Girls basketball: Niagara routs Tigerton

Niagara's Cassie Gill goes for a layup against Tigerton on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Niagara, Wis. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

NIAGARA, Wis. — Defense spurred Niagara to a 56-18 non-conference win over Tigerton on Thursday.

The Badgers (7-2) held a narrow four-point lead over the Cougars until their 1-3-1 defense led to turnovers and fast break points. Before they knew it, the Badgers held a 30-10 lead midway through the first half.

“Our defense really was the difference in the game,” Niagara head coach Karl Lamoreaux said. “I know they were undermanned and hurting this year, but they struggled against our 1-3-1 at the top.”

Tigerton (0-11), led by three seniors and no players with any varsity experience, struggled all night getting open shots against the Badgers’ length.

“Niagara’s a very good team, very tall team and plays very well. They took it to us but they played the game as they played the game,” Tigerton coach Art Plaster said. “We tried our best but we came out very short. I encourage them to play on.

“In the early part of the game they shot well, but we haven’t got the bench strength to keep them up and rested. As the game progresses, they get tired and their shots don’t work as well. That’s where we ended up — not scoring in the second half.”

Jasmine Racine led Niagara with 18 points and Cassie Gill scored 17. Gill also had eight steals, five rebounds and five assists.

Lamoreaux said he’s trying to get the team to start faster from tipoff.

“Once we got rolling, we went pretty hard. That’s what we’re talking about is being more emotional, more picking our teammates up,” Lamoreaux said. “Once we start rolling, we just feed off of each other. We’ve been talking about that in practice. We left the 1-3-1 in the second half. We didn’t have so many steals, but we only gave up six points in the second half. That’s the one thing the girls take pride in is the defense. We had a lot of steals. Happy with the team effort.”

Lamoreaux switched the team defense to a 2-1-2 set in the second half.

“Just practice a different defense,” he said. “Some teams know how to beat the 1-3-1 so we have to have a defense to fall back on.”

The Badgers JV team beat Tigerton, 28-16.

Niagara hosts Gillett on Jan. 4.

Tigerton 12 6 — 18

Niagara 39 17 — 56

TIGERTON: Minnecheske 12, Jobe 4, Kreklow 2. FT: 0-4. F: 6.

NIAGARA: Racine 18, Gill 17, Ivey 8, Ki’Eircidy Hannah 7, Oratch 4, Maki 2. FT: 3-8. F: 6.