LANARK – For No. 6 seed Polo to have a chance against No. 3 Newman in today’s Class 1A Eastland Regional semifinal, they will have to get off to a better start than they did against Morrison in an eventual 60-37 win.
Early in the second quarter, the Marcos led 10-8 against the 1-27 Fillies. On top of it all, leading scorer Alex Dusing was lost for the remainder of the game with a knee injury.
It was couple of underclassmen that got Polo going. Freshman Lindee Poper, who battled 6-foot-1 Morrison freshman Shelby Veltrop under the basket much of the night, scored to break a Marco scoring drought. On the next trip down the court, sophomore Cadence Sheaffer nailed a 3-pointer, and Polo never looked back.
“We got off to a slow start,” Polo coach Jeff Grobe said. “Sheaffer is a go-getter, and Lindee and Marah Blake worked hard in the post.”
It was Becca Wagner that really put the Marcos in high gear with a basket, a free throw, and a 3-pointer to close out the half, with Polo ahead 28-12. She finished with a game-high 18 points on a variety of shots from all over the floor.
“She had a great game and can play any position,” Grobe said. “When she wants to, she can take over a game. In the middle of the second quarter, I liked our fast break.”
With Dusing’s status in doubt, it was Blake going into attack mode at the basket. Fortunately for
Dusing, it was not her bad knee that was injured. Still, it will be a tough task against Newman for Polo if she is unable to go.
“She tweaked it,” Grobe said. “Her father’s an athletic trainer, and we’ll find out more from him about it.”
Polo had trouble containing Veltrop, who blocked five shots and scored 17 points on nifty moves around the basket.
“She started the year really shy, and wasn’t sure she wanted to be on varsity,” Morrison coach Kerry Grim said. “We needed someone to come in an replace an all-stater [in Peyton Tegeler], and Shelby really stepped it up.”
Sophomore Kendra Fisher added 12 points, and Anna Mickley scored six.
“We just don’t have anybody that can shoot outside,” Grim said. “Fisher played really well tonight, but Polo was able to double-team inside on us.”
For Polo, Poper added 14 points, Blake had seven, Sheaffer and Mallory Patterson scored six each, and Nicole Boelens chipped in five.
“I also thought Abby Gorzny and Harper Clark also gave us good minutes,” Grobe said.
Grobe realizes that his squad has a red-hot Newman team to contend with.
“We’re 1-1 [against Newman]. We won at home, where we played a near perfect game, and they beat us at their place,” Grobe said. “I think it will come down to rebounding and taking care of the ball for us. We had lots of turnovers when we lost to them.”
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