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Wisconsin Rapids senior Megan Clary goes up for two of her game-high 25 points and the Raiders outlasted Marshfield 59-52 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference opener for both teams on Tuesday at Marshfield High School. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

By Paul Lecker

Zaleski Sports

MARSHFIELD – Down by two pints with 7½ minutes to go, the Marshfield girls basketball team forced two turnovers and with a chance to tie the game or take its first lead of the second half, the Tigers turned it over.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, that seemed to be the story of the game. Marshfield turned the ball over 27 times and missed 13 of its 19 free throw attempts, dropping a tight game to Wisconsin Rapids 59-52 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference opener for both teams on Tuesday at the Chips Hamburgers Fieldhouse at Marshfield High School.

Wisconsin Rapids was able to pull away in the final 5 minutes by making 5 of 9 free throws and a 3-pointers from Logan Vollert to improve to 2-3 this season.

“It’s big to get any road win,” Wisconsin Rapids coach Mitch Wolding said. “Marshfield was tough. It went back and forth, and it just came down to the last few minutes and we were able to close it out. It was big for our bench players to get minutes and battle.”

Marshfield freshman guard Zaida Kolbeck scored 20 points in the Tigers' loss to Wisconsin Rapids on Tuesday. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

There were six lead changes and three ties early as Rapids was able to take a 17-16 lead.

Megan Clary, who scored 21 of her game-high 25 points in the first half, hit three 3-pointers and Avery Brise added another, but the Raiders couldn’t pull away as Marshfield found its offense late in the half.

Ayana Bousum and Loryn Jakobi scored off offensive rebounds, freshman guard Zaida Kolbeck drilled a 3-pointer and Dani Minsaas scored to help Marshfield stay within striking distance at halftime as Rapids led 35-34.

“I thought we played faster than we usually do, but at times were just careless with the ball,” Marshfield coach Taylor Varsho said. “I’m really proud of the girls tonight. My coaching staff did a great job scouting and we were ready for them. It comes down to turnovers and free throws.”

The break didn’t help the Tigers as they came out and missed eight of their first nine shot attempts and turned the ball over three times. Wisconsin Rapids took advantage, going on an 8-2 run over the first 3 minutes.

After Kolbeck hit another 3 and scored inside, Chelsea King hit a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play to give the Raiders a 49-43 lead with 9:34 left.

A Minsaas 3-pointer brought the Tigers to within two before the back-to-back turnovers and Rapids was able to pull away at the end.

“We played pretty well, but 7-for-20 from the free throw line, that can’t happen, and 27 turnovers isn’t going to win you very many games, but I saw a different side tonight from the girls that I’ve seen in the last three games and in practices,” Varsho said. “It’s early yet. I lot of our girls haven’t played together, haven’t played varsity minutes. It’s an exciting group.”

Kolbeck finished with 20 points, Minsaas added 12, and Abby Ongna hauled down 17 rebounds to lead the way for Marshfield (1-3).

Ella Bruns added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Wisconsin Rapids.

Both teams return to action Friday with Wisconsin Valley Conference games. Marshfield will be at Merrill and Wisconsin Rapids will host Stevens Point. The Wisconsin Rapids game will be live-streamed at

Raiders 59, Tigers 52

Wisconsin Rapids 35 24 - 59

Marshfield 34 18 - 52

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (59): Meghan Jochimsen 0-1 0-2 0, Aliyah Jennings 0-3 1-2 1, Ella Bruns 2-7 6-8 11, Megan Clary 10-20 1-4 25, Logan Vollert 2-5 0-0 5, Avery Brise 2-4 0-0 5, Izzy Escamilla 0-5 0-0 0, Chelsea King 4-11 3-3 12. FG: 20-56. FT: 11-19. 3-pointers: 8-26 (Clary 4-12, Brise 1-2, King 1-2, Vollert 1-4, Bruns 1-4, Escamilla 0-2). Rebounds: 35 (Bruns 11). Turnovers: 23. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: none. Record: 2-3 1-0 Wisconsin Valley Conference.

MARSHFIELD (52): Zaida Kolbeck 8-16 1-4 20, Dani Minsaas 5-8 0-3 12, Abby Ongna 1-8 5-9 7, Raella Schueller 0-0 0-0 0, Ashley Grancorvitz 2-6 0-0 4, Loryn Jakobi 2-6 1-3 5, Ayana Bousum 2-5 0-0 4. FG: 20-49. 3-pointers: 5-15 (Kolbeck 3-8, Minsaas 2-4, Grancorvitz 0-1, Bousum 0-2). FT: 7-20. Rebounds: 34 (Ongna 17). Turnovers: 27. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Jakobi. Record: 1-3, 0-1 Wisconsin Valley Conference.

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