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Ashwaubenon’s frontcourt dominant in victory over Southwest

By Murray Gleffe

ASHWAUBENON – The Ashwaubenon girls’ basketball frontcourt showcased its height and strength Feb. 1.

Nyia Marohl, Addy Phipps and Hannah Hutto combined to score 30 points to lead the Jaguars to a 45-40 Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) victory over Green Bay Southwest at Ashwaubenon High School.

“I went with a bigger starting lineup tonight,” Ashwaubenon Head Coach Nicky VanLaanen said. “I liked some of the matchups, and we did a great job at exploiting that. It’s one thing to talk about it, but the kids went out and executed the game plan well. Our spacing was key to the win.”

With the score tied at 15-15, the Jaguars flexed their muscles in the paint in scoring eight straight points in the final few minutes before halftime.

Much of the damage was done with high-low sets, leading to layups.

“Our post players got into foul trouble in the first half,” Southwest Head Coach Berri West said. “We did a unique thing and went with a small lineup, and (Ashwaubenon) took advantage of it. We tried to use our athleticism and quickness but forced a bit from the outside. It was the turning point of the game.”

Ashwaubenon (11-7 overall, 6-7 FRCC) took a 23-18 lead into intermission.

The Trojans (10-9, 6-7) climbed to within a point at 25-24 when Marji Stevens converted on an up-and-under.

“We had some defensive breakdowns and kids way out of position,” VanLaanen said. “With starting guard Bri Lambrecht out (injury), we’ve had to adjust some of our sets on both sides of the ball. I called a couple of timeouts to get everybody back on the same page.”

When it appeared the visitors were primed to take the lead, freshman guard Gianna Guarascio buried a triple to give the Jaguars some breathing room.

Midway through the second half, Ashwaubenon went on a 13-4 spurt to give it a 43-34 lead with about three minutes remaining.

Careless turnovers by the Jaguars and some quick steals and points by Southwest brought the deficit to 43-40, but Marohl sealed the deal by connecting on two free throws with 15 seconds left.

“We had to execute down the stretch,” VanLaanen said. “We mixed our 1-3-1 zone and man-to-man defenses in. Southwest was one game ahead of us in the standings, and now we jumped into that top echelon of the conference. Our offensive production is coming around and starting to click.”

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