Girls basketball: Defense gets it done for Marshfield

Girls basketball: Defense gets it done for Marshfield

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Girls basketball: Defense gets it done for Marshfield

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MARSHFIELD

When the offense started to sputter, the Marshfield girls leaned on defense.

It turned out to be the right way to go as the Tigers ground out a 41-33 victory over Eau Claire Memorial during a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal game Friday. The win was the 10th straight for the Tigers.

The Tigers play at Superior for the regional title at 7 p.m. today. The Spartans beat Hudson 71-60 in their regional semifinal.

The game will give the the Tigers a chance to see how far they’ve come since at 71-38 loss to Superior — ranked seventh in Division 1 in the final Associated Press poll — the first game of the season.

“This a different team than where we were at the beginning of the season,” Marshfield coach Heidi Michaelis said. “We have a tough test, but I’m excited to see where we are now compared to where we started.”

Added junior guard Caitlin Michaels, “Superior wasn’t the best memory, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ve improved so much during the season and we are like a family now.”

Leading by 10 points with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, the Old Abes closed the gap to five, 28-23, on Anna Grasskamp’s buzzer-beater.

“We needed to keep our heads in the game and focus on winning the little battles to win the game,” junior Natalie Zuelke said when asked about what the team did to fend off Memorial’s run.

Memorial could only get as close as three points down the stretch, however.

A key steal by McKayla Scheuer with 42.9 seconds left was the beginning of the end for Memorial. Scheuer was fouled on the play and made the two free throws. The Tigers went 7 for 9 from the line in the final 40 seconds to secure the game.

And the stingy defense forced three other turnovers during the final ticks of the clock.

“The kids played a smart defensive game and we thought we would win this game with defense and we did,” coach Michaelis said. “Our offense isn’t where we’ve been in the past, and I don’t think we hit a shot outside 14 feet, but we’ve been getting the job done during this run.”

Marshfield’s Ellie Fehrenbach led all scorers with 12 points, including eight in the first quarter. She sat most of the second quarter in foul trouble and eventually fouled out late in the fourth.

EC Memorial 9 3 11 10 33
Marshfield 10 8 10 13 41

Leading scorers: ECM, Olivia Hanson 2, Allie Biermeier 4, Lauren Novak 6, Anna Grasskamp 8, Ali Gruhlke 2, Carly Massey 1, Kameron Gorres 8, Bridget Hujik 2; M, Cailin Michaelis 8, Ellie Fehrenbach 12, McKayla Scheuer 9, Natalie Zuelke 8, Ema Fehrenbach 4. Free throws: ECM 13-19; M 9-15. 3-pointers: ECM 2 (Gorres 2); M 0.

Records: Marshfield 16-7 ; Eau Claire Memorial 16-6.

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