Anna Lutz

Anna Lutz rises up for two of her game-high 28 points against Belleville on Thursday.

The Marshall girls’ basketball team wanted to make a statement in their first Capitol South game of the season.

Statement made.

The Cardinals’ offense was firing on all cylinders against the Wildcats of Belleville at home on Thursday, winning by a 29-point margin.

Marshall 86,

Belleville 57

“We’ve come off a 10-game stretch where we played seven on the road. Our four losses are to ranked teams…” said Marshall’s Head Coach Doug Pickarts. “It’s nice to get back in the win column and win convincingly.”

The Cardinals took advantage of a handful of quick runs to build their lead; the first came when the score was 8-7 in Marshall’s favor. Getting four buckets from four different players, Marshall went on an 8-0 run for the first time of the night.

Three more times throughout the night, the Cardinals were able to pull off 8-0 runs, constantly seizing momentum any time the Wildcats managed to build any themselves.

“It breaks their spirit a little bit…” said Pickarts of Marshall’s runs throughout the night.

After the Cardinals’ second 8-0 run, their lead stood at 39-22 with three minutes to go in the first half.

That lead remained steady until the half, when Marshall took a 47-28 lead into the locker room.

Early in the second half, the Cardinals’ runs came early. Separated by a Belleville three, the Cardinals had back-to-back 8-0 runs, with Anna Lutz and Abby Ward combining for 14 of the 16 Marshall points during the stretch.

After leading by as many as 35 points, the benches cleared for both benches after the game’s outcome was all but decided. The clock finally ran out, with Marshall posting a season-high in points scored with their 86-57 win.

The Cardinals were able to rely on getting shots at the basket all game, consistently scoring on layups off of steals and good passes.

“With Anna Lutz and Laura Nickel, we want to get it inside; that’s been our philosophy all year…” added Pickarts. “Anna did a really nice job finding a couple kids for layups. I thought our kids moved pretty well on offense, and that opens up the lanes for cuts.”

Lutz led all scorers with 28 points on the night, followed by Nickel with 17. Ward chipped in 12 points, while Mya Andrews scored nine. Rain Held tacked on seven, followed by Allie Rateike with five and Halle Weisensel with four. Sandra Assaba and Jazmin Antonio Reyes rounded out the scoring with two points apiece.

The Cardinals, now 7-4 (1-0 Capitol South Conference) will return home for their next contest against conference foe Waterloo. Tip time at Marshall High School is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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