Bulldog girls clip Eagles 46-32

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Ashley Shaw scored 11 points in MFL MarMac’s 46-32 win against Clayton Ridge on Dec. 20. The win improved the Bulldogs to 6-3. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Junior guard Kaitlin Picha led the Bulldogs with seven assists in the absence of back court duo Brooklynn and Caydence Moon.

Grace Anderson's 15 points led all Bulldog players in the win over the Eagles.

Autumn Shaw searches for an open teammate in the Dec. 20 match-up against Clayton Ridge.

Hannah Bogdonovich considers putting up a three-point shot versus the Eagles. She scored 11 points in the game.

Kacie Picha plays tough defense on an Eagle player.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


The MFL MarMac girls basketball team improved to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Upper Iowa Conference with a 46-32 win over Clayton Ridge on Dec. 20.


The Bulldogs shot just 30 percent from the floor, but were able to pull away from the Eagles in the second quarter. Grace Anderson led the way with 15 points, followed by 11 from both Hannah Bogdonovich and Ashley Shaw. Autumn Shaw scored six points, while Kacie Picha hit a three-pointer off the bench.


Head coach Jason Winter said MFL MarMac has needed those clutch contributions this season, as multiple starters have missed time due to injury or illness.


“We’ve had a lot of girls step up. A lot of younger girls. And they’ve done a pretty good job. They’ve played their roles,” he said. “One of our mottoes this year is ‘We play for each other. We play as one.’ We have to do that each and every night because you don’t know who we’re going to be calling on to come in. If someone comes in and plays well, they’re probably going to play longer. Like tonight, we had Kacie Picha come in and hit a three-point shot. Things like that we’ve been doing throughout the year.”


Winter also praised guard Kaitlin Picha, who led the team with seven assists in the absence of back court duo Brooklynn and Caydence Moon. 


“Kaitlin is a heck of a player. But this is her first real year of playing basketball after two years with an injury. She’s only going to continue to get better,” he said.


Winter likened coming up the court to driving. Similar to scanning ditch to ditch, players have to scan sideline to sideline and not be so tunnel vision.


“I think you’re going to see her start seeing the court a little better. She’s got to with Brooklynn out, Caydence out,” he stated.


Anderson topped the rebound column with nine, falling just short of another double-double. Bogdonovich added six, and Kaitlin Picha and Ashley Shaw each grabbed five. 


Anderson and Bogdonovich also had one block and two steals apiece. Ashley Shaw snagged four steals, which was half the team’s total.


Heading into the 2023 portion of the season, Winter said the Bulldogs will look to add some new things offensively, to keep other teams off-balance. They’ll also continue to work on seeing the floor and being better shooters. Some players simply need to be more confident in their shots, he noted.


“We have some good shooters, but you almost have to beg them to shoot,” Winter said. 


While Anderson and Bogdonovich lead the team in points per game, with 18.7 and 11.4, respectively, he’s hoping Ashley Shaw can continue to be a solid third scorer. She’s currently averaging 8.6 per night, but stepped up with double digit performances, and even a double-double, during the other two’s absence.


“I told her, when we get Hannah and Grace back, you need to keep doing what you’re doing because it makes us that much better,” Winter said.


Although MFL MarMac has dropped two conference games, the coach is happy with how the team sits considering the adversity.


“There’s not a game we haven’t been competitive in. Then you can also look at we’ve won two overtime games which could have went the other way too. I think our record is probably where we should be,” Winter said.


He’s not ready to count MFL MarMac out of the UIC race.


“Look what happened to us with illness and injury. That can happen to anybody,” he said. “You have to keep winning the games you can and keep fighting. Hopefully, by the end of the year, we’re still in the thick of it or have a chance to make something happen.”


The Bulldogs’ first game after the break will be Tuesday, Jan. 3, against South Winneshiek. They’ll face Central Friday, Jan. 6, hoping to avenge a season-opening loss.

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