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Marshfield's Abby Ongna is fouled on a shot attempt during the first half of the Tigers' win over Hudson on Tuesday at Marshfield High School. Ongna made 8 of 9 free throws and scored 14 points for the Tigers. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

By Paul Lecker

Zaleski Sports

MARSHFIELD – With its offense cold early, the Marshfield girls basketball team turned to its defense and free throw shooting to stay in the game, then pulled ahead late and held on to edge Hudson 48-45 in an opening-round game at the Marshfield Girls Basketball Invitational on Tuesday at Marshfield High School.

Marshfield was just 5-for-20 from the field in the first half, but forced 10 turnovers and went 11-for-15 from the free throw line to stay within striking distance and trailed 24-21 at the break.

A jumper by Loryn Jakobi put Marshfield on top 35-34 with 7:55 to go, and after Hudson responded with a basket, Dani Minsaas drilled a 3-pointer to make it 38-36 and the Tigers held on from there.

Minsaas scored off an offensive rebound and Zaida Kolbeck nailed a 3-pointer to extend the Tigers’ lead to 46-39 with 2:19 to go, but Hudson wasn’t about to go away.

Olivia Grothaus scored on back-to-back possessions for the Raiders. After Marshfield turned the ball over twice, Grothaus made a pair of free throws to cut Hudson’s deficit to one with 12 seconds left.

Raella Schueller sank a pair of free throws for the Tigers and a Hudson missed a 3-point attempt to tie it at the buzzer, sealing the win for Marshfield.

“Our defense is key, whether we play or throw a 1-3-1 at them, it comes down to defense,” Marshfield coach Taylor Varsho said. “Now we have to just have to execute on offense. It’s wanting the ball and wanting to score. Right now, we’re playing very passive on the offensive end and we have to figure that out.”

Marshfield finished 17-for-24 at the free throw line, with Abby Ongna going 8-for-9 and scoring a team-high 14 points in the win. She also had a team-best eight rebounds. Kolbeck added 12 points for the Tigers, who improve to 5-4.

“We used our length to our power (on the defensive end),” Varsho said. “Basketball is a game of ups and downs and you can’t be afraid to make mistakes. Raella Schueller came off the bench and made two big free throws at the end and they ran a nice play, but fortunately we were able to hang on there at the end.”

Grothaus and Kira Young each had 10 points for Hudson (6-4).

The tournament will conclude Wednesday afternoon with Hudson taking on Wausau West at 1:30 p.m. and Marshfield playing Superior in the championship game at 3 p.m. Superior defeated Wausau West 63-59 in the other game Tuesday. The Marshfield game on Wednesday will be live-streamed at

Tigers 48, Raiders 45

Hudson 24 21 - 45

Marshfield 21 27 - 48

HUDSON (45): Grace Lewis 2-10 2-2 7, Kira Young 5-10 0-0 10, Olivia Grothaus 4-7 2-2 10, Rachel Burns 1-2 0-0 3, Maya Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Grismore 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Yacoub 1-3 0-0 3, Ella Carstensen 2-3 2-2 6, Olivia Pettey 3-5 0-0 6. FG: 18-42. FT: 6-6. 3-pointers: 3-12 (Burns 1-2, Yacoub 1-3, Lewis 1-5, Young 0-2). Rebounds: 23 (Young 5). Turnovers: 20. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: none. Record: 6-4.

MARSHFIELD (48): Madison Voss 0-0 0-0 0, Zaida Kolbeck 4-8 2-4 12, Dani Minsaas 3-14 0-0 7, Abby Ongna 3-6 8-9 14, Raella Schueller 1-6 3-4 5, Ashley Grancorvitz 2-2 0-2 4, Loryn Jakobi 1-2 0-0 2, Ayana Bousum 0-1 4-5 4. FG: 14-39. FT: 17-24. 3-pointers: 3-13 (Kolbeck 2-5, Minsaas 1-5, Bousum 0-1, Schueller 0-2). Rebounds: 27 (Ongna 8). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: none. Record; 5-4.

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