Suring swarms Badgers, 49-39
NIAGARA, Wis. — With two players scoring in double figures and dominant rebounding, Suring defeated Niagara 49-39 in Marinette-Oconto Conference girls basketball here Monday night.
Junior Kate Mahoney led all scorers with 15 points for Suring, while senior point guard Kylee Stelzer chipped in 12 points.
Defensively, Suring had two people on the Lady Badgers’ Alyssa Cretton wherever she went for three- quarters of the basketball game. Cretton, who led Niagara with 14 points, is the leading scorer in the M&O Conference.
Mahoney, credited as a very hard worker by her coach, drained all of her game-high point total from behind the 3-point arc, despite not usually shooting that well from outside.
Suring got out to an early 9-4 lead, something their coach said is out of the ordinary.
“We usually start slow coming out of the gates,” said Mitchell Woulf. “It was nice to see for a change and it gave the girls confidence for the rest of the half and the game.”
At that point in the first half, Niagara started using their customary swarming full-court press. Cretton and sophomore Josie Rock pressured the ball, disrupting the Eagles as they tried to get the ball inbounds and across the mid-court stripe.
Niagara got some steals out of the press and took a 10-9 lead, prompting Woulf to call a timeout. Then as the half wore on, Suring took the lead back, due to their relentless offensive rebounding.
“Rebounding is something we’ve been working on and that I have stressed more as of late,” Woulf noted. “Some games we get out-rebounded badly, and it ends up being the difference in games we lose.”
The Eagles held an 18-16 lead with a little more than five minutes remaining in the first half when they started pressuring the ball. They didn’t use an all out full-court press, but had two defenders on the ball wherever it went for most of the remainder of the half.
In the second half, it was more of the same for the Eagles, as they continued to out-rebound Niagara, which extended to both ends of the floor in the last 10-12 minutes of the game.
Suring was also more patient in their half-court offense than the Badgers were, to go along with better shooting.
The Eagles were able to hold a double digit lead throughout the whole second half, and pulled away for the conference road win.
“Although the girls never lack for effort, we have to rebound better and hold our composure better,” said Niagara head coach Karl Lamoreaux. “I think we need to clean up how we do things. I need to get the girls to be more physical and rebound better.”
Suring, who also won the JV game, 20-19, host the Badgers on Monday night. Before that rematch, Niagara (6-5) travels to M&O opponent Coleman Friday night.
Suring 27 22 — 49
Niagara 16 23 — 39
SURING: Mahoney 15, Bailey 5, Stelzer 12, Krueger 6, Reed 3, Sleeter 1, Smith 7; FT: 12-19; F: 16; 3-point FG: Mahoney 5, Stelzer 2; Fouled Out: None.
NIAGARA: Rock 7, Cretton 14, Wells 1, Borchardt 9, Pearson 8; FT: 4-11; 3–point FG: Rock; F: 17; Fouled Out: Rock; Technical: Bench.