Cardinal hoopsters get defensive in win over Jaguars

POUNDING THE BOARDS — Fairmont post player Alli Lardy grabs an offensive rebound before hitting a putback basket during nonconference basketball action Saturday in Truman. Fairmont’s Brooke Hunwardsen (5) and Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther’s Emma Becker (13) box out on the play, while the Jaguars’ Lydia Studer (10), Maddie Johnson (fourth from left) and Macy Quinn (1), along with Fairmont’s Brenna Cutler (31) and Chloe Murphy, watch. (Photo by Greg Abel)

POUNDING THE BOARDS — Fairmont post player Alli Lardy grabs an offensive rebound before hitting a putback basket during nonconference basketball action Saturday in Truman. Fairmont’s Brooke Hunwardsen (5) and Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther’s Emma Becker (13) box out on the play, while the Jaguars’ Lydia Studer (10), Maddie Johnson (fourth from left) and Macy Quinn (1), along with Fairmont’s Brenna Cutler (31) and Chloe Murphy, watch. (Photo by Greg Abel)

TRUMAN – If there was one side of the ball where Fairmont Cardinals girls basketball first-year head coach Sara Junkermeier could be satisfied with, it would be defense. Junkermeier’s Cardinals forced 15 second-half turnovers to beat the Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther Jaguars, 58-48, during non-league action on Saturday.

“Our defense does good things for us,” Junkermeier said.

From center Alli Lardy’s layup at the 16:03 mark of the opening half until the end, the Cardinals kept the lead. Lardy had the Cardinals’ first six points and went 5-for-5 on the floor in the first half and ended the night with a co-game-high 15 points along with six rebounds.

The only exception, however, was when forward Rachel Stauter and guard Emma Becker tied the score at 19. Stauter hit both free throws during a 1-and-1 situation, while Becker netted back-to-back baskets with 1:37 to go before halftime.

Fairmont forward Brenna Cutler went 5-for-6 at the charity stripe, while Jaguars guard Lydia Steinhaus got her own putback for a 24-21 visitors lead.

Guard Lexi Lunn fed eighth-grade guard Maggy Totzke for an open 3 just before the buzzer to allow the Cardinals a six-point advantage at the half.

“We just had to grind it out. It was just a game where we just had to keep battling,” Junkermeier said. “We never took a real commanding lead and therefore, we put ourselves in a position where we just had to keep playing hard.”

Right out of the break, guard Macy Quinn used an assist from guard Abby Calkins to bank in a 3-pointer to pull the Jaguars within three. Calkins doled out four assists — replacing Marissa Steinhaus, who was recovering from the flu, in the starting lineup.

“I think Abby does well. She’s kind of a good utility player from the standpoint that she is quick, she rebounds and she kind of just has a nose for where the ball is,” said Jaguars first-year head coach TJ Pytleski.

The Cardinals, however, got the offense going and added on to their lead.

Cardinals post Claire Cutler netted two jumpers and Lunn swished a 3 off center Bryn Miller’s outlet pass to get the Cardinals their largest lead of the game for a 47-34 score with 9:02 left in the game.

“We finally got to the point where we could get it into the high post, and when we got it into the high post, it was easier to go high-low. We got a few nice looks off that,” Junkermeier said. “Our guards, to their credit, made some good entry passes to our posts, too, and our posts finished when we needed them to.”

Quinn and Becker tried to pull the Jaguars back with three 3-pointers for a 53-48 deficit, but the Cardinals capped the game at the free throw line.

“I think this is the best that we’ve probably played collectively and aggressively. It just came down to free throws,” Pytleski said. “They made their free throws towards the end and we didn’t.”

Brooke Hunwardsen contributed 10 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists to the Cardinals’ victory.

“Brooke always gets our toughest (defensive) assignment. She gets our biggest challenge, and in honesty, Brooke wants it,” Junkermeier said. “She likes to go hard against people. She likes to get in people’s face, frustrate people and she did exactly what we asked her to again today.”

Brenna Cutler neared double-double territory with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Taylor Crissinger brought down six rebounds and Lunn posted eight points and three steals.

Quinn had nine points and nine rebounds, Studer tallied six points and six rebounds and Stauter had five rebounds for the home team.

This also was the Jaguars’ third game in as many days for a 1-2 record on the week.

Fairmont (7-4) plays host to Marshall at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, while Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/ Martin Luther (2-9) travels to Cleveland on Friday night for a Valley Conference tilt.

FMT 27-31-58

GTML 21-27-48

FAIRMONT (58)

Alli Lardy 7-8 1-1 15, Brenna Cutler 3-6 5-8 11, Brooke Hunwardsen 2-5 6-6 10, Lexi Lunn 2-11 2-7 8, Claire Cutler 2-11 4-8 8, Maggy Totzke 1-4 0-0 3, Taylor Crissinger 1-6 1-2 3, Abby Tonder 0-2 0-0 0, Chloe Murphy 0-1 0-1 0, Bryn Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-56 19-33 58.

GHECTML (48)

Emma Becker 6-17 0-2 15, Macy Quinn 3-12 9, Lydia Studer 2-5 2-5 6, Lydia Steinhaus 3-4 0-1 6, Maddie Johnson 1-5 3-6 5, Michaelah Petrowiak 0-1 4-9 4, Rachel Stauter 0-2 2-2 2, Abby Calkins 0-0 1-2 1, Madisen Wildfeuer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-47 12-27 48.

3-pointers: GHECTML 6-11 (Quinn 3-3, Becker 3-7, Johnson 0-1); Fairmont 3-14 (Totzke 1-3, Lunn 2-8, Crissinger 0-2, B. Cutler 0-1). Fouled out: Totzke (F), Stauter (GHECTML). Rebounds: Fairmont 34 (B. Cutler 9), GHECTML 31 (Quinn 9). Assists: Fairmont 10 (Hunwardsen 3), GHECTML 7 (Calkins 4). Steals: Fairmont 14 (Hunwardsen 4), GHECTML 9.

Fairmont converted a 25-10 halftime lead into a 45-19 win over Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther during B-squad play on Saturday.

Bryn Miller led the Cardinals with 14 points, while Jen Moeller and Kylee Harder each scored 11.

Fairmont’s C-squad beat Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther, 38-14, on Saturday.

Faith Olson produced 13 points, while Natalie Tonne and Madysen Allen scored 12 and eight points, respectively.

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