Newman Catholic's Sydney Galang drives toward the basket during the first half of the Cardinals' game at Stratford on Tuesday. Stratford won, 40-30. (Photo by Paul Lecker for Wausau Pilot & Review)

By Paul Lecker
For Wausau Pilot & Review

STRATFORD – The Stratford girls basketball team buckled down on defense in the second half, limiting Wausau Newman Catholic to just two made baskets and overcame a five-point deficit to win 40-30 in a Marawood Conference South Division matchup Tuesday night at Stratford High School.

The Tigers trailed 23-18 with 12:45 left before going on a 12-0 run to take control. Newman Catholic made just one basket in the final 16 minutes after starting 11-for-16 from the field.

Stratford made seven of 10 free throws in the final 1:53 to put the game away and win for the sixth time in its last seven games, improving to 7-5 overall and 3-3 in the Marawood South.

“We were defending them fine in the first half, but I felt like we were playing a little too far off of them,” Stratford coach Tammie Christopherson said. “Once we adjusted and starting putting a little more pressure on the ball, it seemed to rattle them a little bit. We picked up some steals.

“We also talked about winning 50-50 balls. We’re not always the team that sticks our noses in there. In the first half we didn’t and they picked up six or eight points because of it. In the second half we got our noses in there and were much stronger with the ball.”

Newman Catholic committed 12 turnovers in the first half, but were able to force 11 and made 10 of 14 shots to take a 20-16 lead into halftime.

Sidney Galang scored 12 of her 15 points in the first half for the Cardinals.

Newman led 23-18 before Stratford took over. Lexie Christopherson started the run with a 3-pointer and Lauren Kraus had a three-point play and another basket as the Tigers scored 12 straight to go ahead 30-23.

A basket by Galang, Newman’s only hoop in the final 16 minutes of the game, brough the Cardinals to within four at 33-29 with 2:49 to go before the Tigers were able to put it away at the free throw line.

Newman finished with 23 turnovers, while Stratford only had three in the second half.

Kraus finished with 19 points, going 9-for-9 from the free throw line, to lead the way for the Tigers. Freshman Kalyn Scheuller added 11 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Newman Catholic hosts Phillips for a Marawood crossover game on Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Tigers 40, Cardinals 30
Newman Catholic   20   10   –   30
Stratford   16   24   –   40
Sidney Galang 7-15 1-5 15, Lily Shields 1-3 0-0 2, Ashley Jankowski 1-1 2-4 4, Maggie Wulf 1-1 2-2 4, Lily Zeimetz 2-7 1-4 5, Mel Severson 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 12-27. FT: 6-15. 3-pointers: 0-3 (Zeimetz 0-3). Rebounds: 15 (Wulf 6). Turnovers: 23. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Wulf. Record: 4-6, 0-6 Marawood Conference South Division.
STRATFORD (40): Allison Lindner 0-2 0-1 0, Lauren Kraus 5-8 9-9 19, Bailey Linzmaier 2-5 0-0 4, Tessa Berg 1-4 0-0 2, Kalyn Schueller 4-8 3-8 11, Sailor Kauffman 0-3 0-0 0, Lexie Christopherson 1-5 1-2 4. FG: 13-35. FT: 13-20. 3-pointers: 1-9 (Christopherson 1-4, Lindner 0-1, Linzmaier 0-2, Kauffman 0-2). Reobunds: 27 (Schueller 10). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: none. Record: 7-5, 3-3 Marawood Conference South Division.