Jaguars declaw Wildcats, 86-50

Kenlie Pytleski

Kenlie Pytleski

NORTHROP — The Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther Jaguars girls basketball team got out to a fast offensive start and never looked back to breeze to an 86-50 win over the Heron Lake-Okabena Wildcats on Monday.

“We did (start fast). Offensively, we were clicking right away,” Jaguars head coach Rick Uttech said. “We try to get something right off the tip if we can.”

And, they did. Four seconds after the tip-off, junior guard Macy Quinn passed up to senior guard Hannah Johanson, who laid in the ball. Senior forward Hanna Geistfeld added two more points at the free throw line 50 seconds later.

The Jaguars used a 10-0 run to build a 24-9 lead before Wildcats junior guard Kiana Leighty put in a bucket to end the visitors’ scoring drought at the 11:31 mark.

Wildcats senior guard Gabi Stenzel brought the team within 11 after nailing both free throw shots and making another shot using one of junior guard Brianna Hinkeldey’s game-high five assists for a 26-16 score.

“Defensively, I wasn’t really pleased with our effort the first half. They (Heron Lake-Okabena) shot really well,” Uttech said about the Wildcats, who went 12-for-24 from the field and 10-for-10 at the foul line in the frame. “If we fouled them, they hit their free throws, so you can’t take anything away from that, either.”

But Jaguars senior center Kenlie Pytleski used her height advantage to knock in a bucket in the paint, and junior guard Emma Becker swung a pass left to Johanson, who promptly netted the 3-point shot for a 16-point advantage.

“We tried to look for our high-low as often as we could, but we also want the guards to shoot. We need that balance,” Uttech said. “We’ve got some good shooting from the outside.”

With 7:45 to go in the opening half, the Jaguars managed another run, scoring seven unanswered points. Senior guard Allyson Cegelske started the Jaguars’ run with a free throw. Johanson later passed into the paint where senior guard Alexis Brummond cut to the basket for a layup.

Cegelske made another free throw at the 6:50 juncture before providing the outlet pass on Brummond’s trey. Brummond, who received a game ball before the game to officially celebrate her 1,000th point at Martin Luther High School, drained another 3 via an assist from junior guard Marissa Steinhaus for the 45-23 lead.

Pytleski scored the Jaguars’ final four points of the half at the foul line, marking a 53-35 score at the break.

The Jaguars kept up the pace and notched five quick points to open the final half. Pytleski laid in a bucket before the Jaguars’ press allowed Brummond a steal that she converted into an and-1 play.

With 17:16 remaining in the game, Stenzel got to the charity stripe and made one of two shots. She later hit a jumper and connected with Hinkeldey, who put in a shot for a 62-40 score.

Becker later piled on to the Jaguars’ lead with five points, including two 3-pointers. Becker finished with 11 points, going 4-for-5 on the floor.

“She did that against Springfield, too, so that was awesome,” Uttech said about Becker’s shooting.

Pytleski earned a double-double with game-highs of 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting and 11 rebounds. Geistfeld chipped in 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Johanson added 13 points. Brummond pocketed four steals, doled out four assists and scored 12 points in the win.

This is the Jaguars’ second win in three days.

“I thought they responded very well after (Saturday’s game) with no practice. We have some things we need to work out,” Uttech said.

Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther (10-2) hosts Cleveland at 7:30 p.m. today in Granada.

GTML 53-33–86

HLO   35-15–50

GHECTML (86)

Kenlie Pytleski 10-15 4-4 24, Hanna Geistfeld 6-8 2-2 14, Hannah Johanson 5-7 2-4 13, Alexis Brummond 5-9 0-2 12, Emma Becker 4-5 1-2 11, Macy Quinn 2-4 1-1 5, Allyson Cegelske 1-7 2-4 4, Renae Wallace 1-3 0-0 2, Maddie Johnson 0-0 1-2 1,  Marissa Steinhaus 0-2 0-0 0, Rachel Stauter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-60 13-19 86.

HERON LAKE-OKABENA (50)

Kaylan Untiedt 4-5 7-8 15, Gabi Stenzel 4-10 3-4 11, Kiana Leighty 4-10 0-0 9, Taylor Johanning 1-2 3-4 5, Abi Fest 2-9 0-0 4, Tessla Crowell 1-2 2-2 4, Briana Hinkeldey 1-4 0-1 2. Totals 17-42 15-19 50.

3-pointers: GHECTML 5-6 (Becker 2-2, Johanson 1-1, Brummond 2-3); Heron Lake-Okabena 1-3 (Leighty 1-1, Stenzel 0-1, Fest 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: GHECTML 33 (Pytleski 10); Heron Lake-Okabena 21 (Leighty and Untiedt 5 each). Assists: GHECTML 21 (Brummond, Geistfeld and Pytleski 4 each); Heron Lake-Okabena 10 (Hinkeldey 5). Steals: GHECTML 12 (Brummond 4); Heron Lake-Okabena 10 (Untiedt 4).

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