GFW girls avenge earlier loss with win over Cathedral

Staff photo by Jeff Meder New Ulm Cathedral’s Margo Finstad looks to pass out of traffic while guarded by Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Trinity Stearns (12) and Marti Jacobson (2) during a Tomahawk Conference girls basketball game on Thursday night at Cathedral High School.

By Jeff Meder

Journal Sports Writer

NEW ULM — Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop downed New Ulm Cathedral 67-59 on Thursday in a Tomahawk Conference girls basketball game.

The Thunderbirds avenged their 66-54 loss to the Greyhounds in Winthrop on Jan. 11.

GFW head coach Richard Busse said that in that first matchup, his team had 38 turnovers which led to the Greyhounds scoring 26 points off those turnovers.

“We played how we practiced it,” Busse said.

He noted the Thunderbirds gained their confidence in handling pressure when they played Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart on Feb. 6. He was pleased with how his team made good decisions with the ball and how they moved the ball.

Balanced scoring, solid rebounding, handling Cathedral’s press well and playing good defense were the ingredients used by the Thunderbirds to produce the victory.

Jenna Schweiss led the Thunderbirds with 17 points. Taylor Bauer and Taylor Schafer each added 10 points apiece.

Cathedral also had a balanced scoring attack.

Jenna Hotovec scored 20 points and Shay Wilfahrt had 11 points. Maddie Gilles and Margo Finstad each added 9 points and Abby Schugel scored 4 points.

The entire game was relatively close. The first half saw both teams holding the lead three times each. There were three ties and four lead changes.

Halle Bleick scored with 55 seconds left in the first half and was fouled. She made the free throw which gave the Thunderbirds the lead for good at 26-24. Marti Jacobson’s basket made it 28-24 GFW at halftime.

GFW continued to stay true to its script that it wrote in the first half. The Thunderbirds continued to be patient, confident and calm. They also rebounded well, made crisp passes and took care of the ball despite Cathedral’s full-court press.

Cathedral had no intentions of going anywhere as it continued its press throughout the second half. Late in the half, it attempted its own version of an up-tempo offense and the results were mixed.

It had success in keeping the game close, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a deficit.

Finstad’s 3 with 2:55 left in the game brought the Greyhounds to within 7 points at 60-53. The game became a bit more physical down the stretch as both teams took turns shooting free throws.

With 1:18 left, Cathedral was called for a technical foul. Schweiss hit both free throws which gave the Thunderbirds a 10-point cushion of 66-56. After a Jacobson free throw, Gilles stole the ball for Cathedral and scored on a layup. She was also fouled and made the free throw for the final score.

GFW (11-14, 6-9) hosts Sleepy Eye (21-2, 14-1) on Monday in its regular-season finale. Cathedral (11-14, 6-10) will play at Madelia (3-20, 0-14) on Monday in its regular-season finale.


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