Saugstad hits 5 3s as Tiger girls overwhelm JCC

Senior guard Kelsey Saugstad knocked down five 3-pointers and scored 27 points as the Marshall girls’ basketball team crushed Jackson County Central 74-36 Tuesday night in Southwest Conference action in Jackson.

The Tigers led throughout the game and held a 45-21 lead by halftime. It was the start Marshall head coach Dan Westby was hoping to see against a Huskies team that has been having difficulties finding its groove.

“JCC is a team that had a difficult week last week, so they came in struggling, but those games can be scary,” Westby said. “Fortunately, our kids got up early and Kelsey really shot the ball well early on to give us a nice cushion.”

The Tigers, ranked eighth in Class AAA, moved to 15-3 overall and 7-0 in the conference after the win, while JCC fell to 8-12 and 2-7 in SWC play.

Westby said the Huskies had trouble against his team’s full-court pressure early in the game which keyed the Tigers’ fast start. Marshall finished the game with 19 steals. Junior forward Kenzie Beekman had five of those steals to go along with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Morgan Saugstad also finished in double figures scoring for the Tigers with 11 points. Eleven Marshall players scored in the game as the Tigers were able to clear their bench in the second half.

Scoring with ease when they had the ball, the Tigers benefited from strong ball movement throughout the game. They finished with 20 assists, five of which came from Kelsey Saugstad.

“The other thing I thought Kelsey did a nice job of was she looked to get other people involved,” Westby said. “We scored a lot of points on the break and Kelsey and some other kids did a good job finding people in transition and we did a good job of finishing at the basket.”

The Tigers are off until Jan. 29 when they play host to Redwood Valley in a Southwest Conference contest.