By Cole Walters
February 11, 2019
Wisconsin Rapids, WI: On Monday February 11th, the fourth ranked Wausau Newman Cardinals took on the fifth ranked Assumption Royals in a top five matchup between the Division 5 schools. Not to mention both teams have a fierce rivalry with each other, the Cardinals were looking to clinch at least a share of the Marawood South conference championship with a win. The Cardinals got what they wanted as they walked out of Assumption with a 61-52 victory.
The Cardinals opened the game with a fast start on offense. Junior guard Julia Seidel got off to a hot start as she hit her first three shots, going 2-2 from three, to give the Cardinals a 14-6 lead just five minutes into the game. The Cardinals went up 18-8 with 11:15 remaining in the half, as their defense forced the Royals into five turnovers early on.
The Royals got hungry though, and went on a 11-3 run the next four minutes of the game to cut the Newman lead to 21-19. The Royals capped their run off when senior guard Elle Leberg hit a corner three with 7:04 remaining in the half to pull the Royals to within two.
The Royals couldn’t overcome the deficit, as the Cardinals answered the Royals run with a run of their own to end the half. With the Cardinals up 31-23 in the closing seconds of the half, Seidel answered as she hit a running floater right before the half to give the Cardinals a 33-23 lead at the break and capped off a 12-4 run for Wausau Newman.
“Seidel does so many good things for our team,” said Wausau Newman’s head coach Jason Vanden Elzen. “She took care of the ball tonight and made key free-throws down the stretch and was making shots, she really helped carry our offense tonight.”
When the second half began, the Royals came out of the locker room with a spark. The Royals made 3 of their first 5 shots, and were able to cut the Newman lead to 36-30 just three minutes into the half. After the Royals cut the lead to six, the Cardinals pulled away to put the Royals out of reach.
The Cardinals went on a 12-0 run that would span nearly eight minutes, and the Royals couldn’t buy a basket during the Cardinals run. Wausau Newman went on to take a 48-30 lead with 8:36 remaining, and the deficit was too big for the Royals to overcome. The Royals cut the lead to nine twice in the final eight minutes, but couldn’t complete the comeback as they fell to Wausau Newman.
“Our problem last year is that Assumption got out to a big lead and we couldn’t recover,” said Coach Vanden Elzen. “Tonight we got off to a fast start, took care of the ball and were able to come away with a victory.”
“I expected us to come out with more of a 1, 2 punch tonight,” said Assumption Royals head Ryan Klein. “Wausau Newman had a great press defense tonight and we were really lazy against it. We came out flat tonight and it showed. We hope to learn from the turnovers, and hopefully be ready for a playoff push next week.”
With the win, the Wausau Newman Cardinals are now 18-3 overall and sit at 14-1 in conference play and will look to clinch the Marawood South outright when they take on Edgar next. The Royals drop to 16-5 overall and now sit at 11-4 in conference and will look to end the season on a high note when they travel to Marathon come Friday February 15th.
Wausau Newman 33 28 61
Assumption 23 29 52
Newman Scoring: Mackenzie Krach 10, Lauren Shields 9, Alex Frankel 3, Jadelyn Ganski 12, Julia Seidel 25, Angela Rougeot-Donath2
Assumption Scoring: Sam Nelson 3, Kendall Schmidt 3, Elle Leberg 5, Jessie Grundhoffer 9, Natalie Weisenbeck 4, Allison Livernash 4, Madalyn Bohn 20, Emily Bohn 4