M&M overtime delight
Maroons come through in the clutch
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 6:00 PM
GAYLORD, Mich. - The Menominee girls shot the tires out of a speeding downstate Cadillac and are rolling into the Class B regional finals.
Hilbert’s free throws lift Marines
MENASHA, Wis. - This time, the 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out, and the Marinette girls' basketball team is moving on.
Marinette won an overtime thriller 39-37 over Menasha in a WIAA Division 2 regional opener Tuesday night.
Five days before, Denmark stunned the Marines with a last-second 3-pointer. On Tuesday, Katelyn Seewall's three just missed the mark.
"Let's just say it was a better look than the Denmark girl had," Marinette coach Luke Maulding said. "It was a breakdown in defense but it was meant to be because she missed it."
Cassie Hilbert hit both ends of a 1 and 1 free throw with 3.4 seconds left to give the ninth-seeded Marines the win over eighth-seeded Menasha.
"For her to nail those two, that just shows how special a player she is," Maulding said. "They were nothing but net. She said she walked up there and knew she was going to make them, and that's what we need from our best player."
Kierstin Metzner's putback midway through the OT put the Marines ahead 37-35, but Jazz Belknap hit two free throws to retie the game with 1:49 left.
Marinette's 1-3-1 zone defense gave the Blue Jays fits in the first half. Menasha led 9-1 after one quarter but was outscored 14-1 in the second period, and was shut out until the final 2.5 seconds.
Senior Abby Dufrane stepped up to hit three contested 3-pointers from the wing in the first half. Her back-to-back threes opened up a 15-9 lead
"To be able to get those big threes from a senior, that was huge," Maulding said.
Dufrane then made a steal, which led to Katelyn Kuffel's bucket.
Kuffel pounded the boards for a third-chance basket and a 21-9 Marine lead in the final minute of the half.
"We came out in the first half and played excellent defense," Maulding said. "That really set the tone. It really built our confidence."
Menasha was just three for 18 from the field in the first half, but the shooting drought hit the Marines after halftime, when they made just two of their first 16 shots.
Sewall, a senior guard, ignited the Blue Jays with a four-point play to open the second half.
Teya Lambie's basket restored a 29-21 lead, but Menasha scored the final five points of the third quarter. Belknap beat the buzzer with a bucket to cut Marinette's lead to 29-26.
In the fourth quarter, the lead changed hands five times. Alex Cording's basket tied the game with 14 seconds in regulation. Brianna Lee's 3-pointer in the final seconds was halfway down but bounced out. Cording made a steal and nearly sank a halfcourt shot at the buzzer.
Kuffel, a freshman, was nervous early but settled down to finish with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
"She knew she was the biggest, strongest girl on the court and she showed that," Maulding said.
The Marines got big contributions from their bench, and the guards proved to be a calming influence, the coach said.
Marinette (4-18) will play at defending state champion Notre Dame (21-1) Friday at 7 p.m.
"This is a huge win for our program," Maulding said. "I couldn't believe the confidence that our girls showed. Notre Dame's a tough team but they're looking forward to playing them."
MARINETTE (39) - Bohan 2, Cording 4, Lambie 3, Dufrane 10, Hilbert 6, Corry 0, Metzner 4, Veriha 0, Kuffel 10, Carviou 0. FGs: 13-55; FTs: 8-17
MENASHA (37) - Sewall 11, Jones 0, Belknap 7, Lee 4, Burrow 4, Siegel 8, Hackbarth 3. FGs: 10-43; FTs: 17-27
Marinette 7 14 8 6 4 - 39
Menasha 9 1 16 9 2 - 37
Maddy Anderla sank five free throws in overtime and junior Amanda Simmons turned in a career-best effort to help lift the Maroons to a heart-racing 54-52 victory in Gaylord.
Menominee held a 10-point lead before Cadillac put on a furious charge to force overtime.
"I'm just getting off the defibrillator," exclaimed coach Lucas Chouinard. "What an intense game. The girls are super-excited. They faced a lot adversity but they did a good job of battling through it."
Anderla sank a free throw and a two-pointer and Simmons followed up an Allia Stewart steal with an inside shot to give the Maroons a 49-44 lead early in the overtime.
Stewart swished two FTs to stretch the margin to 51-45 before Abbey Fuller hit the Vikings' first field goal of the overtime to chip the lead to 51-47.
Anderla pushed the lead back to six with two free throws with 53 seconds left and Stewart and Anderla popped in free throws to seal the hard-fought win.
The Maroons held a 41-31 lead early in the fourth quarter before the Vikings came roaring back.
Sydney Barcey launched in a 3-pointer and Fuller hit two free throws to slash the margin to 42-39 points with under two minutes remaining.
The Maroons were whistled for traveling with 40 seconds left and Fuller knocked down a jumper. Anderla sank two clutch free throws but Fuller fired back with a 3-ball to even the score at 44 with 4.9 seconds left.
Menominee turned it over with 1.7 seconds left and Cadillac's desperation shot at the buzzer was off the mark.
"We didn't defend the 3-ball very well and we didn't do a good job of rebounding in the fourth quarter," Chouinard said. "They had seven offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, including four on one possession."
Simmons led the Maroons with 17 points and she added nine rebounds, five blocks and three steals to a sensational semifinal showing.
"I can't say enough good things about Amanda," Chouinard said. "She stepped up on both ends of the floor and we definitely needed that tonight.
"She made a lot of baskets in transition, which was huge." Anderla sank 7 of her 10 shots from the line and finished with 11 points.
"Down the stretch we always want to get the ball in the hands of our two best free throw shooters - Maddy and Allia," said Chouinard. "Maddy has been working hard on her free throws and it showed."
It was a team effort that lifted the Maroons one game away from the state quarterfinals.
The Vikings double-teamed Amanda Pedersen but she dished off five assists and had four rebounds. Stewart and Christian each had two steals and Stewart added four rebounds.
Menominee sank 20 of 49 shots and 13 of 21 free throws.
"We were able to get looks down low, but we missed a lot of inside shots," Chouinard explained. "At the same time, we executed very well. We just have to finish."
Fuller and Darby McLaurin each had 15 points for The Vikings (17-6).
Alyssa Fisher jacked in an NBA-range 3-pointer at the buzzer to jack the Vikings to a 14-10 lead after the first quarter.
Amber Woods dialed in a 3-pointer early in the second quarter and Simmons worked the inside for two to lift the Maroons to a 15-14 lead.
After the Maroons forced another turnover, SImmons drilled in a shot from the corner to pad the margin to 25-18. Cadillac hit two free throws with 2 seconds left to chip the margin to five at halftime.
The Vikings surged to a 26-25 lead with a 6-0 run in the first two minutes of the third quarter, but Menominee roared back with an 8-0 run.
Lexi Christian zapped in a perimeter shot to reclaim the lead for Menominee and Pedersen's put-back gave the Maroons a 29-26 lead.
After a Vikings' turnover, Simmons sailed in for a basket and Woods connected again to hike the lead 33-26.
Cadillac played beat the clock again as McLaurin finished off a fast-break to slice the margin to 35-31 entering the fourth quarter.
The Maroons (15-7) will play Sparta (13-10) for the regional title Thursday. The Spartans wiped out a 28-8 haltime deficit to hand Manistee (22-1) its first loss, 52-48 in overtime.
The regional champion advances to the state quarterfinals at Bay City Western Tuesday at 6 p.m.
CADILLAC (52) - Fuller 15, Fisher 3, Barcey 6, Erway 6, McLaurin 15, Baker 7. FG: 17 FT: 10-17 F: 21
MENOMINEE (54) - Simmons 17, Pedersen 5, Stewart 6, Woods 7, Anderla 11, Owens 2, Christian 6. Totals - FG: 20 FT: 13-21 F: 19
Cadillac 14 6 11 13 8 - 52
Menominee 10 15 10 9 10 - 54