The Tigers down the Evergreens in showdown of conference undefeateds
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — With points hard to come by, the Marshfield girls basketball team turned up its defensive pressure in the second half to hold off D.C. Everest 46-40 in a battle of undefeated Wisconsin Valley Conference squads on Tuesday night at Marshfield High School.
Marshfield made its final field goal on a steal and basket by Maddie Nikolai with 3:33 to go. Clinging to a three-point lead with just under two minutes left, the Tigers forced three more turnovers, and Everest missed its final three shot attempts.
The Tigers made three free throws in the final 1:16 to put away the victory.
Marshfield is now 12-1 overall and remains the lone undefeated team in the WVC at 5-0 as Everest falls to 8-4 and 4-1 in the conference.
Nikolai finished with 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 at the free throw line to lead the Tigers. Her three fast-break baskets, two coming off steals she made, fueled a 14-7 run over the final nine minutes to close out the win.
“I talked about how our bigs matchup. (Marshfield’s McKayla) Scheuer and (D.C. Everest’s Taylor) Petit kind of cancel, and it comes down to those other two guards, and Maddie just came up really big,” Marshfield coach Heidi Michaelis said. “She was very efficient and didn’t force anything. She was able to get good looks because she was so aggressive with the ball. It was the difference in the game.”
Marshfield jumped out to a 6-0 lead and was up 12-5 six minutes in before the Evergreens got their offense going.
A 10-0 run put Everest up 15-12 after a 3-pointer by Samantha Anderson.
Marshfield responded with the next six points to regain the lead, and the game was tied twice in the final four minutes of the first half before a Mariah Larson 3-pointer in the closing seconds gave Everest a 25-24 halftime lead.
The game remained tight for the first 10 minutes of the second half. A basket by Lexie Higgins push Everest ahead 33-32, but Scheuer responded with a 3-pointer with 9:04 to go to put the Tigers on top for good.
After a free throw by Everest, Nikolai had the Tigers’ next six points, all on fast breaks. An Emily Bauman basket with 1:51 left gave Everest its last points, cutting Marshfield’s lead to 43-40, but the Tigers did enough defensively from there to close out the win.
“They were really aggressive, but we came back at it,” said Marshfield junior Ema Fehrenbach, who had 10 points and eight rebounds. “It’s pretty exciting. All of us were going crazy. It was a good win.”
The victory was Marshfield’s fifth in a row following its lone loss of the season to Bay Port (ranked first in this week’s Wissports.net Division 1 state coaches poll) on Dec. 22 and caps off a big week for the Tigers (ranked fifth in Division 1) as they won road games at Chippewa Falls on Jan. 5 and Merrill on Jan. 7 leading up to Tuesday’s win over the Evergreens.
“There was not a flow, especially offensively,” Michaelis said. “I thought defensively we were pretty solid. We gave up some second and third shots and different spurts, but overall it really came down to a stop here or there. Maddie Nikolai came up huge. It was little things in this game.
“That was the biggest thing for these kids is that they found a way to win tonight. Everest is a rivalry, and we have not come up big against them in recent years.”
Marshfield plays at Wausau East on Friday.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 46, Evergreens 40
D.C. Everest 25 15 – 40
Marshfield 24 22 – 46
D.C. EVEREST (40): Natalie Mohring 1-5 3-6 5, Lauren Rohr 0-3 0-0 0, Emily Bauman 2-6 0-0 4, Samantha Anderson 1-4 0-0 3, Mariah Larson 2-3 0-0 6, Taylor Petit 2-8 0-0 5, Lexie Higgins 3-7 0-0 6, Ashley Hodell 4-13 3-3 11. FG: 15-49. FT: 6-9. 3-pointers: 4-16 (Larson 2-3, Petit 1-4, Anderson 1-3, Rohr 0-2, Bauman 0-4). Rebounds: 36 (Petit 12, Hodell 11). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: none. Record: 8-4, 4-1 Wisconsin Valley Conference.
MARSHFIELD (46): McKayla Scheuer 2-8 3-4 8, Dani Bender 0-0 0-0 0, Sara Dasler 0-0 0-0 0, Corianne Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Meg Bryan 0-6 2-2 2, Maddie Nikolai 8-13 4-4 20, Ema Fehrenbach 4-11 2-2 10, Hannah Meverden 2-8 2-5 6. FG: 16-46. FT: 13-17. 3-pointers: 1-6 (Scheuer 1-2, Bryan 0-4). Rebounds: 34 (Meverden 8, Nikolai 8). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: none. Record: 12-1, 5-0 Wisconsin Valley Conference.