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Gustafson towers over W-M Cardinals


Jason Juno/Daily Globe

Wakefield-Marenisco's Lauren Grace (15) and Heather Hemming defend a shot by South Shore's Megan Gustafson, who finished with 49 points.

WAKEFIELD - In a battle of Indianhead Conference division leaders, South Shore's Megan Gustafson towered over everyone.

The 6-3 Iowa recruit scored 49 points, grabbed 24 rebounds and blocked six shots as the South Shore Cardinals beat the Wakefield-Marenisco Cardinals 76-46 Friday night.

It was the first loss of the season for W-M, which fell into a tie for first in the East Division with Hurley.

But Gustafson was dominant from the get-go, scoring 21 of South Shore's 24 points in the first quarter.

"She's as good as everybody says she is," W-M coach Pete Yon said. "You can't defend her. We tried keeping her out, but you can only do that so often. She's going to get her touches. What hurts you is her putbacks. She gets the rebound, puts it back, gets the rebound, puts it back. You can't stop that. We tried putting a body on her the whole time, but she's a big, strong physical girl. She's going to Iowa for a reason."

W-M didn't have anyone who could match Gustafon's height, but the senior has grown into more than just a tall player.

"The height is obviously a factor," South Shore coach Ryan Tiberg said. "She has pretty long arms. Part of it is over the years, she's learned how to position herself and she learned how to get in position and be in places where she can be effective. She doesn't play outside, she doesn't come outside and shoot 15 3s because that's not her game. She has shot some; she's made three or four this year."

Her teammates got more involved in the second quarter, scoring 14 points to Gustafson's seven.

"Her teammates played hard, they complement her, they hustle, they give it 100 percent," Yon said.

Darienne Korpi led the Cardinals with 14 points and Kassidee Yon had 13.

Despite the lopsided score, Yon saw some good things from his team.

"I got a lot out of this game," he said. "I brought up sophomore Kirsten Heil and I thought Kirsten played a really great game tonight. I was happy the way she helped defend her. She got physical inside. Second half, I talked about not quitting and we didn't. We played hard right until the end."

Yon was also happy with the play of Saundra Libertoski in the fourth quarter.

W-M's loss tightened the conference standings as Hurley and W-M both have one loss in the conference. W-M beat Hurley in the teams' first meeting of the year. The Midgettes host South Shore Thursday.

Hurley and W-M meet up in Hurley on Jan. 29.

"We're still in the thick of things," Yon said. "There's a lot of basketball left."

W-M won 40-37 in double overtime in the JV game.

W-M (8-1, 6-1) goes to Drummond Monday.

South Shore - Kira Waters 4, Tristin Koehler 1, Morgan Sorenson 1, Megan Gustafson 49, Alyssa Kavajecz 10, Shauna Kavajecz 11. FTs: 17-23. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Kavajecz 1.

W-M - Darienne Korpi 14, Saundra Libertoski 6, Lauren Grace 5, Brianna Dalbec 2, Hallee Yon 2, Heather Hemming 4, Kassidee Yon 13. FTs: 7-11. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: K. Yon 1.

South Shore 24 44 65 76

W-M 12 21 36 46


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