Assumption’s pressure too much for Stratford girls basketball
By Paul Lecker
STRATFORD — Stratford hung with Wisconsin Rapids Assumption for the first quarter, but from there the Royals’ full-court pressure became unbearable for the Tigers.
Assumption forced 14 turnovers in the second quarter, leading to a parade of layups to turn a two-point deficit into a 21-point lead. The Royals cruised the rest of the way, downing Stratford 57-30 in a Marawood Conference South Division girls basketball game Monday night at Stratford High School.
The Tigers led 10-8 after the first quarter as junior point guard Macie Frueh scored eight of her team-high 16 points in the opening 7 minutes.
Assumption outscored Stratford 30-7 in the decisive second quarter. A 20-1 run during the first 4:49 of the quarter proved to be the difference in the game.
The Royals closed the half by scoring eight points in the final 55 seconds, all coming on layups following Stratford turnovers, and led 38-17 at the break.
“We went in the locker room after this, and I said that part of the growing up process is being mentally tough,” Stratford coach Tammie Christopherson said. “I feel like physically we can play with them, but mentally we went away.”
Stratford lost starting guard Savannah Schillinger to an injury just 40 seconds into the game, leaving the Tigers a player short and without one of their top outside shooters the rest of the way.
“We lost one of our starters early, and everyone struggled a little bit tonight, and against a team like that, we have to be on,” Christopherson said. “They made us pay for it and pay for it hard. We’re growing, and we’ll learn. We’re still a good team. We just have to work harder to be a better team so the next time we face them we’re ready for that pressure.”
Assumption’s 6-foot-1 junior center Gena Grundhoffer was a force both inside and out. Grundhoffer hit a number of jumpers from just above the free throw line but did most of her damage underneath and at the stripe. She finished with 22 points, making 8 of 18 shots from the field and all six of her free throw attempts.
The Tigers scored the first five points of the second half on a basket by Tianna Hughes and a 3-pointer by Frueh but did not score for the next 5 minutes, and Assumption pushed its lead to 46-24.
The Royals (7-2, 4-1 Marawood South) finished off the win with a 10-1 run over the first 2 minutes of the fourth quarter.
Stratford (7-2, 2-2 Marawood South) returns to action Dec. 29 when it plays against Lakeland in the first round of the Lakeland Invitational in Minoqua at 4 p.m. Stephenson (Michigan) plays Crandon in the other semifinal at 2 p.m. The losers play for third place at 2 p.m. Dec. 30, and the winners play for the tournament championship at 4 p.m.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Royals 57, Tigers 30
Assumption 8 30 8 11 – 57
Stratford 10 7 7 6 – 30
ASSUMPTION (57): Macyn Krings 2-5 2-2 6, Kara Milkey 0-1 0-0 0, Gracie Wendels 1-2 2-2 4, Autumn Linzmeier 3-5 0-2 6, Macie Zurfluh 6-14 4-6 16, Carsyn Bushman 0-0 0-0 0, Gena Grundhoffer 8-18 6-6 22, Allyse Sullivan 0-0 0-0 0, Chrysten Linzmeier 0-0 1-2 1, Rose Crowns 1-1 0-0 2. FG: 21-46. FT: 0-0. 3-pointers: 0-0. Rebounds: 17 (Grundhoffer 5). Assists: 9 (Krings 3). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Wendels. Record: 7-2, 4-1 Marawood Conference South Division.
STRATFORD (30): Sammy Griesbach 0-2 0-0 0, Macie Frueh 6-15 3-4 16, Brittany Bredemann 0-1 0-1 0, Tianna Hughes 1-6 2-6 4, Emily Manecke 0-0 0-0 0, Savannah Schillinger 0-0 0-0 0, Casey Kolbeck 0-5 3-3 3, Marissa Cepress 1-1 0-0 2, Andie Zuelke 2-2 1-4 5. FG: 10-32. FT: 9-18. 3-pointers: 1-8 (Frueh 1-5, Kolbeck 0-3). Rebounds: 25 (Zuelke 5). Assists: 3. Turnvoers: 32. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Hughes. Record: 7-2, 2-2 Marawood Conference South Division.