By Paul Lecker
CHIPPEWA FALLS — The Marshfield girls basketball team went down fighting but in the end could not overcome a slow start and dropped a 54-49 decision to D.C. Everest in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal on Thursday night at Chippewa Falls High School.
D.C. Everest started the game on a 13-2 run as the Tigers missed six of seven shot attempts and committed four turnovers in the first seven minutes.
Marshfield never led but twice fought back from double-digit deficits to make it interesting in the end.
“Getting open looks against Everest is really, really hard,” Marshfield coach Heidi Michaelis said. “We weathered the storm. I knew that if we took the hit and stayed the course, we would eventually make shots. Eventually good things would happen. Eventually they were going to miss.”
D.C. Everest (25-0) led 19-5 after scoring the first six points of the second quarter before Marshfield (18-7) finally got its offense going.
Marshfield made four of six free throws to break the ice, and after a basket by Taylor Hodell, who led Everest with 22 points, Ellie Kummer and McKayla Scheuer hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Hannah Meverden scored to close the Evergreens’ lead to 21-17 at halftime.
“Going into halftime down four, we said as long as we kept the game close, we knew we had a chance,” Michaelis said. “When you have kids that can throw it in like we can, games are never really out of reach.”
Ema Fehrenbach scored on the Tigers’ first possession of the second half to close the gap to two only to go cold again.
Marshfield missed its next five shots, and Everest used an 8-0 run, which included two 3-pointers by Mackenzie Mathies, to go back up by 10.
A three-point play by Hodell made it 36-24 entering the fourth quarter.
The Evergreens maintained their 12-point lead until Marshfield’s senior backcourt of Caitlin Michaelis and Kummer began to chip away.
Kummer hit three-straight 3-pointers to cut Everest’s lead to 47-41 with 3 minutes to go.
Marshfield did not score for another 90 seconds as Everest went by up by nine, but the Tigers were not finished.
Michaelis hit a 3-pointer and made two of three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt, making it 51-46 with 1:01 left.
After Everest made two of four free throws, Kummer hit her sixth 3-pointer of the game to make it 53-49 with 26 seconds remaining.
D.C. Everest gave Marshfield two good chances to get closer with a pair of turnovers in the backcourt. However, the Tigers could not cash in, turning the ball over once themselves, and Michaelis missed a 3-pointer. Hodell made one free throw with 12 seconds left, and the Tigers could not get any closer.
“Ellie got hot, and she wanted the ball,” Heidi Michaelis said. “She was going to shoot our way back into it. I’m proud of our kids. They battled, and that’s all I wanted is to come here and battle and leave it all on the floor.”
Kummer finished with 21 points in the game, and she ended up shooting 15 of 26 from 3-point range and had 64 points in the Tigers’ three playoff games. She finishes her career with 767 points, 10th on the all-time list for Marshfield. Michaelis ended with nine points and ends her four-year career with 1,194 points, third-best ever for Marshfield, and with a school-best 201 3-pointers.
Marshfield also loses seniors Ellie Fehrenbach and Lauren Gilbertson, who combined to play just one game this season due to injuries, and Martha Kupfer and Natalie Zuelke.
“That’s the hard part, the finality of it, losing your last game when they’re seniors, your daughter’s group that you’ve watched come up,” Heidi Michaelis said. “It’s emotional on so many levels. I couldn’t be more proud of the whole group. Ellie and Lauren, people that didn’t get to play all year, that’s hard to watch kids be that sad. For the ones that did, they absolutely left everything out there. They can walk out being very, very proud of what they did as Marshfield Tigers.”
D.C. Everest will play Neenah (18-7) in a Division 1 sectional final at 1 p.m. Saturday at Stevens Point Area Senior High. The winner moves on to next week’s state tournament in Green Bay. D.C. Everest is trying to make it to state for the first time since 1994.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Evergreens 54, Tigers 49
D.C. Everest 13 8 15 18 – 54
Marshfield 5 12 7 25 – 49
D.C. EVEREST (54): Hannah Tipple 1-3 3-5 6, Haley Kroll 2-4 0-1 4, Kaylie Kohel 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Petit 0-4 2-4 2, Katelyn Schmoll 2-4 1-3 5, Mackenzie Mathies 4-10 2-2 13, Makayla Pagel 1-1 0-0 2, Taylor Hodell 9-12 4-5 22. FG: 19-38. FT: 12-20. 3-pointers: 4-19 (Mathies 3-9, Tipple 1-3, Schmoll 0-1, Kroll 0-2, Petit 0-4). Rebounds: 27 (Hodell 8). Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: none. Record: 25-0.
MARSHFIELD (49): McKayla Scheuer 2-10 0-0 6, Caitlin Michaelis 3-6 2-3 9, Natalie Zuelke 0-0 0-0 0, Martha Kupfer 0-0 0-0 0, Ellie Kummer 7-13 1-2 21, Ema Fehrenbach 2-7 5-6 9, Hannah Meverden 2-5 0-0 4. FG: 16-41. FT: 8-11. 3-pointers: 9-22 (Kummer 6-11, Scheuer 2-6, Michaelis 1-4, Meverden 0-1). Rebounds: 18 (Fehrenbach 6). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Scheuer. Record: 18-7.