PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Marshall uses big first half to take out New Ulm
MARSHALL – Fresh off a 10-point road win over Hutchinson to open the season, ninth-ranked Marshall generated some additional momentum on Friday with a convincing 77-39 victory over New Ulm in its home opener that featured double-digit scoring contributions from three different Tigers.
Coach Dan Westby credited the team’s energetic start as the main key to their success in the win.
“I thought we came out and we played with great energy right away. We jumped out to that early lead and we got up 20-4 to start,” said Westby. “We felt like it was important that we come out and play with energy right away.”
Junior Jordyn Hilgemann provided an offensive spark for the Tigers early on in the first half by recording the team’s first six points via a layup, a free throw and a three-pointer to give Marshall a 6-0 lead. Hilgemann went on to lead all scorers with 25 points on 10-19 shooting in the contest.
The offensive success translated to the team’s defense, which gave New Ulm fits in trying to bring the ball up the court in the face of a stifling full court press. As a result, the Tigers generated 15 steals in the game and were able to extend their lead to 11-4 following made baskets by Paige Andries and Emily Meier off the fast break.
With the full-court pressure continuing to wreak havoc on New Ulm’s back court, Marshall went on a dominant 13-0 run to strengthen its lead to 24-4 at the midway point of the half. The Eagles managed to turn the corner late by keeping pace down the stretch, but still trailed 35-15 at halftime.
Out of the break, the Tigers put an exclamation point on their dominant performance with another offensive surge in the opening minutes of the second half. Meier, Corrin Naughton and Hilgemann each generated baskets on a 9-2 Marshall run that pushed the Tigers’ lead to 44-17.
Midway through the half, the Eagles managed to find some success driving to the basket with little resistance from Marshall’s defenders. Westby said that will be something that they need to shore up in the future.
“I thought we relaxed a little bit there the last eight or nine minutes and let them get to the basket a little bit and that’s something that we need to shore up. But overall, I thought our defensive effort was pretty good,” said Westby.
With a commanding 40-point lead late in the game, the Tigers turned to their reserve players and received scoring contributions from Ashleigh Steinbach, Maysa Gillingham and Megan Wegner en route to sealing their 77-39 win.
Marshall (2-0) will be back on the road today with a 4:30 p.m. game in Jackson against St. Peter. Westby expects the matchup to be a tough test for his team.
“We have another conference game. We play St. Peter down in Jackson and St. Peter’s a good team. They were a state tournament team last year so they’ve got a number of players back so it’ll be a hard fought game,” said Westby.
Marshall 77, New Ulm 39
SCORING: Marshall (Hilgemann 25, Wendorff 11, Meier 15).
REBOUNDS: Marshall (Wendorff 5, Estrada 4, Hilgemann 3).
ASSISTS: Marshall (Estrada, Andries 4, Wendorff, Webb 3).
STEALS: Marshall (Estrada 4, Hilgemann, Sample, Wendorff 3).
BLOCKS: Marshall (Naughton 1).