Mustang girls end long losing streak
GARWIN – Backed by a strong offensive output from sophomore Ashley Allen, the East Marshall girls’ basketball team got to find out once again what it feels like to win.
Allen scored a game-high 21 points and the Mustangs used a 14-0 run in the first quarter to beat GMG Monday.
East Marshall grabbed the early lead and never looked back, defeating the Wolverines 48-32 and ending a nine-game losing streak in the process.
“It had been a while,” East Marshall coach Rob Drake said of winning a game. “You start to maybe second-guess yourself a bit, but they played hard tonight. It was a good feeling to come out with a win.”
Defense triggered the victory as East Marshall got several easy buckets off the full-court press early and then Allen carried the Mustangs home in the second half.
“The defense allowed us to get some easy buckets,” Drake said. “(Allen) is our leader on both ends. She understands the game and continues to get better.”
The loss by GMG dropped the Wolverines to 1-19 on the season. Coach Justin Hornberg said the main problem right now is the team’s inability to make shots.
“If we could just shoot the ball better, we may be able to win more games,” he said. “The effort was there tonight. We didn’t do too bad with the press. We just can’t make shots.”
Another issue for GMG was the fact that sophomore post Olivia Barritt was plagued by foul trouble. She picked up her fourth foul with seven minutes to go in the third quarter and missed most of the second half before fouling out with 1:26 to play. She averages nine points and 6.3 rebounds per game but scored seven Monday.
“We rely on her at both ends, and her not being out there today hurt us,” Hornberg said. “We really don’t have a second scoring option when she is not on the floor.”
GMG scored the first three points of the game. It took a few minutes for the Mustangs to get going but once that first shot went in, they didn’t slow down.
Eight of the 14 straight points came at the end of the first quarter and the final six were scored to start the second frame. The Mustangs led 22-13 at the break and led by as many as 17 in the second half.
Both teams struggled at the foul line. GMG made just 8-of-21, while East Marshall (3-17) was 8-of-20. With the postseason right around the corner, Drake knows his Mustangs are going to have to be much better.
“I think we shoot 46 percent as a team, but we have to start improving that fast,” he said. “It’s not that we don’t work on it in practice. A lot of it is mental and a lot of it is confidence. We just aren’t very confident up there.”
Allen hit two 3-pointers and was 3-of-5 from the floor to lead the way for the road team. Paige Miller, Kristen Amendt and Meriel Leavy all had six for the Mustangs, while Callie Roseland chipped in five.
GMG was led by Autumn Rosacker’s eight points. Barritt and Mikaella Koster each had seven and Cheyenne Wurr contributed five in the loss.
The Wolverines open Class 1A Region 5 action on Thursday night, going to Brooklyn for a first-round showdown with BGM at 7 p.m.