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Marshall and Minneota girls’ basketball teams are the talk of the town(s)

Tigers supporter: ‘The girls were great’

Photos by Deb Gau Willard Engel, Bob Aufenthie and Charlie Sanow shared their thoughts on the Marshall girls basketball team making it to the state championship, as they talked over coffee on Wednesday morning.

MARSHALL — It was good to see the Marshall High School girls basketball team advance to the state championship — and it was all the more memorable that it happened during a second-half rally during Tuesday’s semifinal, area residents said.

Not all of the area residents chatting over coffee at Mike’s Cafe on Wednesday morning said they followed high school sports closely. But the ones who had watched or listened to Tuesday’s Class AAA semifinal game between Marshall and the Academy of the Holy Angels had good things to say about the Marshall athletes.

“The girls were great,” said Charlie Sanow, who was talking with Willard Engel and Bob Aufenthie in a corner of the cafe. Aufenthie said things have been getting exciting for the team.

For some residents gathered at Mike’s, it was the excitement of the semifinal game that stood out.

“They did a terrific job,” said one customer at another table. “They were tied 34-34” at halftime, he said, and Marshall was trailing behind Holy Angels during the second half. Then came a run of points from Marshall’s offense, including Jordyn Hilgemann. “She never missed,” he said.

In Tuesday’s game, Hilgemann led Marshall with 30 points, with 25 points coming from the second half.

The final score saw Marshall victorious, 75-58.

“I was really nervous in the first half,” Sanow said of watching the game. But the Marshall players pulled through. Sanow said he thought Friday’s championship, against Becker, would also be a challenge.

“Their next game is going to be really tough. Both teams have the same style,” he said. But Sanow said coach Dan Westby and the Marshall players have been doing a good job.

“They’ve come a long way,” Aufenthie said of Marshall’s girls basketball program over the years. The athletes who play girls basketball today “can do a heck of a lot,” he said.

Marshall will face Becker at 6 p.m. Friday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The game will be broadcast on 45TV and streamed online at www.prep45.com. Some Marshall restaurants and bars, including Fuzzy’s, the Gambler, the Varsity Pub and the Wooden Nickel, are either planning to or have the ability to play the game on television.

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