notes that his team lacked the fire they had in the first half, but also mentioned that his team played well together. “We were a little bit sluggish in the second half,” Westby said. “They defended better. There were too many times where we would go through the work of getting a steal and we would just rush ourselves too much. We feel good about the group of kids we have out there, and our younger kids are getting more confident. Our kids have really fought hard for each other, so we hope to see that continue.”

Sueker also mentioned that her team played for and with each other. “I thought it went really well,” she said. “We worked hard as a team and we worked hard for each other. We could’ve used the steals better and finished it out better, but I thought people looked for the open players very well. I think Jordyn showed up for us and took the ball to the basket- I think we used our size. This next game will be good too as long as we continue to work hard.”

Hilgemann led the way for her team on offense with 13 points while Sueker had 12 and Hannah Meier saw eight. Sueker led her team for 3-pointers as she earned three. Other players who saw 3-point shots were Madison Wegner, Hilgemann and Estrada. Hannah Meier achieved nine total rebounds for the Tigers while Wegner had seven and Erica Jones helped out with six. Of the 13 steals that Marshall earned for the night Estrada had four while Jones, Andries and Hannah Meier each had two.

Redwood Falls 14 24-38

Marshall 33 29-62

SCORING: Marshall 22-54, 41 percent (Hilgemann 5-13, 2-5 13; Sueker 4-8, 1-2 12; H. Meier 3-6, 2-2 8; Andries 3-6, 2-5 8; Estrada 2-6, 1-3 7; E. Meier 2-7, 2-5 6; Wegner 1-2, 1-2 4; Wendorff 1-2, 0-0 2; Naughton 1-2, 0-0 2).

3-POINT FGS: Marshall 6-23, 26 percent (Sueker 3; Wegner, Hilgemann, Estrada 1).

REBOUNDS: Marshall 36 (H. Meier 9; Wegner 7; Jones 6).

ASSISTS: Marshall 13 (Estrada 4; Jones, Andries, H. Meier 2).

STEALS: Marshall 16 (Andries, Estrada 5).

BLOCKS: Marshall none.

FOULS: Marshall 21.

TURNOVERS: Marshall 19.