GIRLS BASKETBALL: Tigers roll past Eagles

MARSHALL – Class 3A No. 3-ranked Marshall needed about 10 minutes to take control of New Ulm during the quarterfinals of the Section 2 Tournament on Tuesday at Marshall High School.

The Tigers forced 12 miscues on the Eagles’ first 15 possessions, as MHS built a 27-5 lead with 8 minutes left before halftime. Marshall, which was able to employ every player on its roster, used a 66-18 decision to defeat New Ulm.

“One of the things that I like about our team is that our kids compete very hard,” MHS head coach Dan Westby said. “Before the game, we talked about three things that people should notice about us: No. 1, we should compete hard; No. 2, we should rebound; and No. 3, we should defend. And I felt like we did all three of those things very well.”

New Ulm head coach Doug Reinhart said the Tigers are relentless, especially on defense.

“Marshall has size, it has quickness and it has been well-coached. Those are the three things that make them successful” Reinhart said. “You can’t coach the size or the quickness. They are strong and they trap like they are well-coached.”

Westby agreed.

“We were right there with our intensity to start the game,” Westby said. “The frustrating part was that we didn’t always convert those turnovers into points.”

Marshall was able to score 17 points off New Ulm’s first 12 turnovers.

Six different Tigers scored six or more points, including Kenzie Beekman (14), Sarah Buysse (11), Hannah Bennett (10), Morgan Saugstad (10), Lexi Saugstad (eight) and Callie Graff (six). Morgan Saugstad (five), Gabby Hess (four) and Lexi Saugstad (four) combined for 13 of Marshall’s 26 rebounds.

Meleah Reinhart led New Ulm (5-20) with six points.

Marshall led 4-0 after making a pair of steals that Beekman converted into transition layups before a 3-pointer from Hunter Ahlness trimmed the Eagles’ deficit to a single point with 15:01 left in the first half. It was the closest New Ulm came to the MHS lead for the rest of the game.

The Tigers scored 23 of the next 25 points.

Buysse began a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer and a layup in transition before Lexi Saugstad added a steal and a layup and Morgan Saugstad did the same.

Meleah Reinhart slowed down Marshall’s attack momentarily by driving the baseline for a layup at the 11:29 mark as New Ulm trailed 13-5.

But Morgan Saugstad answered with the first of her two 3-pointers to spark the Tigers on a 14-0 run. Graff added a three-point play, Mulso scored in transition, Beekman put back a missed shot and Bennett capped the onslaught with a layup and a five-foot jumper.

New Ulm just had no way it could match Marshall’s intensity.

“We knew that we had to handle Marshall’s pressure, both in the full court and in the half court,” Reinhard said. “That is easier said than done. It makes it very difficult, especially when we’re throwing a lot of young kids out there.”

Marshall benefitted from its experience.

“New Ulm is play a lot of young kids,” Westby said. “In our case, we have a lot of players who have been through postseason games like this before.”

MHS will play Mankato East in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. Saturday at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. The Cougars (14-12), who lost to the Tigers 84-38 on Dec. 21, 2013, at Marshall High School, defeated Dassel-Cokato 62-48 in another quarterfinal game Tuesday to advance.





At Marshall


NEW ULM (5-20 OVERALL): Meleah Reinhart 2 2-3 6, Taylor Bolduan 0 0-0 0, Nikki Dittrich 1 0-0 2, Briana Sieve 1 2-2 4, Alyssa Kelly 0 0-0 0, Ellie Schneider 0 0-0 0, Hunter Ahlness 1 0-0 3, Kelsey Anderson 1 0-0 3, Elizabeth Rummel 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 6 4-5 (80%) 15.

MARSHALL (26-1 OVERALL): Sarah Buysse 5 0-0 11, Morgan Saugstad 3 2-2 10, Haley Bennett 0 0-0 0, Marah Mulso 3 0-0 6, Kenzie Beekman 7 0-0 14, Meghann Naughton 0 0-0 0, Hannah Bennett 5 0-0 10, Rose Anderson 0 0-0 0, Callie Graff 1 4-5 6, Bria DeRuyck 0 0-0 0, Gabby Hess 0 0-0 0, Lexi Saugstad 3 0-0 8, Abby Louwagie 0 0-0 0, Emily Buysse 0 1-2 1, Cami Hoover 0 0-0 0, Jackie Petrich 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 27 7-9 (78%) 66.

HALFTIME: Marshall 42, New Ulm 7. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: New Ulm 2 (Ahlness, Anderson); Marshall 5 (M. Saugstad 2, L. Saugstad 2, S. Buysse). REBOUNDS: New Ulm (not reported); Marshall 26 (M. Saugstad 5, Hess 4, L. Saugstad 4). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): New Ulm 8 (none); Marshall 9 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: New Ulm (not reported); Marshall 17 (Bennett 5, Graff 4, Beekman 3). STEALS: New Ulm (not reported); Marshall 17 (Beekman 4, Han. Bennett 3, S. Buysse 2, Graff 2, L. Saugstad 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: New Ulm (not reported); Marshall 1 (Beekman). TURNOVERS: New Ulm (not reported); Marshall 11.