The two-time defending WIAA Division 3 state champion Marshall girls’ basketball team opened its season this past weekend on the road, traveling to Beaver Dam for a pair of games.
The Cardinals split their first two games, falling in the season opener to Germantown on Friday before besting the Sabers of Franklin the following day.
Against a seasoned Division 1 Warhawk squad, the Cardinals held their own early. Led by consistent scoring by Anna Lutz, Marshall stuck with Germantown as the first half progressed.
By halftime, the Warhawks led by just one point over the Cardinals: 27-26.
It was in the second half when Germantown’s depth allowed the Warhawks to pull away. The backcourt duo of Natalie McNeal and Kamorea Arnold proved to be more than the Cardinals could contain; the two combined for 42 points. By the time the final horn rang, Germantown had extended their lead to double digits, handing the Cardinals a 69-57 defeat in their season opener.
Lutz led the Cardinals with 24 points, followed by 10 from Halle Weinsensel and eight apiece by Laura Nickel and Abby Ward. Rain Held tacked on three points, while Allie Rateike and Sandra Assaba rounded out the scoring with two points apiece.
Marshall had little time to dwell on the loss; the next day, they headed back to Beaver Dam to take on Franklin.
Once again, the Cardinals were able to rely on Lutz on the offensive end of the court. The Marshall junior led all scorers in the game with her second consecutive 24-point outing.
Against the Sabers, Marshall found a steady number two scorer in Nickel. Marshall’s junior forward tacked on 17 points throughout the game, allowing the Cardinals to open up a double-digit lead over the Sabers in the first half.
At halftime, Marshall’s lead stood at 32-19.
Franklin’s offense managed to find the bottom of the basket with more regularity in the second half; the Sabers scored 36 in the second stanza, but Marshall’s offense kept pace to ensure there would be no comeback for Franklin.
By game’s end, the Cardinals had secured their first win of the year, besting the Sabers 66-55. Ward tallied seven points for Marshall, followed by five from Held. Weinensel and Assaba each rounded out the scoring with four points apiece.
The Cardinals (1-1) head home next Tuesday, Dec. 3, for their home opener against Monroe; tip time at Marshall High School is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Marshall 26 31 — 57
Germantown 27 42 — 69
Marshall (pts) — Lutz 24, Rateilke 2, Held 3, Weisensel 10, Assaba 2, Nickel 8, Ward 8. Totals — 57.
Germantown (pts) — Arnold 16, McNeal 26, Richmond 5, Palzkill 4, Ische 2, Wizner 6, Pampuch 2, Acker 8. Totals — 69.
Marshall 32 34 — 66
Franklin 19 36 — 55
Marshall (pts) — Lutz 24, Held 5, Weisensel 4, Assaba 4, Nickel 17, Ward 7. Totals — 61.
Franklin (pts) — Schwartz 1, Wesolowski 2, Cawlitta 3, Bollis 2, Hoffman 3, Rangel 17, Grulkowski 8, Matthews 7, Boll 3, Harris 6, Wojcinski 3. Totals — 55.