Trojans carve up Cadets, 52-36
STATE CENTER — There’s still one day left until Thanksgiving but the West Marshall girls basketball team is already celebrating after earning its second win of the season, taking down Iowa Falls-Alden at home on Tuesday 52-36.
It wasn’t a particularly great game shooting the ball for the Trojans, as they only hit one 3-pointer all night while the Cadets knocked down six from behind the arc. West Marshall head coach Fred Zeller said he had to hand it to IFA for hitting open shots.
“Their kids played pretty dang good ball the first half, especially the 3-point shot, we weren’t expecting that,” Zeller said. “We thought we could cover the perimeter but they kept making shots from the outside so we had to make some adjustments.”
After a sloppy first half by both teams left the score knotted up at 25 apiece, the Class 3A No. 9 Trojans (2-0) came out swinging on both end of the court in the third quarter, outscoring the Cadets (1-1) 17-6 and taking a 42-31 advantage into the fourth quarter.
After allowing IFA to hit five 3s in the first half, West Marshall held them to only one in the second, and Zeller said that was because of an unconventional change at halftime.
“Usually when people are making threes you go from a zone to a man, but we did just the opposite,” Zeller said with a chuckle. “We went from a man to a zone, which didn’t make much sense but it worked out. I thought our kids made a good adjustment changing defenses, we had a little bit of foul trouble but mostly we just didn’t make shots and they did.”
Though Zeller said the only major change in from the first to the second was defensive scheme, it still took a great team performance to hold the Cadets to only 11 second-half points.
“We also tried to be a little bit more patient and tried to find people on the baseline,” Zeller said of the adjustments. “We got some pretty good looks but we still didn’t shoot the ball well from the outside in the second half. Overall I think it was a pretty good win against a pretty scrappy Iowa Falls-Alden team.”
While the outside shot wasn’t falling for the Trojans, they did find success inside from the posts. Sophomore Renae Schaper had six big points in the first half, tied for the halftime lead with Kayla Cripps, and fellow sophomore Teresa Disney went to work in the third quarter, scoring six points on the block on her way to a team-high 11.
“Our sophomore post girls — Renae and Teresa — they did a good job for us inside,” Zeller said. “We probably need to look for them more but you know when you are shooting perimeter shots you kind of forget about the post. I thought in the second half we changed our approach and they both did a good job of posting up and found each other a couple of times. They are both young and still learning, but I thought they stepped up well tonight.”
Usual leading scorers Brooke Snider and Isabelle Gradwell struggled from the floor to begin the game, but they found other ways to get the job done, leading to 10-point nights for each of them.
It was the duo of Madalyn and Grace Juhl that carried the scoring burden for the Cadets, as those two combined for 28 points and five of the team’s six 3-pointers.
Now that they’ve gotten off to a hot 2-0 start to the season, Zeller said he and the team can take a step back and consider what they are thankful for and focus on what’s on tap for the rest of the year.
“I am thankful to still be around to get to do this,” Zeller said. “I think this is 44 years now and it’s still fun, or I wouldn’t be here. The kids are fun and I am glad that I am able to do this and we will look to have a lot more fun the rest of the season.”
Next up for the Trojans is their first away match, as they hit the road to take on Dike-New Hartford on Monday.
West Marshall 52,
At State Center
IOWA FALLS-ALDEN (1-1) — Allison Ford 2 0-0 4, Madalyn Juhl 5 1-3 13, Grace Juhl 5 2-6 15, Jenny Wibholm 0 1-3 1, Darby Dodd 1 0-2 3. TOTALS 13 4-14 36.
WEST MARSHALL (2-0) — Brooke Snider 5 0-0 10, Kayla Cripps 2 2-5 7, Isabelle Gradwell 3 4-4 10, Emma Meyer 2 0-2 4, Teresa Disney 5 1-1 11, Grace Girard 1 0-0 2, Renae Schaper 3 2-5 8. TOTALS 21 9-17 52.
IFA 10 15 6 5 — 36
WM 11 14 17 10 — 52
3-Point Goals–IFA 6 (M. Juhl 2, G. Juhl 3, Dodd), WM 1 (Cripps). Total Fouls–IFA 20, WM 15. Fouled Out–none.