PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: ‘A pretty special night’
Jordyn Hilgemann becomes Marshall girls basketball’s all-time leading scorer; MHS takes down Worthington 84-58 on Senior Night
MARSHALL — The No. 5 Marshall girls basketball team had plenty to celebrate when it faced Worthington at home on Friday. Marshall honored its six seniors and one of them gave the team and their fans another reason to cheer.
Senior guard Jordyn Hilgemann scored a season-high 32 points, including hitting a 3-pointer from the left wing with 2:50 left in the game to pass Shannon (Bolden) Nelson (2,143 points) and become the program’s all-time leading scorer at 2,144 career points. Hilgemann also passed Macie Michelson (2,131) for second on the list with a free throw with 8:30 left. Marshall went on to defeat Worthington 84-58.
Hilgemann said she wasn’t aware how close she was to the scoring benchmark.
“To be honest, I didn’t know about it, which is probably a good thing,” Hilgemann said. “They [my team] didn’t tell me, so I was just playing like I normally do.”
Marshall coach Dan Westby said they knew things weren’t going to be easy against a tough conference and section opponent in Worthington and was pleased to see how his team answered the call throughout the game.
“There were a lot of things going on [tonight]. This is a good conference opponent, it’s a very good section opponent and those were the two concerns coming in,” Westby said. “If you look at Worthington’s play recently, they’ve really been playing well, so we were extremely concerned about this game, so it was nice to see our kids come out and play hard right away. Offensively, we played well and a lot of that came from our press early on, and then you throw in Jordyn reaching the milestone and it being senior night, it makes for a pretty special night.”
Both teams got out to a slow start, with one Marshall basket serving as the lone points on the board for the first few minutes. MHS then built an 8-2 lead on a 3-pointer from Abby Wendorff before Bri Simpson got a layup to go to give Marshall a double-digit advantage at 14-4 with under 13 minutes to play in the first half. Worthington continued to fight, though, as a 3-point play cut the deficit to single digits at 16-7, but Emily Meier answered on the other end with a layup.
Marshall then went on a 7-2 run, with a Simpson 3-pointer pushing the lead to 17 at 30-13 with five minutes left in the frame, but Worthington answered with a 5-0 run of its own to make it a 12-point game. Hilgemann then got a layup to go with 30 seconds left to give Marshall a 37-22 advantage at halftime.
Westby said offensively, they felt like they were settling for too many 3-pointers early in the game and added they did a good job of adjusting and attacking the basket later on in the first half.
“We felt like we had opportunities, we just weren’t finishing shots and we maybe settled for too many 3-point attempts early on,” Westby said. “We were able to get away from that and once we started finishing some shots inside, it felt like things started to come a little bit easier for us.”
Both teams traded points to start the second half before a 3-pointer by Wendorff and a layup from Hilgemann made it 46-24. Marshall would lead by at least 18 points throughout the majority of the half before going up 23 at 69-46 en route to the 84-58 final.
Four Marshall players finished in double figures in scoring, with Meier adding 16 points while Wendorff had 11 and Simpson had 10 to go along with Hilgemann’s 32. Wendorff led in rebounds with seven while Corrin Naughton, Hilgemann and Wendorff led in assists with four each. As a team, Marshall shot 54% (34 of 63) from the field, connecting on seven 3-pointers.
Defensively, Marshall held Worthington to 46% shooting (21 of 46) and forced 25 turnovers. Hilgemann said they allowed Worthington to get a lot of rebounds in the first half but felt they did better with their ability to box out and pressure the Trojans more in the second half.
“In the first half, I think we gave up way too many rebounds, but in the second half we started boxing out more, pressing up more and pressuring them and I think that got them flustered a little bit, which helped us in our full court,” Hilgemann said.
After the game, Marshall honored its six senior players and one senior student manager. This year’s seniors are Hilgemann, Meier, Naughton, Wendorff, Courtni Nielsen, Kendra Webb and Kayla Polejewski. All six senior players were also able to record a basket during the game.
“They’ve been great,” Westby said about their seniors. “We’ve asked a lot of them and they’ve answered the bell and we’re going to do everything in our power to help them have a strong finish to the season because they certainly deserve it. They’re a great group of kids.”
Marshall (12-0) will continue its final homestand of the regular season next week, starting with a matchup against Luverne on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. before facing St. Peter on Thursday. Westby said they just need to maintain their momentum against a pair of important opponents.
“Next week we play Luverne on Tuesday and St. Peter on Thursday. Luverne’s an important conference game and St. Peter’s an important section game,” Westby said. “We had a great practice [Thursday], so hopefully we’ll continue to practice well and move in the right direction.”
Marshall 84, Worthington 58
Worthington 22 36 – 58
Marshall 37 47 – 84
Scoring: Marshall (Hilgemann 12-20, 7-9 32; Meier 7-10, 2-3 16; Wendorff 4-8, 0-0 11; Simpson 4-6, 0-0 10; Naughton 3-7, 0-0 7; Webb 2-4, 0-1 4; Estrada 1-2, 0-0 2; Nielsen 1-2, 0-0 2).
Rebounds: Marshall 25 (Wendorff 7; Meier 5; Hilgemann 3).
Assists: Marshall 19 (Naughton, Hilgemann, Wendorff 4).
Steals: Marshall 13 (Hilgemann 4; Estrada 3).
Blocks: Marshall none.