Gilman cruises past former D5 girls power
WIAA DIV. 5 GIRLS BASKETBALL
Clayton’s four-year reign in the state’s northwest WIAA Division 5 girls basketball sectional came to a screeching halt Tuesday night in Gilman.
Not that it was a big surprise.
The fourth-seeded Gilman Pirates had their way with the now depleted and 13thseeded Bears Tuesday, pulling away late in the first half with a 15-4 run and then burying them 36-9 in the second half to earn a 65-23 win in the regional opener.
The Pirates got a big night from senior Emma Warner, solid contributions from sisters Grace and Emma Grunseth and got playoff court time for everyone as they improved to 17-6 overall and advanced to Friday’s regional semifinal round.
There, Gilman will host fifth-seeded Mc-Donell Central (15-8) at 7 p.m. The Macks took third in the Western Cloverbelt Conference at 10-4 this season and walloped their conference rival Thorp 68-40 in Tuesday’s regional play.
Gilman took great care of the basket- ball by committing just eight turnovers for the second straight game and they took it away from Clayton. Gilman had 19 steals, helping lead to 20-of-40 shooting from inside the 3-point arc while blowing out the 7-16 Bears.
“The girls did well and took care of the ball again,” Gilman head coach Tammy Weir said. “With only eight turnovers, we are playing strong.”
Warner outscored Clayton by herself with 25 points, 15 of which came as the Pirates put the game away in the second half. She fell one rebound short of a double-double. Warner knocked four of six 3-point tries and was 10 of 18 overall from the field. Seven of her nine rebounds came on the defensive end.
Grace Grunseth scored nine of her 12 points in the second half and dished out 10 assists to complete a double-double. She had seven steals and four rebounds. Emma Grunseth scored seven of her 11 points in the first half, when Gilman got pushed early and only led 14-10 before going on the late run to lead 29-14 at the break. She finished with seven rebounds and a blocked shot.
Gilman hit six of 18 3-pointers and was seven of 12 at the free throw line.
Aubrey Syryczuk had six points, five of which came in the first half, three assists, two steals and two rebounds. Freshman forward Tatum Weir had five points, six rebounds, five steals and four blocked shots. Gilman outrebounded the Bears 34-22.
“We did well on the boards, although I would have liked us to get a few more offensive boards,” Tammy Weir said. “But Clayton did a great job boxing us out and not letting us have many putbacks.”
Mikayla Waichulis, Madisyn James and Kya Dietzler closed the scoring with two points apiece. James had three assists. In another positive item from the game, senior guard Lydia Syryczuk returned to action in the second half after missing the previous 12 games with an injury and had an assist.
“We were able to play everyone and I must say I am so proud of the girls and how much fun they are having out on the court,” Weir said. “And kudos to our bench. This was the first time I’ve gotten a warning on our bench and their celebration getting out of control. Now that’s a warning I will take. These girls are so great at supporting their teammates.”
Clayton was led by Grace King’s seven points and the six contributed by Corey Leslie.
Friday’s regional semifinal winner will play in the regional final Saturday night against either eighth-seeded Owen-Withee (11-12) or the number-one seed Clear Lake (22-0) with the higher seed hosting. Many of Gilman’s girls played against Clear Lake in a volleyball regional final earlier this school year. Many of those same Clear Lake athletes who won the Division 4 state volleyball championship are also on the basketball team.
The regional champion will play in a sectional semifi nal at Colfax March 5.
Orioles 48, Pirates 46
Gilman ended the regular season by taking great care of the basketball, but a cold shooting night from the outside by the Pirates and some key offensive rebounds by host Stanley-Boyd were enough to give the Orioles a 48-46 win Thursday in the Cloverbelt Conference’s fourth-place crossover game.
The Orioles, a young up-and-coming team from the Western Cloverbelt, finished the regular season at 14-8 with the win. They led 25-22 at halftime and held on at the end. They got 15 points from junior Marissa Gustafson, including three 3-pointers, and nine points from Lily Hoel from 5-11 sophomore, who also had 11 rebounds.
Gilman got 18 points, eight rebounds and a steal from Warner and a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double from Tatum Weir, who added three blocked shots, two assists and a steal.
“We had a good one on Thursday for our crossover,” Tammy Weir said. “Stanley was tough and gave our girls a fight. It went back and forth, we hung in there, but just couldn’t finish it off. They rebounded well, especially on the offensive end with putbacks. This is what hurt us the most.”
Gilman actually finished with a 36-33 overall edge in rebounding. Gilman’s boards were evenly split on the offensive and defensive ends. The Orioles had 12 rebounds on the offensive end and used those to their advantage.
Grace Grunseth had eight points, five assists, three steals and three rebounds for the Pirates. Emma Grunseth had three points and nine rebounds and Aubrey Syryczuk scored three points and had five rebounds, three assists and a steal.
The Pirates were 16 of 39 on two-point shots (41%), while the Orioles were 13 of 33 (39.4%). But Stanley-Boyd hit five of 18 3-pointers, while Gilman was just one of 13. That 12-point advantage loomed large. Gilman was 11 of 20 at the free throw line, while the Orioles were seven of 11.
“Our 3-point shots were off, which hurt us,” Weir said. “But, the girls did great with only eight turnovers. We really took care of the ball and should’ve had a win here. I am so proud of how well they took care of the ball.”
The Eastern Cloverbelt fared relatively well in this year’s crossovers, winning four of the eight matchups including Neillsville’s 47-44 win over Osseo-Fairchild and Loyal’s 44-39 win over Fall Creek in Saturday’s championship and second-place games.