PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Marshall uses strong first half to roll by Luverne, 63-34

Photo by Emily Daniels Marshall’s Jordyn Hilgemann puts up a layup during their game against Luverne on Tuesday. The Tigers defeated the Cardinals 63-34.

MARSHALL – The Marshall girls basketball team started the New Year off right with a win against the Luverne Cardinals on Tuesday. The Tigers played both halves with high intensity and added a strong offensive effort that helped bring Marshall to the 63-34 win.

The Cardinals and the Tigers got off to a slow start as the score remained scoreless for the first two minutes of the half. Luverne found its first and only lead of the night at 6-5 before Marshall responded quickly and took the lead from the Cardinals at 10-6. The Tigers showed strong defensive efforts throughout the whole half, which helped guide Marshall to a steady lead over the Cardinals, with the Tigers holding the score at 26-14. The last minute of the half saw both teams pushing the pace on both ends, but it was Natalee Sample’s 3-point buzzer beater that ended the first half and added to Marshall’s lead, 29-14.

The Tigers started off the second half fast and ready to play. Marshall found themselves missing a few rebounds under the basket to allow the Cardinals more opportunities to score and started to close the gap on the Tigers at 38-28. The few mistakes made under the basket on defense for the Tigers didn’t stop freshman Jordyn Hilgemann from bringing the heat on offense. Hilgemann contributed 21 points in the second half alone, taking every shot opportunity that came her way. The Tigers held the Cardinals in check for the remainder of the half to come out with a win at 63-34.

Marshall coach Dan Westby was impressed with what the girls brought on both sides of the court and wants them to bring those strong efforts into Friday’s game against Pipestone.

“We did some good things on offense, we forced 18 turnovers in the first half,” said Westby. “We rebounded really well in the first half as well. Which is something we’ve focused on a lot lately and hopefully that is something that will continue to improve. We’ve got a big game at home against Pipestone and we’re going to have to continue to play well and get back into routine.”

Hilgemann finished the night with a total of 29 points, followed by Kaia Sueker with 11 and Emily Meier with eight. Lenei Estrada brought in five assists and one block for the Tigers and Hannah Meier also finished the night with one block.

Hilgemann’s big night wouldn’t have been possible without the help of her teammates and she saw a lot of teamwork offensively and defensively that contributed a lot to their win, and she hopes they can take that into their game on Friday.

“We were forcing a lot of turnovers and pressing the ball really well which helped us move the ball down the court to score. A lot of the screens that we did tonight were working, which also helped us score,” said Hilgemann. “Going forward, we need to keep fighting hard for each other and with each other. When we get turnovers we need to do something with them and look to score. Working as a team tonight helped us with the win and we need to use that going into our game Friday.”

Luverne 14 20-34

Marshall 29 34-63

SCORING: Marshall (Hilgemann 29; Sueker 11; Meier 8; Sample 5).

3-POINT FGS: Marshall (Sueker, Hilgemann 3).

REBOUNDS: Marshall (H. Meier 8).

ASSISTS: Marshall (Estrada 5).

STEALS: Marshall (Estrada 8).

FOULS: Marshall (12).

TURNOVERS: Marshall (17).