Grundy Center overwhelms Mustangs

Full-court press powers Spartans to league victory

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Grundy Center’s Reegan Zinkula, left, gets a shot off against East Marshall in Tuesday’s NICL West Division contest in Le Grand. Zinkula accounted for 10 points, helping the Spartans to a 56-34 win.

LE GRAND — A slow start from both teams turned into a barrage of 3-pointers from the Spartans in the second quarter. The Grundy Center girls’ basketball team built a double-digit lead by halftime, and the Spartans never looked back. Grundy Center pulled away from East Marshall to claim a 56-34 win in NICL West Division play Tuesday night.

The Spartans (3-1, 1-1 NICL West), made up of a varsity roster of two juniors and 10 sophomores, held just a 10-9 lead after a sloppy opening quarter from both teams, more turnovers and fouls happening than points. A Madison McMartin field goal, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Hailey Wallis powered an 8-1 run to an 18-10 lead against the Mustangs (2-2, 1-2 NICL West). Field goals from Reegan Zinkula and McMartin gave the Spartans their first double-digit margin of the night at 22-12.

“We didn’t move our feet very well defensively,” said Grundy Center coach Matt Lindeman. “The press wasn’t near as effective as what we wanted it to be. It was mainly because of us, but some of the things they did. (The Mustangs) were either getting to the free-throw line because of a foul, or getting to the basket, which credit them.

“We really talked at halftime about get down, get after it. Changed things a bit and went to a zone. Still wanted to keep the pressure up. Didn’t start real well the first couple times in the third quarter, but we were able to kind of then put it together.”

A pair of 3-pointers from Zinkula plus three points from Brooke Flater helped Grundy Center stretch its lead to 31-14, forcing a Mustang timeout. East Marshall scored the final four points of the opening half on a bucket from Madison Farrington, followed by a steal and a breakaway for Bobbi Amendt, who trimmed the Spartan lead to 13 right before the buzzer.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

“We’re just worrying about playing one game at a time, and getting better one game at a time,” said East Marshall coach Greg Lee. “We basically got beat by 10 baskets. If we can figure out a way to come up with five more and hold them five, it’s a tighter game. We played them well. Right now they’re better than we are, but we’ll see where we’re at come the second half.”

The Mustangs scored the first five points of the second half on a field goal by Melinda Puumala, followed by a 3-pointer by Amendt to help East Marshall cut the lead to eight at 31-23. The Mustangs wouldn’t get any closer to the Spartans. Grundy Center went on an 8-0 run to stretch its lead to 39-23. When the Mustangs stopped one run with a bucket, the Spartans went on another, and took a 43-25 lead into the final quarter.

Grundy Center went on an 11-2 run to begin the fourth quarter, getting points from five different players in the run. That helped the Spartans out to their largest lead of the game at 27 points. Three Spartans tallied double figures as Wallis, Flater and Zinkula scored 16, 12 and 10 respectively. Amendt paced the Mustangs will 11, while Puumala and Olivia Terrones added seven apiece.

East Marshall plays at AGWSR on Friday, while Grundy Center has its home-opener the same night, hosting West Marshall.

“We said in (the locker room), every time you get a conference win, on the road, is a big thing. So enjoy that,” Lindeman said. “It’s now taking that process of, we played really well last Friday. Did everything but finish. Basically, the last two possessions. So, it’s a matter being able to bring that every night.”

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

Grundy Center 56, East Marshall 34

GRUNDY CENTER (3-1, 1-1) — Reegan Zinkula 3 2-4 10, Hailey Wallis 6 0-0 16, Madison McMartin 3 1-2 7, Kylie Willis 1 0-0 2, Brooke Flater 3 6-11 12, Jessica Ayers 1 0-0 3, Landry Luhring 0 0-0 0, Sydney Mathews 0 0-0 0, Cora Saak 2 0-0 5, Sarah Lindeman 0 1-4 1. TOTALS 19 10-21 56.

EAST MARSHALL (2-2, 1-2) — Emily Terrones 1 0-0 3, Bobbi Amendt 4 2-6 11, Melinda Puumala 2 3-4 7, Olivia Terrones 3 1-6 7, Madison Farrington 1 0-2 2, Tylyn Eicher 1 2-2 4, Carrington Curphy 0 0-2 0, Maria Rasmusson 0 0-0 0, Abigail Beal 0 0-0 0, Regan McIlrath 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 8-20 34.

GRUNDY CTR.    10    21    12    13    —    56

E. MARSHALL    9    9    7    9    —    34

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

3-Point Goals–GC 8 (Wallis 4, Zinkula 2, Ayers, Saak); EM 2 (Ament, E. Terrones).