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GMG girls outmatched by Baxter in 61-22 loss

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - GMG freshman Adelyn Sienknecht (42) drives in for a layup ahead of Baxter’s Lilie Vansice (20) during Tuesday’s Iowa Star Conference South Division girls basketball game in Garwin.

GARWIN — When did Tuesday night’s game against the Baxter girls team slip away from the GMG girls?

It was as early as the first quarter, said coach Justin Hornberg, and it got worse from there.

The Wolverines (1-1) got behind early, briefly fought back and were then swallowed up by the Baxter (1-1) defensive pressure in a 61-22 loss. Hornberg said it was clear the Wolverines just didn’t have their best over the course of the evening.

“I’ve gotta do a better job with them,” Hornberg said. “I’ve gotta do a better job of getting them ready, can’t blame everything on them. Yeah the turnovers were a lot of unforced stuff, but I’ve gotta do a better job of putting them in positions where they maybe don’t make those turnovers.”

The Wolverines fell behind 12-4 midway through the first quarter and struggled to get back within single digits the rest of the game. It was in stark contrast to the first game of the season, when GMG pulled out a close win over BGM.

In the second quarter, the Wolverines were able to get some scoring from Emily Vaughn — who eventually led the team with 10 points — but after getting within 11 at 25-14, the Bolts brought the pressure back and the halftime score ballooned to 39-18. Marriah Stonewall and Adelyn Sienknecht tied for second on the team in scoring with four points each.

Hornberg said the Wolverines struggled to cope with the intense pressure, something that’s hard to teach for a young team.

“They’re gonna see [the press],” Hornberg said. “Nobody’s gonna take any pity on us because we can’t handle the press. Hopefully after this game things kind of slow down for a few of them. It’s hard to simulate.”

The third quarter was worse. GMG failed to score and turned the ball over often as Baxter turned the screws and put to bed any doubts that this was the Bolts’ night. Led by the game-high 14 points from Lilie Vansice, the Bolts led 53-18 with eight minutes to play.

This game can serve as a learning experience for the young Wolverines, Hornberg said, especially with conference play on the horizon.

“It doesn’t get easier,” Hornberg said. “We’ve got a real short turnaround time here to fix mistakes we’ve been making.”

Up next for GMG is a road trip to play Collins-Maxwell Friday night, a team Hornberg said would play faster than the Bolts.

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