Auburndale girls basketball clamps down on Stratford in second half to stay unbeaten
Paiton Richardson leads Apaches with 20 points
By Paul Lecker
AUBURNDALE — It took a while for Auburndale to get its offense going, but Stratford never really did.
The Apaches trailed for much of the first 25 minutes before using a big run to slip past the Tigers 38-30 in a battle of undefeated teams on Friday night at Auburndale High School.
Trailing 18-15 with a little more than 11 minutes to go, Auburndale had a 15-2 run over the next 5:30 to pull away and keep its perfect season intact, improving to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Marawood Conference South Division. Stratford is now 5-1 and 2-1 in the conference.
Paiton Richardson made her last seven field goal attempts, all coming in the final 13 ½ minutes, to finish with a game-high 20 points for the Apaches. She scored nine points in the decisive run that helped the Apaches take a 30-20 lead.
Stratford turned the ball over on nine of 12 possessions at one point in the second half and scored 10 of its 14 points in the second frame during the final 4:35 — after the Apaches had built a double-digit lead.
“In the second half, we switched things up defensively and switched to a 1-3-1 (zone) and got some steals as the girls seemed to anticipate those passes,” Auburndale coach Scott Meidl said. “That kind of got things going on the offensive end.”
Auburndale’s height advantage, with the 5-11 Richardson and 5-10 Taylor Gotz in the post, caused problems for the Tigers, who shot 34 percent (15 of 44) and finished with 24 turnovers.
“We were in foul trouble a little bit and didn’t have (6-1 center) Andie Zuelke in there, and we didn’t take care of the ball,” Stratford coach Tammie Christopherson said. “Mentally, we broke down there for a stretch, and we were having trouble scoring.
“I have no complaints on the defensive end. We’re out there playing with girls that are 5-6 against 6-foot tall posts. We didn’t get it done on the offensive end. We have a knack for coming up just short against Auburndale, but we’re going to figure it out one of these days.”
The defenses dominated the first half as each team shot under 30 percent and committed a combined 21 turnovers. A basket by Savannah Schillinger at the buzzer put Stratford up 16-13 at the break.
Neither team scored for the first 4:30 of the second half before exchanging baskets.
Richardson’s hoop inside and a free throw by Mackenzie Raab tied it at 18-18 for Auburndale and started the run that changed the game.
Taya Nett scored for the Tigers to give them the lead again with 9:26 remaining, but a three-point play from Richardson put Auburndale back on top, and the Apaches never trailed again.
“They don’t always come out with the energy that I want from them, but then all of a sudden they can pour it on, hopefully at the right time, like they did tonight,” Meidl said. “Stratford’s a good team. I told the girls, ‘You don’t start 5-0 unless you are a good team and have a good work ethic.’ We beat a good team tonight.”
Stratford returns to action Tuesday with a nonconference home game against Rib Lake, and Auburndale is off until Thursday when it plays at Wisconsin Rapids Assumption.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Apaches 38, Tigers 30
Stratford 16 14 – 30
Auburndale 13 25 – 38
STRATFORD (30): Savannah Schillinger 2-7 2-4 7, Taya Nett 1-3 0-0 2, Sammy Griesbach 3-6 3-3 9, Macie Frueh 1-10 0-0 3, Olivia Burrows 0-0 0-0 0, Chelsey Gliniecke 1-4 0-0 2, Kaylee Hollatz 1-2 2-2 4, Andie Zuelke 1-3 1-1 3. FG: 10-35. FT: 8-10. 3-pointers: 2-10 (Frueh 1-5, Schillinger 1-5). Rebounds: 30 (Hollatz 9). Turnovers: 24. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Zuelke. Record: 5-1, 2-1 Marawood Conference South Division.
AUBURNDALE (38): Mackenzie Raab 0-1 5-8 5, Brooke Anderson 0-2 0-0 0, Cassandra Mitchell 0-1 0-0 0, Ashley Peplinski 0-1 0-0 0, Allison Linzmeier 1-5 0-0 2, Rachael Bolder 0-0 0-0 0, Sylviann Momont 0-0 0-4 0, Paiton Richardson 9-17 2-2 20, Taylor Gotz 5-17 1-2 11, Hannah Bolder 0-0 0-1 0. FG: 15-44. FT: 8-17. 3-pointers: 0-0. Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: none. Record: 5-0, 2-0 Marawood South.