Marshfield girls basketball tops Wisconsin Rapids for fourth win in a row

Marshfield's Hannah Kelnhofer is fouled as she makes a basket during the second half of the TIgers' home win Monday against Wisconsin Rapids. Marshfield has now won four games in a row. (Photo by Paul Lecker/MarshfieldAreaSports.com)

By Paul Lecker
For OnFocus

MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield girls basketball team has turned a corner in its season and is peaking at the right time.

The Tigers downed Wisconsin Rapids 61-41 on Monday night at Marshfield High School to post their fourth-straight win.

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Marshfield is trending in the right direction before playoff time.

“We’re on a roll here,” first-year Marshfield coach Taylor Varsho said. “We’re outworking teams, we’re outhustling teams, and our effort level is beyond what it used to be in the beginning of the season. We’re getting along as a team, having fun.”

Despite an uneven performance in the first half, Marshfield pulled ahead 25-17 by halftime and poured in 36 points in the second half to win going away. The Tigers’ victory earns a season split in their Wisconsin Valley Conference series with Wisconsin Rapids, and assure them no worse than a tie for third place in the conference.

“It was a quite a challenge in the beginning, but the girls are buying into the program and buying into my philosophy and my goals,” Varsho said. “We are a good team, and I hope that going into the tournament and the seedings, teams are saying, ‘I don’t really want to play Marshfield. They will outwork us and outhustle us.’ It goes back to our training and preparation in the summer.”

Maddie Michaelis made 5 of 12 3-point attempts and scored a game-high 17 points for Marshfield. Jenna Jakobi added 11 points, and Brooklyn Boushack had eight points and nine rebounds in the win. Kaydee Johnson also had eight points for the Tigers (8-10, 6-5 Wisconsin Valley Conference).

A total of 10 Tigers scored in the victory, showing Varsho that the team’s depth is expanding and improving.

“We brought up three JV players and to see our starting five cheer them on as they were getting their first varsity minutes, and scoring their first points, it’s a great experience and a great atmosphere,” Varsho said. “We have to run and push the ball up the floor, and Rapids was tired. That was our goal.”

Vanessa Vechinski had 13 points and Maddie Paitel had 12 points for Wisconsin Rapids (7-12, 4-6 Wisconsin Valley Conference).

Marshfield plays a nonconference game at Chippewa Falls before wrapping up its WVC schedule Friday at Wausau West.

Tigers 61, Raiders 41
Wisconsin Rapids 17 24 – 41
Marshfield 25 36 – 61
WISCONSIN RAPIDS (41):
Ally Abbott 0-0 1-2 1, Cassidy Kohls 0-0 0-0 0, Alli Martin 2-3 0-0 4, Megan Clary 2-4 4-4 10, Kayla Huglen 0-6 0-0 0, Vanessa Vechinski 6-12 0-3 13, Chelsea King 0-4 1-5 1, Maddie Paitel 2-13 8-11 12. FG: 12-42. FT: 14-25. 3-pointers: 3-9 (Clary 2-3, Vechinski 1-1, King 0-1, Paitel 0-4). Rebounds: 19 (Martin 5). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: none. Record: 7-12, 4-6 Wisconsin Valley Conference.
MARSHFIELD (61): Grayce Bryan 0-0 0-0 0, Maddie Michaelis 6-13 0-0 17, Alexia Dahl 1-1 0-0 2, Kaydee Johnson 3-10 0-0 8, Hannah Kelnhofer 2-3 0-1 4, Desirae Weisenberger 1-3 0-0 2, Quincy Lang 0-1 0-0 0, Brianna Varsho 2-7 0-1 4, Paige Preston 1-3 1-2 3, Brooklyn Boushack 4-5 0-1 8, Loryn Jakobi 1-1 0-0 2, Jenna Jakobi 4-5 3-4 11. FG: 25-52. FT: 4-9. 3-pointers: 7-20 (Michaelis 5-12, Johnson 2-5, Varsho 0-3). Rebounds: 31 (Boushack 9). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: none. Record: 8-10, 6-5 Wisconsin Valley Conference.