Redettes’ defense thwarts Gladstone
GLADSTONE — A difficult second quarter proved to be the difference as the Gladstone girls’ basketball team kicked off its season by falling 50-31 to Marquette here Tuesday. The Braves and Redettes battled through a defensive struggle early, ending in a 5-5 tie after the first quarter.
The second quarter was different, as the Redettes used a half court trap to force Gladstone into turnovers that resulted in easy buckets on the other end.
“We had to get our feet under us after the first quarter,” Marquette coach Ben Smith said. “We knew we had to get up and down the floor and we didn’t want to have to face their set defense.”
With 6:57 remaining in the second period, the Redettes went on a 14-1 run that put them up 20-8. The run was capped by a lay-up off of a steal by Rachael Hunt that forced Braves’ coach Andy Cretens into calling a timeout.
“We spent time working on the trap in practice,” Cretens said. “But we made some mistakes on it and our youth came into play. We made some careless passes.”
A lay-up by Avery Ledy just beat the halftime butzzer to give the Redettes a 14-point lead at the break. In total, Marquette outscored the Braves 23-9 in the quarter.
“We mixed and matched a few things,” Smith said. “We wanted to pick up the pace after only scoring five points in the first quarter. Typically, we don’t seem to make many shots in this gym.”
The third quarter was much of the same as the Redettes scored 12 of the first 17 points to go ahead 40-19 with 1:33 remaining. The Braves finally ended the drought on a lay-up by Alaina Trudeau with 32 seconds left in the quarter.
The Braves were more competitive in the fourth, fighting to the last whistle and giving the team something to feel good about going forward.
“This is the best I’ve ever felt after a 20-point loss,” Cretens said. “We showed fight and didn’t give up. It’s really a testament to how good of kids these girls are — they fight for each other and they have each other’s backs.
“That defense (Marquette’s) is the one of the best we’ll see all season, and we were still able to get the ball inside to Megan (Crow). We have to get a little more chemistry together but I feel pretty good about the way things went tonight.”
Crow was the bright spot for the Braves, scoring 16 points and making her presence felt on the inside. The Redmen doubled her in the post and had some success, but Crow was still effective.
“She’s (Crow) a heck of a player,” Smith said. “We tried to make her earn everything she got. We trapped her down low because you can’t just let her go one-on-one down there. We poked a few passes away from the backside and got some steals when they tried to force the ball into her.”
Like Cretens, Smith was happy with his team’s performance.
“The first game is always a little different,” he said. “I thought we played a lot better the last three quarters.”
Ledy led the Redettes with 17 points and Aspen Michelin had 12.
Marquette’s jayvees won 57-11.
The Braves play at Kingsford Tuesday. Marquette faces Brighton in Petoskey Friday.
Marquette 5 23 12 10 — 50
Gladstone 5 9 8 9 — 31
Marquette — Ledy 17, Michelin 12, Kivi 6, Hunt 4, Elmblad 3, Talbacka 3, Van Den Ende 2, Bartlett 2. F: 10; FT: 11-19; 3-point field goals: Ledy.
Gladstone — Crow 16, Ahlgren 7, LaFave 3, Trudeau 3, Larson 1, Zeise 1. F: 15; FT: 7-12; 3-point field goals: Ahlgren, Trudeau.