By Paul Lecker For Zaleski Sports
MARSHFIELD – Hot shooting from Superior down the stretch was enough to sink the Marshfield girls basketball team.
After Marshfield took a six-point lead with 5 minutes to go, Superior scored on five-straight possessions and held the Tigers scoreless for more than 3 minutes to pull away for a 64-55 win in a WIAA Division 1 girls basketball regional semifinal on Friday night at Marshfield High School.
The 11th-seed Superior (14-9) moves to a D-1 regional final at No. 3 Green Bay Preble (19-4) on Saturday night. Marshfield, the sixth seed, ends its season with a 15-7 record that includes a Wisconsin Valley Conference title.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Niya Wilson in the opening three minutes gave Superior an 8-4 lead and the Spartans led for the remainder of the first half.
Marshfield scored just two baskets in a 12-minute stretch, falling behind 20-10 after a hoop by Savannah Leopold.
Marshfield finally got its offense going a little bit as Paige Preston ended a five-minute scoreless drought, and Kaydee Johnson made a 3-pointer and another basket to help the Tigers cut Superior’s lead to 20-17.
A hoop by Wilson in the final minute gave Superior a 22-17 lead at halftime, which wasn’t too bad of a deficit for the Tigers, considering they made just 6 of 27 shots from the field during the first 18 minutes.
Marshfield put a 13-2 run on Superior over a span of 3:08 to forge ahead for the first time. Johnson and Quincy Lang had 3-pointers, and Desirae Weisenberger ended the run with a basket to give Marshfield a 33-28 lead with 12:39 to go.
Superior responded with a 7-0 run, capped by a three-point play from Kaileigh Miller, and the Spartans regained the advantage at 35-33 with 9 minutes left.
The lead changed hands two more times before the Tigers put together an 8-0 run to seemingly take command. Preston scored twice, Danielle Minsaas made two free throws, and Weisenberger scored inside to give Marshfield a 47-41 lead with 5:10 to go.
As quick as Marshfield’s offense was ignited, it was extinguished.
The Tigers wouldn’t score for a stretch of 3:26 after a free throw from Minsaas, and didn’t make another field goal until there were 20 seconds to go in the game.
Superior scored on five-straight possessions, which included 3-pointers from Leopold, Wilson and Emma Raye, to take a 54-48 lead. Despite making just 8 of 14 free throws over the final 2 minutes, it was enough to keep the Tigers at bay.
Marshfield missed six-straight field goals before scoring twice in the final 20 seconds.
Wilson finished with 22 points, Leopold had 15 points, Miller scored 14 points, and Raye had nine points and 14 rebounds for Superior.
Johnson finished with 12 points, Weisenberger added 11, and Preston scored 10 for Marshfield.
Spartans 64, Tigers 55 Superior 22 42 – 64 Marshfield 17 38 – 55 SUPERIOR (64): Lily Gidley 1-1 0-0 2, Natalee Sigfrids 0-0 0-2 0, Niya Wilson 7-11 5-13 22, Savannah Leopold 5-7 2-4 15, Kaileigh Miller 5-7 4-7 14, Izzy Swanson 1-2 0-0 2, Emma Raye 4-14 0-0 9. FG: 23-42. FT: 11-26. 3-pointers: 7-15 (Leopold 3-4, Wilson 3-6, Raye 1-4, Miller 0-1). Rebounds: 36 (Raye 14). Turnovers: 21. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: none. Record: 14-9. MARSHFIELD (55): Kaydee Johnson 3-11 4-4 12, Maddie Michaelis 3-10 0-0 8, Danielle Minsaas 2-9 3-4 8, Desirae Weisenberger 3-6 5-6 11, Paige Preston 3-10 4-4 10, Quincy Lang 2-4 0-1 6. FG: 16-50. FT: 16-19. 3-pointers: 7-22 (Lang 2-3, Johnson 2-4, Michaelis 2-8, Minsaas 1-6, Preston 0-1). Rebounds: 21 (Johnson 6, Weisenberger 6). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Minsaas. Record: 15-6.