By Brian Kalish
November 19, 2018
Wausau– After knocking off Marawood-South rival Marathon by the final score of 72-32 on Monday night, Newman girls basketball head coach Jason Vanden Elzen, an unapologetic pro wrestling fan, broke out an old school World Wrestling Federation reference.
“Rick Flair said it best. To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man,” Vanden Elzen said.
“The man” in this case is Marathon, who has been the conference champion for the last four years.
By trouncing the Red Raiders on Monday, Newman’s second conference win this young season, the Cardinals made the case that there is a new sheriff in town.
To be sure, Marathon is in a rebuilding phase after losing eight seniors and all five starters from last year’s team, but Newman was in no way taking the Red Raiders lightly.
It may be a little early in the season to call this a statement win, but in many ways, this victory for the Cardinals perhaps signaled a changing of the guard in the Marawood-South.
“Coach Schneider’s had a heck of a run over the last couple of years,” Vanden Elzen said. “This was our chance to go out there and stake our claim to the Marawood South.”
The Cardinals’ defense was nothing short of suffocating as Newman jumped out to a 18-1 lead to start the game.
The Cardinals did not allow a Marathon field goal until the 6:37 mark in the opening half when Hope Krautkramer finally got the lid off for the visiting team.
The early Newman onslaught set the tone for the rest of the game, and Marathon simply didn’t have the firepower to get back into striking range.
A catalyst for Newman in the early going was senior Kenzie Krach.
Krach had 10 points to lead the Cardinals in the first half. When baskets weren’t falling for juniors Julia Seidel or Jadelyn Ganski, Krach took over and helped ease her teammates into an offensive rhythm.
“Normally we don’t get out to a huge start right away,” Krach said. “So once we get going, we bring all our energy and then we start having fun and we relax. So once we find that and get into our groove, we play Newman basketball.”
While Krach set the tone for Newman in the first half, an unlikely hero emerged in the second half: Alex Frankel.
Frankel, a junior, scored 16 points, 12 of which came subsequent to intermission.
Frankel’s 16 points were a game high.
Frankel credited the team’s communication as a big factor in her second-half outburst.
“Everyone was talking, so that really helps,” Frankel said. “Once (we settled into the second half) I was able to just keep it going.”
In all, nine Cardinals broke into the scoring column.
Jadelyn Ganski finished with 14 points, 10 of which came in the second half.
Vanden Elzen was pleased with the complete team win.
“It was a great team effort,” Vanden Elzen said. “Everyone stepped up. Layne Draxler’s a freshman, she played big minutes and had seven points. Jada Heinz had nine. Kenzie Krach was in double figures, and that’s something that doesn’t happen very often. It was a nice win to get everyone involved.”
The Cardinals will resume play in at an Antigo tournament on Friday, November 23.
Marathon Scoring: Blume 6, Cleven 1, Krautkramer 8, Boehm 14, Wokatsch 2, Free 2
Newman Scoring: Krach 11, Heinz 9, Brown 2, Shields 8, Frankel 16, Ganski 14, Seidel 4, Donath 1, Draxler 7