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Wolverines overwhelm BGM

GMG junior guard Jocee Mason drives past BGM’s Aiden Corona (15) for a layup as part of her personal six-point surge, helping the Wolverines open their basketball season with a 46-32 victory on Nov. 21 in Garwin. PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Head coach Mick Long got the defense he wanted out of his new squad, and that was more important to him than the offense that it eventually helped to create.

The GMG girls’ basketball team forced BGM into 29 turnovers and used those to its advantage in taking complete control of their Monday, Nov. 21 season-opening contest, finishing with a 46-32 victory over the visiting Bears.

BGM (0-1) scored 22 of is 32 points in the fourth quarter against GMG’s second- and third-string units, making a somewhat close game out of what had become a blowout. The Wolverines (1-0) scored the final 15 points of the second quarter to take a 26-7 lead into halftime and outscored BGM 12-3 in the third quarter to make it a 38-10 advantage.

Junior guard Adelyn Sienknecht’s runner in the lane with six minutes left to play was the last points scored by GMG’s starting rotation, putting the Wolverines up 42-11.

BGM outscored its host 21-4 the rest of the way, but even that lopsided stretch wasn’t enough to undo all the damage.

GMG junior Adelyn Sienknecht, right, comes up with a loose ball in front of BGM’s Shaye Strong (0) during the third quarter of the Wolverines’ season opener on Monday, Nov. 21 in Garwin. PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

“We did a lot of things well,” said Long, GMG’s first-year head coach. “The girls executed defensively I thought, they played super for three quarters. The score doesn’t even matter.

“We executed and we didn’t shoot well, and they were good shots. Those shots will go as we get to play more. I was really happy and I was really happy for the girls to get a win.”

GMG junior forward Reese Dieleman scored her team’s first seven points, senior post Marriah Stonewall tallied 10 of her 11 in the second period, and junior guard Jocee Mason scored six in a row to end the third quarter. Dieleman and Stonewall finished with a team-leading 11 points apiece and Mason added eight as the Wolverines ran out to a big lead.

They even had to back off defensively to some extent because Dieleman, Mason and sophomore point guard Dylan Mathern had two fouls apiece in the first period.

“I was about 10 seconds from going to a zone for about five minutes to be honest, but we just kept playing well enough,” Long said.

PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Emilie Claussen, Makayla Pendleton and Mathern chipped in four points each, Sienknecht got her last shot to go down and Maecyn Lewis added a long two-pointer for GMG’s final tally.

Karagyn Minnaert scored 17 of her team-leading 19 points in the fourth quarter for BGM, which couldn’t overcome all the turnovers and a heaping helping of foul trouble. Five Bears players finished with at least four fouls.

BGM managed just one field goal in the first and third quarters and none in the second.

“We have to be able to play defense to beat good teams,” Long said. “Our rotations were sometimes a step slow, but that will come with more games. Overall I was really pleased and just happy for us to get a win.”

The Wolverines aren’t scheduled to play their next game until Dec. 5 when they travel to Marengo to face Iowa Valley for another non-conference match-up.

PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE