By Cole Walters
January 18, 2019
Stevens Point– The SPASH Panthers girls’ basketball team came into Friday January 18th looking for a bounce back victory after a tough non-conference loss to Rhinelander on Tuesday night. Led by junior forward Leah Earnest, the Panthers rolled past Marshfield with a 92-63 victory.
The Panthers got their momentum started five minutes into the game, as the Panthers stretched a slim 7-4 lead into a 9-2 scoring run that saw SPASH take an 16-6 advantage with 11:48 remaining in the half. SPASH senior guard Madisyn Rogan went on to hit a driving lay-up with 12:20 remaining, then followed the lay-up with an open three from the wing to cap the run for the Panthers.
With the Tigers pulling to within 18-13, the Panthers answered once again. This time, the Panthers went on a 12-2 scoring run that spanned four minutes. Earnest started the run by scoring a driving lay-up on a fast-break to put the Panthers up seven, she followed the lay-up with a steal and went on to score another lay-up. Earnest capped-off the run with a jump-shot from the free-throw line to put the Panthers up 30-15 with five minutes and 56 seconds remaining until halftime.
The Panthers went on to use a 14-4 run late in the first half. The run was sparked after Marshfield pulled to within 30-21, but with four minutes and 47 seconds remaining in the half, Earnest drained a three-pointer to go up 12. Senior guard Rachel Lummis would cap off the run with a corner three with twelve seconds remaining until halftime to go up 44-25.
The Panthers would take a 44-28 lead into halftime thanks to scoring contributions from Earnest, Rogan, and sophomore forward Alyssa Standifer.
The second half featured both teams trading baskets the first ten minutes of the half. The Marshfield Tigers pulled to within 61-49 with nine minutes 55 seconds remaining in the game. That’s as close as the Tigers could get, as the Panthers answered with the biggest run of the game to put the Tigers away for good.
With the score reading 63-49, junior guard Kelsie Kostuchowski would steal a fast-break pass. After the steal, Kostuchowski found freshman guard Zoe Fink for an open three to put the Panthers up 66-49. After a missed shot from the Tigers, Earnest went on to make a driving lay-up through traffic to put the Panthers up 68-49. The Panthers used the momentum to go on a 23-4 run that spanned for nearly six minutes to put the Tigers away.
Head coach Kraig Terpstra was asked about what the difference for him was between tonight’s performance compared to Tuesday, and he said “We had a better overall effort tonight. We put up 92 points, and our defense provided us with easier shots on offense to help us score the 92 tonight.”
Junior forward Leah Earnest was vocal about the all-around effort from the team.
“Everyone was able to contribute to tonight’s game,” said Earnest. “We came into Tuesday’s game very sluggish and tonight we had a mindset of setting the tone early, and we were able to do that.”
The Panthers now improve to 12-4 overall and 7-0 in Wisconsin Valley Conference play. The Panthers will travel to Chippewa Falls for non-conference action come Tuesday January 22nd. The Panthers next conference game will be at Wisconsin Rapids on Friday January 25th.
The recorded live stream of the game can be seen below.
Marshfield Scoring: Maddie Michaelis 13, Kaydee Johnson 3, Hannah Kelnhofer 3, Desirae Weisenberger 3, Brianna Varsho 8, Paige Preston 4, Brooklyn Boushack 6, Jenna Jakobi 23
Stevens Point Scoring: Rachel Lummis 9, Alyssa Standifer 11, Joleece Pecore 2, Kaylee Hintz 8, Madisyn Rogan 18, Zoe Fink 9, Leah Earnest 35