Cougars Hold Off Marines in Season Opener

The high school basketball season is officially underway in Wisconsin, with Marinette and Coleman getting things underway with a good one on Thursday night.
A 40-point second half wasn’t enough for Marinette to overcome a tepid start, as the Marines fell 59-54.
Leading 5-4 early, Coleman went on a 9-1 run to take a 14-5 lead on a steal and score by Kiersten Jensen, following up a 3-pointer she made just before.
Marinette responded with a little six-point run of their own to cut the score to 14-11 on a bucket by Bryanna Torkko, but Coleman pulled away in the final seven minutes of the first half.
In the blink of an eye, they took a 31-13 lead, boosted by a five-point run by Aubrey Bintz where she got two steals leading to baskets, including a 3-pointer.
“They came out in that first half, and you could tell they were a talented, prepared team. It definitely showed in the first half,” Marinette coach Zac Barker said.
At halftime, Coleman led 33-14, and the lead even grew to 21, 47-26, but the Cougars wouldn’t be quite out of the woods. Marinette played an inspired final quarter of the game.
With the score 47-26, Marinette went on a quick 9-0 run to cut the lead to 47-35 on a free throw by Rylee Hansen.
The lead was built back to 51-35, but Marinette kept hanging around. With 2:15, Coleman took a timeout leading 53-43.
Riley Kieffer scored two baskets, including one off a steal, to cut the lead to 53-47 and Addison Pristelski nailed a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to slice the lead in half, 54-51.
Unfortunately for the Marines, they would just run out of time. They were forced to start fouling. Leading 56-53, Coleman’s Bre Hanrahan made two free throws to make it 59-53 and put the game away.
The free throw line would provide Coleman a boost and prove costly to Marinette in the game. Coleman went 20-32 at the line, while Marinette was 13-31, including 9-21 in the second half.
“We continued to fight. The biggest difference is we just missed some opportunities at the free throw line. That hurts you down the stretch,” Barker said.
Coleman played a hard, fast style of defense throughout the game, which led to some fouls down the stretch as the Cougars got tired.
“We are learning new things this year, we’re changing our entire style, so it’s been an adventure the first week,” Coleman coach Todd Olsen said. “It’s working. The first half, our defense was fantastic. The second half, we play an aggressive defense, so we got tired and we started fouling more. We’ve got to get our conditioning better for sure.”
Kieffer had a great second half, scoring 21 of her 28 total points to try and propel Marinette to a win. Olivia Hanson and Pristelski scored seven points each.
Coleman’s Cameron Zeitler scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half to help keep the Cougars in front. Jensen scored 16 and Aubrey Bintz got nine.
Marinette faces Peshtigo on Thursday, when both teams will be looking to avenge season-opening losses they suffered Tuesday.
Bulldogs Fall
to Chargers 61-41
to Start Season

The Peshtigo Bulldogs couldn’t hang with the speed and the high-paced offensive game of Wittenberg-Birnamwood in their season opener on Tuesday night.
Peshtigo trailed just 5-6 early after a free throw by Jaci Tonn, but that’s when the W-B onslaught got going. They scored the next nine points and 17 of the next 19 to take a 23-17 lead. Reese Rogowski and Rory Salvesen scored all of the team’s first 15 points to start off what would be a fantastic night for the pair.
“They would catch us off-balance in the help position,” Peshtigo coach Jeff Sunstrom said. “We didn’t get to the help quick enough, and a lot of that had to do with the fact they hit some threes, so our girls were very concerned about jumping out to the three and we didn’t shut down the penetration first, which we have to do.”
By halftime, the Chargers led 36-15. Peshtigo would play them pretty even in the second half, actually outscoring their opponents by a point when all was said and done.
The Chargers led 57-28 with just over five minutes to play, but Peshtigo went on a little run to finish things off.
“We did hit some outside shots. We played much better in the second half. We at least played a cohesive game,” Sunstrom said. “We were still a little soft in the middle when we were defending it. I’d still like to see us rotate the ball more and possess the ball longer.”
Salvesen finished with 18 points, including 14 in the first half. Rogowski scored 20 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
For Peshtigo, Maysen Brissette had a breakout game, scoring 12 points.
“She’s a nice player. She’s good in the post and she’s good from outside – raw talent,” Sunstrom said. “I think Maysen has done wonderful things and she’s made huge strides as far as her play with us.”
Akira Smalls hit three triples in the second half and finished with nine points. Tonn and Brooklyn Phillips each had six points.
The Bulldogs are back at it Thursday against Marinette.
Florence Takes Season
Opening Win Over

The Florence Bobcat girls bagged a 52-46 victory over the Wausaukee Rangers Tuesday night.
It was a close contest the whole way through with the Bobcats holding the slight edge at the half 23-20.
Florence continued to hold that edge through the second half where they outscored the Rangers 29-26.
For the Bobcats Isabella Milan opened the season with a nice 23 point tally while Victoria Peterson added up 12 points. Leah Young chipped in 11 while Morgan Tomczak got four. Kamdan Johnson added two to the tally.


Subscriber Login