MARATHON – Morgan Rachu does a bit of everything for the Marathon girls basketball team.
The junior point guard leads the Marawood Conference South Division in assists, is fourth in rebounding and tied for fifth in steals.
Rachu also is the second leading scorer (9.2 points per game) for a Marathon team that is ranked ninth in Division 4 in this week’s Associated Press state girls basketball poll.
Marathon suffered a setback to Auburndale last week, its first loss of the season, and travels to Colby on Tuesday before facing Assumption in a Marawood South matchup on Thursday.
Marathon is in a three-way tie with Auburndale and Assumption for first place in the Marawood South.
“When we take a shot, she gets sent to the glass because she is one of our best offensive rebounders, if not the best,” Marathon coach Jeff Schneider said of Rachu. “She just has that drive, a motor and athletic ability (in rebounding) and for her to get two or three offensive boards a game is a boost to us.”
Rachu was a honorable mention all-Marawood Conference selection last season, and has made strides in her game since.
“I think the biggest thing is going to the rim,” Schneider said. “She has been a catch and shoot player and proven that she is a threat from the 3-point line. Now, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m a threat to shoot the ball, but I can also get into the paint.’ She can drive and dish, or her strength allows her to get to the rim and finish. We hope she can keep doing those things and keep getting better at them.”
Teams learn from losses. What is the biggest thing that you learned from the setback at Auburndale last week? We just know we didn’t really work as a team that time, and for these next upcoming games we have to work harder as a team and use that chemistry between all of us.
Talk about this team. The core of this roster is back from last year, and how does that help to have that continuity? There’s not much change at all. We all know each other very well and we have great chemistry. We consider everyone (on the team) family and that is always a great thing to be part of.
In terms of your game, how much pride do you put into your rebounding and the way you attack the boards? I just love doing that so much. I know I have my team to help me out, and I just have to thank them for giving me that opportunity. I know we’ve got posts and taller people than me, but just having that opportunity to get in there with them and conquer the boards, that is a great feeling.
What is the mentality to be a solid rebounder. Is it just aggressiveness or what? It’s aggressiveness, but we think of Clay Matthews and how he has that motor always running. That part of getting in there and getting the rebounds.
Was there one area of your game you really worked on. Your coach touched on how you are driving to the basket a bit more this season: Coach wants me to take a higher standard of going to the rim more and shooting more shots. I’ve just been practicing those shots so I will be ready and they will fall in a game.
The success this team had last year, and what you accomplished this past fall in volleyball, how does that experience pay off in the high-pressured moments now? I know I say a lot about my team, but honestly, it’s all about my team. They support me and it’s coming together as a family. It just makes it easier to play the games.
Tim Johnson can be reached at 715-845-0731. Find him on Twitter @timmyjo11
Sports: Basketball, volleyball, track
Family: Mother, Teri; father, Jeff; brother, Dakota.
Favorite subject: Science and math.
Favorite opponent: Assumption, because three of the players I played with in AAU (Wisconsin Blizzard).
Favorite movies: I like scary movies the most.
Music: I listen to a lot, so it’s hard to say.
Favorite athlete: I always looked up to other high school players. When I was little I always looked up to Alex Boehm. I don’t know if it was because of the number because I really like 14, but I always watched her.