The Marshall girls’ basketball team couldn’t have picked a better time to be playing their best defense.

The Cardinals rode their defense — limiting their two opponents to an average of 30 points per game — in their first two postseason games, earning a a third consecutive WIAA Division 3 regional title and continuing their quest to three-peat as state champs.

Marshall 63

Mayville 28

From the opening tip on Friday, Marshall demonstrated why their top seed was well-deserved. Heavy doses of Laura Nickel and Anna Lutz, who combined to score 37 points on the night, quickly led to a large Marshall lead.

Eight-seeded Mayville — coming off a 21-point win in their opening-round postseason game — struggled to get into any rhythm on the other end of the court, scoring just 11 points in the first half. This allowed Marshall to build a 29-point advantage by halftime: 40-11.

With a big lead in hand – and the outcome all but certain — Marshall’s offense took their foot off the gas pedal. Their defense, however, remained stout. Marshall surrendered just 17 points after halftime to limit Mayville to only 28 points, a season-low. No Mayville player scored more than seven points in the game.

NICKEL SCORES

1,000TH

Nickel led all scorers with 20 points, eclipsing the 1,000-point mark in her career to become the sixth player in program history to do so.

Lutz followed with 17 points, while Abby Ward chipped in seven and Mya Andrews had six. Rain Held tacked on four points, Allie Rateike had three and Halle Weisensel and Sandra Assaba rounded out the scoring with two points each.

The win advanced Marshall onto the WIAA Regional Final against Berlin.

MARSHALL 63, MAYVILLE 28

Mayville 11 17 — 28

Marshall 40 23 — 63

Mayville (fg ft-fta pts) — Schraufnagel 1 4-4 7, Konrad 2 0-0 4, Perry 2 0-0 4, Welak 1 2-2 4, Wagner 1 0-0 2, Huston 2 2-2 7. Totals — 9 8-8 28.

Marshall — Nickel 6 7-8 20, Lutz 6 4-4 17, Ward 3 0-0 7, Andrews 3 0-0 6, Held 2 0-0 4, Rateike 1 0-0 3, Assaba 1 0-0 2, Jesberger 1 0-1 2, Weisensel 1 0-0 2, Antonio-Reyes 0 0-2 0. Totals — 24 11-15 63.

3-point goals — MAY 2 (Schraufnagel 1, Huston 1), MAR 4 (Nickel 1, Lutz 1, Ward 1, Rateike 1). Total fouls — MAY 13, MAR 9.

Marshall 59

Berlin 32

Against fourth-seeded Berlin, the Cardinals again relied on their unyielding defense. Though Berlin managed to keep it closer than Mayville did the previous night, Marshall was still able to open up a double-digit lead in the first half.

Up 32-19 coming out of the halftime break, the Cardinals’ defense held Berlin to 13 points in the second half to prevent any comeback and secure the regional title.

Nickel again led Marshall’s offense with a game-high 22 points, followed by Lutz with 16 and Ward with 13. Assaba contributed three points, while Andrews and Held each scored two. Jenna Swanlund rounded out the scoring for the Cardinals with one point.

Marshall, now 20-4 and winners of 14th in a row heads into Thursday’s Division 3 sectional semifinal against third-seeded Laconia. It will be a rematch of last year’s Division 4 state championship game, won 64-56 by the Cardinals.

Tipoff at Lomira High School is 7 p.m.

Should Marshall emerge with a win, it’ll play the winner between Platteville and Prairie du Chien in Baraboo on Saturday with a berth to the WIAA State Girls Basketball Tournament on the line.

Tip time in Baraboo is scheduled for 1 p.m.

MARSHALL 59

BERLIN 32

Berlin 19 13 — 32

Marshall 32 27 — 59

Berlin (fg ft-fta pts) — Jodarski 3 1-2 8, Block 3 0-1 6, Klawitter 2 0-0 5, Bartol 0 0-1 0 Sternitske 1 0-0 3, Naparalla 2 2-5 6, Lueck 2 0-0 4. Totals — 13 3-9 32.

Marshall — Lutz 16, Andrews 2, Held 2, Swanlund 1, Assaba 1, Nickel 22, Ward 13. Totals — 59.

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