GIRLS BASKETBALL: Tigers survive Riders

MARSHALL – Class 3A No. 3 Marshall capitalized in a big way at the free-throw line, and combined with a solid defensive effort, were able to outlast Sioux Falls Roosevelt 67-61 Thursday in Marshall.

The Tigers (23-1 overall) worked hard to get to the line and when they did, they shot 27-for-31, while the Rough Riders were 5 of 8 at the stripe. Senior Hannah Bennett led Marshall at the line, going 10-for-10 and finishing with 14 points.

“It was a pretty good effort,” Tiger head coach Dan Westby said. “I thought out kids were aggressive going to the basket and the fact that they were able to knock down those free throws certainly gave us a big boost, especially Hannah down the stretch there.”

Both teams battled hard, trading baskets back and forth for most of the contest. Marshall held a slim 29-28 halftime advantage and had a difficult time pulling ahead of Roosevelt. Halfway through the second half, Morgan Saugstad hit from downtown to give the Tigers a 46-42 edge, but within a minute, the Rough Riders had knotted the score.

A pair of free throws from Callie Graff put Marshall back up, but Roosevelt continued to keep pace, sinking a basket to match the score at 48- and 50-all. Saugstad went 2-for-2 at the line to put the Tigers up by two, but a 3-pointer from the top of the key gave the Rough Riders a 53-52 advantage with five minutes and 13 seconds remaining in the game.

After a Marshall timeout, Sarah Buysse connected on a 3-pointer, putting the Tigers back in the lead. On the next possession, Marshall took some time off of the clock.

“The plan was to just keep playing hard,” Buysse said. “We didn’t want to foul. We were just looking for a layup, otherwise we just kept stalling and moving the ball around.”

Graff found an open lane, drew a foul on the ensuing drive and knocked down both free-throw shots to put Marshall up by four. But the Rough Riders pulled to within one when Taylor Deutsch hit from beyond the arc at the 3:10 mark.

Twenty-five seconds later, Lexi Saugstad scored on a rebound putback to increase the Tigers’ lead to three. Bennett then picked up her fourth foul, followed by a team timeout. After Buysse came up with a big steal, Marshall went into a stall once again. Bennett made a Roosevelt foul hurt by draining both free throws with 1:14 left to play.

“We work on free throws every day,” Bennett said. “So that really goes to Mr. Westby for making us shoot at the free-throw line every day and practicing it all the time.”

After a defensive stop, Beekman caught a deep-court pass and converted on the layup to give the Tigers a 63-56 edge. The Rough Riders wouldn’t go away, however, and answered with a 3-pointer from Paige Mriden with 26 seconds left. Mriden drained five baskets from behind the arc and led Roosevelt with 26 points in the contest.

“I thought it was a good game for both teams,” Westby said. “Both teams played hard. They certainly present some tough matchups for people. They’ve got an extremely quick point guard and they’ve got a kid on the wing that can create her own shot. And (Thursday), she knocked a number of shots down. There were a number of times, we had kids right there and she still hit those shots, so you have to tip your hat to her as well. Then they have a big kid (6-foot-2) inside.”

Bennett sealed the win with four more free throws down the stretch.

“Both of the teams played really hard,” Bennett said. “They were shooting well and there were times where we weren’t. Then there were times where we were shooting well and they weren’t. We just came out on top, getting the win with our defense.”

Westby also thought the team’s defensive effort was instrumental in getting the victory.

“They’re a good team,” he said. “But I thought we defended really well (Thursday). Outside of the looks that the kid knocked down on the outside, I don’t think we really gave them much. They pretty much had to earn everything they got. It was a good defensive effort by our kids.”

Along with Bennett’s 14 points, Marshall had five players score in double-digits. Buysse led the team with 15 points, followed by Morgan Saugstad (12), Beekman (11) and Lexi Saugstad (10).

” I think both teams played really hard,” Buysse said. “It was a fun win.”

Beekman also grabbed six rebounds, while Morgan Saugstad collected five. Buysse and Marah Mulso added four board apiece. Bennett dished out three assists, while Beekman swiped three steals and blocked two shots.

Tagyn Larson chipped in 14 points for Roosevelt, while Nicole Hatcher added 10.

Next up for the Tigers is a 1:30 p.m. matchup against Benilde-St. Margaret’s Saturday in Marshall. Coach Westby expects the contest to be a very competitive one, which is just what the team needs before heading into the post-season. The Red Knights are 18-5 overall this year.

“They’re very good,” Westby said. “They’ve got a very good point guard, a lot like the kid (Thursday). So that will be another hard-fought game. I think our kids are excited to play in some of those games. I thought we really defended well tonight. That was good to see, especially at this time of year.”


SIOUX FALLS, S.D., ROOSEVELT (10-7 OVERALL): Nicole Hatcher 4 2-2 10, Taylor Deutsch 2 0-0- 5, Tagyn Larson 7 0-0 14, Paige Mriden 10 1-2 26, Peyton Stolle 0 0-2 0, Lexi Koltz 2 2-2 6. TOTALS: 25 5-8 61.

MARSHALL (21-1 OVERALL): Sarah Buysse 5 4-4 15, Morgan Saugstad 3 4-4 12, Marah Mulso 0 1-2 1, Kenzie Beekman 4 2-3 11, Hannah Bennett 2 10-10 14, Callie Graff 0 4-6 4, Lexi Saugstad 3 2-2 10. TOTALS: 17 27-31 67.

HALFTIME: Marshall 29, SF Roosevelt 28. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: SF Roosevelt 6 (Mriden 5, Deutsch 1); Marshall 6 (M. Saugstad 2, L. Saugstad 2, Buysse 1, Beekman 1). REBOUNDS: SF Roosevelt (not available); Marshall 26 (Beekman 6, M. Saugstad 5, Buysse 4, Mulso 4). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): SF Roosevelt 20 (none); Marshall 9 (none) TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: SF Roosevelt (not available); Marshall 7 (Bennett 3). STEALS: SF Roosevelt (not available); Marshall 9 (Beekman 3, Buysse 3, M. Saugstad 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: SF Roosevelt (not available); Marshall 2 (Beekman). TURNOVERS: SF Roosevelt (not available); Marshall 14.