Marshall ties career high with 33 points, Clyde tops Old Fort

Old Fort coach Jenny Ritzler said she would probably rank Clyde’s Heidi Marshall as one of the top three players her team has had to defend in her six years of coaching.

After Wednesday’s career night for the senior, it is easy to understand why.

Marshall tied a career-high with 33 points and added five steals as the Fliers topped Old Fort, 59-43, in non-league action.

“We played as a team and it showed when we went on a couple of good runs,” Marshall said. “Everyone contributed and we got some stops on defense. Screens were set and luckily, I made the shots.”

Marshall had 13 points at halftime, but added 14 of Clyde’s 16 points in the third quarter. She scored six more points in the fourth quarter as the Fliers (8-7) put the Stockaders (5-8) away.

“Heidi did her thing,” Clyde coach Dave Lozier said. “Heidi does her thing. She is a great player.”

It was actually Old Fort that dominated most of the first half. A bucket from Whitney Bilger put the Stockaders ahead, 13-12, after one quarter. Madisyn Spencer stole a pass and laid in a bucket, but Madison Bannister hit a 3-pointer to tie the game.

Old Fort responded with buckets from Morgan Miller, Bilger, and Jenna Clouse to prompt a timeout from Lozier. That only halted the Stockaders for a moment before lefty Hanna Bilger drilled a trey and Laini Gillett hit her only score of the game for a 26-15 lead with 2:27 left in the second quarter.

“I told the girls I was proud with how intense they came out,” said Ritzler, who graduated from Clyde in 2007. “We just came out super aggressive and we did a great job running the floor.”

Facing what could be a double-digit halftime deficit and a sense of urgency, the Fliers responded. Marshall picked a steal and laid it in before hitting one of her six 3s. Bannister hit her second 3-pointer and Jacqueline Smith scored to get Clyde within 26-25 at halftime.

“I thought in the first half, it looked like we were stuck in mud,” Lozier said. “I did not look at the stat sheet to see what we shot in the first half, (but) it wasn’t good. We were able to make a little run there right before halftime to get it within one point.”

Marshall again stepped in front of a pass and scored on the other end for the first points of the third quarter. Clouse scored with 5:14 left in the third quarter, ending the 12-0 Clyde over 5:11.

Marshall hit a 3, but buckets by Ashlyn Magers and Sydney Hossler gave Old Fort the lead right back. Two free throws by Alexis Keegan erased the final lead the Stockaders had.

Marshall hit three 3s over the final 2:15 of the third quarter to help Clyde to a 41-37 lead.

“We told the girls not to go under screens right from the beginning,” Ritzler said. “The girls knew how good Marshall was. We let them go under screens a lot in other games, so we switched and wanted them to go over top. I think we just kept making that mental mistake.”

Alayna Barrera and Smith opened the fourth quarter with scores to boost the lead to eight points. Later, the Stockaders were within 47-41, but two free throws by Smith, a steal and score by Marshall, and a bucket by Smith helped start a 10-0 run by Clyde to put the game out of reach.

“I thought defensively in the second half, we played better,” Lozier said. “I don’t think they shot the ball nearly as well in the second half. I thought we took the paint away.”

Spencer and Bilger each scored 13 points for Old Fort, who has now lost consecutive games after winning its previous four outings. The Stockaders held a 41-26 rebounding edge.

“Heidi has an incredible basketball IQ,” Ritzler said. “You make one little mistake and she is going to make you pay for it… She has great fundamentals and skills, but what puts her over the top is her basketball IQ.”

Smith tallied 12 points and seven rebounds for the Fliers, who have now alternated wins and losses over the last seven games.