A red-hot start was the main ingredient for the Stevens Point Area Senior High School girls during a Wisconsin Valley Conference matchup against a young, but feisty Marshfield.
The Panthers scored the first 17 points to cruise to a 59-40 victory over the Tigers.
With the victory, the Panthers improved to 8-1 in the league to remain a game ahead of second-place Wausau West with just six more conference dates left on the Valley schedule.
SPASH, which led 19-5 after the first quarter wrapped up, had a comfortable 36-19 advantage at the half.
“We had a great start to the game,” Panthers coach Dave Hauser said. “We played good defense and we got and took good shots. The girls did a good job of putting people in a position to take good shots.”
The Tigers, however, were not about to go away quietly. By outscoring the Panthers 11-8 the Tigers narrowed the gap to nine points early in the third quarter, but trailed by 13 at the end of it.
“Marshfield is a good team and this isn’t an easy place to play,” Hauser said. “Marshfield played a good third quarter. I hoped we would have been a little more ready to go after the half, but I’m proud of how the girls finished the game out.”
SPASH poured in 16 more in the final eight minutes for a 19-point margin of victory.
Led by Nicki Hauser’s 14 points, the Panthers had three girls in double figures, with Heather Woyak and McKenzie Taggatz, rounding out the double-digit scorers with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Caitlin Michaelis led the Tigers with 13 and Darian Molter chipped in with 10.
SPASH(59): Bryana Reisenauer 7, Jessica Pilsner 4, Heather Woyak 13, McKenzie Taggatz 10, Brianna Flugaur 1, Abby Bohanski 1, Nicki Hunter 14, Taylor Smola 9.
MARSHFIELD(40): Darian Molter 10, Natalie Zuelke 8, Caitlin Michaelis 13, Ellie Kummer 9.
3-pointers: SPASH 5 (Reisenauer, Woyak 3, Taggatz); Marshfield 3 (Michaelis 2, Kummer).
Records: SPASH 13-4, 8-1 WVC; Marshfield 9-8, 3-6 WVC.