OCONTO —The Marinette girls basketball team couldn’t keep pace with Oconto, suffering a 73-25 blowout loss to the Blue Devils in non-conference competition on Monday.
Missing key pieces of their rotation, the short-handed Marines (3-5 North Eastern Conference, 3-11 overall) struggled to score, tallying 17 points in the first half and just eight in the second.
The Blue Devils (6-0 Packerland Conference, 12-0 overall) had no problems finding the net, dropping 52 points in the first half behind the scoring of Lianna Baxter, who poured in 26 of her game-high 33 points before halftime.
“Lianna is a tremendous player, probably the best player in our area, and we struggled to defend her all game long,” Marinette coach Zac Barker said. “We’re banged up and we just didn’t have the bodies in order to compete tonight.”
With the game well at hand at halftime, the Blue Devils continued to press and trap the Marines defensively and played their starters nearly the entire game, with Baxter tacking on seven more points and Addisyn Viestenz adding five.
Lindsey Wingender led Marinette in scoring with six points while Chloe Seymour added five and Kaya Bodom chipped in four.
While the scoreboard was not in Marinette’s favor, Barker said that the play of Kylie Veriha, who finished with two points, was a highlight of an otherwise dreadful outing.
“Kylie really rose to the challenge and stepped up for us tonight,” he said. “She had her hands full trying to defend Lianna but she didn’t back down and gave full effort. She also did a great job guarding Hannah Moe and was a big reason why we were able to limit her to just four points.”
Viestenz was Oconto’s second-leading scorer with 14 points while Kyanne Wusterbarth finished her night with 13.
Marinette returns to P.F. Neverman gym Thursday night for its antepenultimate home game of the season, hosting NEC rival Denmark (1-6 NEC, 3-9 overall) at 7 p.m.
Oconto hosted Peshtigo on Tuesday with results unavailable at press time. The Blue Devils travel to Sevastopol (4-1 Packerland, 10-1 oeverall) Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Oconto 73, Marinette 25
Oconto 52 21—73
Marinette 17 8—25
Oconto: Baxter 33, Viestenz 14, Wusterbarth 13, Moe 4, Grace Simon 3, Lauryn Hendzel 2, Emmy Reed 2, Hannah Thomson 2; FTs: 19-31.
Marinette: Wingender 6, Seymour 5, Bodom 4, Bryanna Torkko 3, Hannah Chenier 2, Rylee Hansen 2, Veriha 2; FTs: 6-13.