Kierstin Metzner of Marinette drives into the lane against Oconto Falls in the first half Friday night. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Kierstin Metzner of Marinette drives into the lane against Oconto Falls in the first half Friday night.
EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - One minute, the Marinette girls' basketball team was feeling good about itself, going toe-to-toe with state-ranked Oconto Falls.
The next minute, Falls went off on one of its runs, pouring in bucket after bucket.
The Panthers pulled away for a 76-44 Bay Conference win Friday night. Falls, which is ranked 12th in this week's Division 3 poll, improved to 10-1 overall, 6-1 in the Bay.
Falls sank 27 of 55 field goal attempts.
"We could've played better defense, but they're good," Marinette coach Luke Maulding said.
Marinette took first-quarter leads of 7-6 and 10-9 on 3-pointers by Abby Dufrane.
Falls regained a 13-10 lead before the quarter was over, but the Marines and their student cheering section were fired up.
"The energy of the crowd really fed us," Maulding said.
Falls answered Dufrane's threes with a 14-0 run. Elizabeth Watzka buried a 3-pointer, and Carly Lemke turned a missed free throw into a putback and a 21-10 lead.
"Marinette outplayed us the first quarter, there's no question," Fallscoach Mike Kaczmarek said. "I thought the last three quarters we matched their intensity."
The Marines began burning the Falls' full-court pressure for fast-break baskets. Alex Cording hit three layups in the final 2:30 of the half to keep the Marines within 14.
But Marinette's leading scorer, Cassie Hilbert, picked up her third foul with 3:41 in the half and was held scoreless until the fourth quarter. Cording was whistled for her third foul with 5.4 seconds in the half.
In the first 1:40 of the second half, Marinette committed five turnovers while the Panthers put up nine more points.
"We really stressed attacking the basket," Kaczmarek said.
Falls scored 24 points in the quarter.
"We have a lot of sets," the Panther coach said. "I think we executed all of our sets, which makes me very happy."
Seniors McKenna Larsen and Carly Lemke - the nucleus of an experienced team - scored 17 and 14 points, respectively.
"They set excellent picks," Maulding said. "Those girls have been playing together for a long time. The scoring comes fast for them. It kind of hits you."
Dufrane returned from an injury to score a team-high 12 points. Marinette had some success feeding the ball inside to Kierstin Metzner and Katelyn Kuffe, who combined for 13 points.
The Marine junior varsity lost 32-23. Kaytlyn Schulte led the team with eight points and Claire Carviou added five.
The Marine freshmen won 33-11. Makayla Bell scored eight while Brooke Boyce and Megan Suhs added six apiece.
OCONTO FALLS (76) - Watzka 10, Helmle 8, Lemke 14, Manns 8, Winter 2, Wolf 7, Larsen 17, LaCount 4, Van Den Elzen 4, Nelson 2, Virtues 0. FGs: 27-55; FTs: 11-21
MARINETTE (44) - Bohan 2, Cording 6, Lambie 1, Dufrane 12, Hilbert 6, Corry 4, Metzner 7, Veriha 0, Kuffel 6. FGs: 16-41; FTs: 6-16
Oconto Falls 13 21 24 18 - 76
Marinette 10 10 8 16 - 44