MARQUETTE - Marquette and Negaunee gave each other a dose of their own defensive medicine before the Redettes emerged with a 45-38 girls basketball victory on Monday night.
Each team prides itself on its defense as the main reason Marquette was ranked No. 1 and Negaunee No. 3 in the Upper Peninsula entering the game.
The score was tied 8-8 after one quarter and 13-13 at halftime before MSHS imposed its defensive will to take a 35-26 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Negaunee’s Taylor Wilber gets double teamed by Marquette’s Destiny Beckwith (14) and Kirsten Iwanski (42) during the third quarter on Monday at Marquette Senior High School. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
"Negaunee handled our press pretty well in the first half, but I think we just wore them down a little bit in the second half," Redettes coach Ben Smith said.
He added that his team took better advantage of converting steals into easy fastbreak buckets in the third quarter.
"The thing I'm most impressed with Negaunee is how they play really hard defensively," Smith said. "They're not a real pressing kind of team, but they just guard you so closely in their half-court man defense."
Marquette (12-2) extended its lead to 12 points about halfway through the final quarter, but on the strength of several baskets by junior Chelsea Cappoferri, the Miners (11-2) pulled within four points a few minutes later. The Redettes held them off only by making free throws down the stretch.
MSHS sophomore Hunter Viitala and Negaunee junior Rosalie Anderson shared scoring honors with 12 points. Viitala also had five steals, four rebounds and three blocked shots.
Smith was pleased with the play of point guard Liana Storm, who was ill over the weekend and could barely call out plays Monday. While she scored just four points, she added team highs of nine assists and eight rebounds along with three steals.
"She didn't have her shooting touch, but she really gutted it out and was a big contributor in other ways," Smith said.
Sophomore Lizzie Kurin scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds.
Marquette won the JV game, 52-10.
At Gwinn, the Modeltowners were efficient on offense and used their superior height, amassing a huge 46-21 rebounding advantage.
"If we don't face pressure, we have a chance to work our offense and get the ball inside," GHS coach Ben Olsen said. "And our 2-3 zone defense really seem to bother them in the first half."
Gwinn, which improved to 4-9 overall and 3-4 in the Mid-Peninsula Conference, raced to leads of 14-3 after one quarter and 33-12 at halftime.
Modeltowners junior center Shelby Talsma led all players with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while teammates Ellie Olsen and Lydia Asplund added 13 points each. Asplund also pulled down 11 rebounds.
For Manistique (4-9, 2-6), junior Leah Cook and senior Gabby Lafayette scored 12 points apiece, while sophomore Maggie Morrison had 11 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Gwinn won the JV game, 49-47.
Iron Mountain 23
At Ishpeming, the Hematites' defense limited Iron Mountain to just three points in each of the first two quarters as Ishpeming (9-5, 7-2) built a 19-6 halftime lead.
"My girls played really good defense in the first half," IHS coach Mark Dellangelo said, adding that IM (2-11, 1-7) pulled within six points in the fourth quarter before Ishpeming made enough free throws to pull away.
That late effort was directed by Ishpeming senior Jordann Grigg, who led all scorers with 10 points, making 6 of 8 free throws. The rest of the Hematites were just 7 of 20 at the line.
Scoring nine points each were Ishpeming sophomore Tammy Simula and IM's Katelynn Johnson.
The Hematites won the JV game, but no score was available.