After opening round win over Jesup, MFL MarMac can't get past Maq Valley

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Grace Anderson tallied five points in MFL MarMac’s 48-30 Class 2A Region 1 semifinal loss to undefeated Maquoketa Valley. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Kayden Gillitzer was MFL MarMac’s top scorer against Maquoketa Valley, sinking three shots from behind the arc for nine points.

Lakota Morrissey edges around a Wildcat defender.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


The MFL MarMac girls basketball kicked off the postseason with a big win over Jesup in last week’s Class 2A Region 1 quarterfinal, but couldn’t keep its run alive in the semifinal match-up with undefeated Maquoketa Valley.


The Feb. 16 game at Jesup didn’t start well for the Bulldogs, who were down 14-7 after the first quarter. They performed better in the following period, though, going on a 16-11 run to trail just 25-23 at halftime. MFL MarMac took the lead in the third quarter, then out-scored the J-Hawks 18-8 in the final minutes to win 56-44.


The teams were evenly matched in most statistical categories—except field goal percentage. The Bulldogs made nearly 46 percent of their shots on the night, while Jesup managed only 25.9 percent. MFL MarMac also won the free throw battle, sinking 10 of 20 attempts. The J-Hawks, meanwhile, got to the line only 12 times, making eight free throws.


Junior Riley Moreland had a dominant night for the Bulldogs, racking up 24 points, four assists and three blocks—all team highs—along with five rebounds and a steal. Senior Kayden Gillitzer hit three shots from behind the arc, accounting for nine of her 15 points. She also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Junior Miranda Lang added six points, five rebounds and two assists, while sophomore Ashley Shaw earned five points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.


In the Feb. 19 game at Maquoketa Valley, MFL MarMac again trailed early, 18-8. The team couldn’t rebound from a slow first quarter this time, however, continuing to trail the Wildcats at the break, 28-16. Maquoketa Valley built on that lead in the second half, defeating the Bulldogs 48-30.


MFL MarMac shot 37 percent from the field in the regional semifinal, not far below Maquoketa Valley’s 39 percent mark. Both teams hit six three-pointers. Turnovers were the big difference, as the Bulldogs committed 18 while the Wildcats had only six. Maquoketa Valley also out-rebounded MFL MarMac 24-18 and went 10-19 from the free throw line. The Bulldogs hit just four on 11 attempts.


Gillitzer was MFL MarMac’s top scorer, sinking three shots from behind the arc for nine points. She had two rebounds and a block, as well. Brooklynn Moon hit two three-pointers, giving her six points off the bench. Moreland was held to only five points, but still led the team with seven rebounds and three assists, in addition to a block. Grace Anderson chipped in five points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal.


MFL MarMac ended the season with an overall record of 16-7. The team finished third in the Upper Iowa Conference, with a 12-4 mark.

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