Wolverines don’t need A-game to topple East Marshall

GMG freshman Dylan Mathern, right, drives to the basket against East Marshall’s Alivia Neuroth during Monday’s non-conference basketball game in Garwin. Mathern scored 12 points as GMG won 53-40. PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

It wasn’t easy or comfortable and it wasn’t always in hand, but the GMG girls’ basketball team found a way to get across the line — as it has often this season. The Wolverines (12-8) held on for a senior night win at home over visiting East Marshall 53-40 Monday night in their final regular-season outing. East Marshall dropped to 2-19 on the season with a 13th-straight defeat.

GMG overcame what was a very determined effort from Mustangs junior Morgan Neuroth, who scored a game-high 29 points.

In the first quarter, a strong defensive effort held the Mustangs to eight points and the Wolverines were able to build a 30-21 lead at the halftime break, although a Neuroth floater beat the second quarter buzzer and got the Mustangs within double-digits.

GMG head coach Mick Long said the Wolverines struggled with face-guarding and weren’t able to contain the Mustangs’ leading scorer.

“[Neuroth]’s really good,” Long said. “But we’ve gotta learn, face-guarding means she doesn’t get the ball back. You don’t worry about anything else.

GMG junior Adelyn Sienknecht shoots a 3-pointer over East Marshall defender Delaney Ryan (15) during the second half of Monday’s basketball game in Garwin. Sienknech scored 14 points to help the Wolverines beat the visiting Mustangs 53-40. PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

“She’s a heck of a player.”

What followed was a worst-case scenario start to the second half for the home team. East Marshall started hitting shots, Neuroth got loose and the Wolverines struggled to find any consistency on offense. Within three minutes, the Mustangs went from trailing by nine to leading 32-30. A big 3-pointer from Adelyn Sienknecht broke the run and gave the Wolverines the lead again. They would not trail the rest of the night — but it was still close, as the Mustangs kept within striking distance.

Entering the fourth quarter, the score was 38-35. On multiple possessions early on, the teams traded missed shots — including a missed three by East Marshall that would have tied the game at 38. GMG pushed the lead to 46-40 with three minutes to play and the Mustangs stayed cold, failing to score and seeing their comeback attempt come up short.

Head coach Chris Hungerford said it was a difficult loss after such a strong third-quarter display.

“That was easily our best third quarter of the year,” Hungerford said. “We really came out, came after them and made some shots and it worked. Then we kind of faded in the fourth quarter there.”

Despite struggling on offense in the second half, GMG had three girls reach double-figures. Senior Marriah Stonewall ended her final regular-season game with 19 points, while Sienknecht scored 14 and point guard Dylan Mathern added 12. Reese Dieleman scored eight.

Both teams are done for the regular season. GMG was set to host BGM on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Class 1A Region 2.