Fronk leads late surge that sends Raiders past the Tigers
MEDFORD GIRLS BASKETBALL
A 14-2 run midway through the second half gave the Medford Raiders the cushion they needed to take down the Marshfi eld Tigers 49-40 on Thursday and earn a 2-0 start to the girls basketball season.
In a game where both teams struggled to consistently shoot and avoid turnovers, the Raiders finally put it all together in the last 10 minutes, led by junior guard Marissa Fronk, who scored 13 of her game-high 18 points in the home stretch.
It was the first game of the season for the Tigers, who start the year young and quite inexperienced with just three var- sity players back from a year ago.
After the teams played to an 18-18 firsthalf tie, Medford never trailed in the second half. Sierra Hanson’s 3-pointer and Fronk’s first two field goals of the game pushed the Raiders to a 27-22 lead. Marshfi eld clawed back within 29-28, then Medford took charge.
Rynn Ruesch put back a Hanson miss to start the clinching run. Hanson was fouled on a drive and made one of two free throws. Laurissa Klapatauskas scored in the point and Fronk hit one of two free throws for a 35-28 lead with 7:18 left.
Marshfield’s Desirae Weisenberger scored, but Fronk answered with a 3-point shot and then she got out and ran off a long defensive rebound, made a nice crossover dribble past a Tiger defender and scored with her left hand. The Raiders continued to keep Marshfield off the board until Fronk delivered the dagger, another 3-pointer with 3:30 left that made it 43-30.
The Tigers did take advantage of a couple Medford turnovers to pull within 43-38 with 1:40 left, but the Raiders were able to close it out by making their last six free throws, four by Fronk and two by Hanson.
Medford led by as many as seven at 16-9 in the first half. The Raiders got off to an extremely slow offensive start, but the defense kept Marshfield from building a lead. Katie Brehm banked in a 3-pointer from a tough right-side angle, Lydia Pernsteiner drilled a right-wing triple, Autumn Krause hit a baseline jumper, Hanson drove and scored and Rau banked in a 3 of her own during the Raiders’ surge.
But Marshfield went on a 9-2 run to finish the half and nearly took the lead as a shot just rimmed out at the buzzer.
Medford’s defense forced 27 turnovers while holding the Tigers to 33.3% shooting from the field (14 of 42). The Raiders had 18 turnovers of their own, 11 in the first half, and shot 30.8% (16 of 52) from the field. Medford had a 37-30 rebounding advantage.
Fronk had six steals and six rebounds to go with her 18 points. Hanson added nine points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Brehm scored six points and had six rebounds.
Rau chipped in with five points, three assists and two rebounds. Ruesch had four points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Pernsteiner had three points and two assist. Klapatauskas had a bucket, four rebounds and two steals. Krause had a hoop and two rebounds.
Kaydee Johnson led Marshfield with 17 points.
Medford was secheduled to be at Wittenberg-Birnamwood Tuesday for its third non-conference tune-up before Great Northern Conference play begins Dec. 6 at home against Antigo.